Hundreds Seek Emergency Shelter In Frigid Temperatures - | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Hundreds Seek Emergency Shelter In Frigid Temperatures

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by Aundrea Cline-Thomas

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - The frigid temperatures have the homeless population seeking shelter. The Room in the Inn is making sure there are enough beds to go around.

"I think it's a matter of life and death in the elements," Executive Director Rachel Hester said. "You know when we go to our cars we're freezing. Can you imagine staying out there in that wind chill for 15 minutes, 20 minutes, two hours?"

Going to a shelter isn't ever anyone's preference but sometimes it's the only option, especially as temperatures hit dangerous lows.

"On nights like tonight you will see more families," Hester said. "You will see people who would've never come to a shelter any other time."

On Friday, nonprofit Luke 14:12 prepared enough food to serve 300 people including Gregory Britt.

"When it's cold everyone comes in but when it's warm weather there's not as many people," he said.

Four hundred people are expected to line up outside of the Room in the Inn looking for someplace to stay. So true to its name the agency issued a plea for help by asking congregations to open their doors to make room.

"It's amazing what these churches do," Britt said. "It kind of changed my perspective on Tennessee and people caring."

Twenty-four hours after asking for help, 200 more beds were made available.

"Between us and the warming shelters and the (Rescue) Mission we want to (give) everyone in Nashville a place to stay," Hester said.

In crisis not only can needs be met, but it could be a start of the long term mission to change lives.

"The crisis continues year round. There's a need for more shelter," Hester said. "There's a need for more affordable housing. There's a need for more help."

Room in the Inn is also asking for donations of gloves, hats, scarves, hand and feet warmers.

For more information on how you can help, visit their website


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