Cold Weather Overflow Shelter workers put in long hours to meet the need during the cold

Metro's Cold Weather Overflow Shelter to open yet again amid frigid conditions
Posted at 9:51 PM, Jan 09, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-10 07:04:11-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — As temperatures dip yet again, there are still many without a place to sleep. "The need for the cold weather shelter in our community was at its peak," said Jay Servais, director of Metro Homeless Impact Division.

Metro's Social Services and Homeless Impact Division have been working overtime to shelter the city's most vulnerable in the face of dangerous conditions.

Now they're preparing to do it again. They will open their doors both Sunday and Monday night.

"So you see anywhere from mental illness to all levels of addiction to domestic violence to folks that have just become homeless for years and have become institutionalized to that way of living," said Servais.

He said in the last few days around 1,200 people a night sought shelter from the cold at the overflow shelter and several other community partners.

"That's the hardest part of this job and the hardest part for anybody that works in this community of people that are in need... it's heart-wrenching to know that some folks would even dare to take that on or don't have an option," Servais said.

But the situation has also presented an opportunity.

"Part of our challenge in outreach is when we go to the encampments there's a 50/50 shot sometimes whether we're going to get to somebody because they may be out working or running errands or something but they've got to do survival, right?" he said.

Now with many staying at the temporary overflow shelter, it's allowed case managers to connect with people they may not otherwise be able to.

"When you offer that hand and lift people up then you tap into their potential to be something positive for themselves, so that is the mission that we have in the Homeless Impact Division," said Servais.

The shelter will be open between 7 p.m. and 7 a.m. on both Sunday and Monday night at 3230 Brick Church Pike, Nashville, TN 37207.

For more information on the Cold Weather Overflow Shelter, click here.