Homeless Memorial this Saturday, December 14

1471338_715333518477907_2771058_nThe annual Homeless Memorial is Saturday, December 14th. There will be a breakfast at 7am at Room in the Inn, a silent march to Riverfront Park at 8:30 (and transportation for people who can’t walk), and the memorial at 9 at Riverfront Park (at the intersection of 1st and Broadway). Come to all or part of it and help us remember all those who have passed. (The picture below is from the 2012 Homeless Memorial service.)


Death Prevention: Winter Emergency Warming Shelters

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We are partnering with Open Table Nashville to provide volunteers  to staff the Emergency Warming Shelters when temperatures drop to 25 or below. Last January, Jimmy Fulmer froze to death on the steps of a church in Nashville. We never want to see that happen again, though sadly as many as 30 people die each year on the streets in Nashville. Help us save lives. We can do two things: help spread information about emergency warming shelters and help to staff them.

The wind chill Sunday night and Monday may reach -10 degrees in Nashville. This is so dangerous for our friends. If you see anyone who is un-housed and cold, PLEASE stop and give them this information: The cold weather emergency # is 615-800-0195 and this will have info about what shelters are open. The Cold Patrol # is 615-255-2475 and they can provide transportation to people needing to come in. These numbers are also listed in our “Get Help” section.

Less death more hopeVolunteer to help run the shelters. People are needed to help drive the van, set up beds, provide and cook food, stay overnight as an innkeeper, help clean up in the morning, and to do laundry the next day. Though innkeepers are always needed, you don’t have to stay the whole night as many positions require only a few hours commitment of time, and yet mean SO much to the people served. Open Table’s shelters provided space for more than 110 people one recent weekend and were open Thanksgiving Eve and Thanksgiving. Give a shout to regina@opentablenashville.org if you can help. If you are looking for shelter, you can call the following number to find out what is available each day.  615-800-0195

Help Reclaim the Right to Rest Thursday, December 12

Members of Nashville Homeless Organizing Coalition will be bringing their lawn chairs and signs asking local government “Where have all our benches gone?” to the stretch of Church street by the Downtown Public Library on Thursday, December 12th from 11am -1pm.  Homeless individuals, formerly homeless individuals, and advocates plan to motivate their community to demand their benches back from the Public Works Department of Davidson County.


 Members of the Coalition successfully performed a similar action on World Homeless Day, October 10th, in which they sat in lawn chairs where public benches used to sit. Members handed out brochures educating residents of Nashville that work, live, and play in the downtown area of the disappearing benches. Since this action, the Coalition has launched a Communication Campaign to give residents the opportunity to have their voices heard by the Public Works Department of Davidson County.  This campaign includes writing letters, emails, and phoning Rory Rowan at the Public Works Department of Davidson County with concerns about the benches.

 The Coalition aims to restore every person’s right to rest. There is reason to believe that the 29 benches removed in a 3 block area near the Downtown Public Library have been removed to keep economically disadvantaged people from resting in these places. Additionally, it is evident that 13 benches are missing on Church Street from 5th to 7th Ave and 16 are missing on Capitol Blvd. from Church to Union.

Also, please  join our letter writing campaign and make our voices heard. Print and send in the example letter or create your own! (Personal letters are the most effective, but if you are busy, the main thing is that they hear from us–all you need to do is to copy the linked letter and replace the dummy personal info with your own, and print it out and send it.) The information to call Public Works is also in the letter. Thank you for your help and support to restore every person’s right to rest. And check back for more coming soon!

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