NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — As temperatures drop across Middle Tennessee, steps are being taken to make sure everyone has a warm and safe place to stay.
Metro Social Services opened an extreme cold weather shelter Monday night at 3230 Brick Church Pike. The overflow shelter will receive guests when primary community partner shelters like the Nashville Rescue Mission reach maximum capacity.
This year, a new transportation plan is in effect that will provide people with free bus rides on the 23B bus from WeGo Central to the shelter. Rides will be provided between the hours of 7 p.m. and 11 p.m. on nights the shelter is open. Shuttles are also picking up individuals at designated locations across the city and bringing them to WeGo Central.
Homeless outreach workers have been handing out fliers with information on the new transportation options over the last few weeks. Individuals who have access to a cell phone can also text "Nashvillewinter" to 84483 to get updates on when the overflow shelter will be open.
Some Metro leaders were at WeGo Central Monday evening to make sure the first night of the program ran smoothly.
"It is a coordinated transportation plan that we haven’t had before, and we are very excited we are putting it in play tonight," said Paula Foster, executive director of Open Table Nashville. "If you are in a doorway or under a bridge with no shelter, when the temp drops to 28 degrees you could die. Having the overflow shelter open is critically important to folks."
Metro overflow shelter is accessible for men, women, couples, and people with pets. Standard hours of operation upon activation are 7 p.m. to 7 a.m.
Nashville's Cold Weather Community Response Plan will be in effect from Nov. 1 through March 31. Metro’s cold weather overflow sheltering plan activates when the National Weather Service’s official local forecast is predicted to reach 28 degrees Fahrenheit or below.
For more information on the Nashville Cold Weather Community Response plan, you can call 615-862-6391 or click here.