An initiative started by a local husband and wife aims to support the homeless community in Nashville through backpacks filled with proper necessities.
Nate and Joanna Lampa began the effort to create what is called Homeless Survival Backpacks. They have partnered with the church, The Belonging Co. held at Rocketown, to build a 'street impact team' and help the homeless men and women in the city.
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Church members gathered at the fellowship hall of Belmont Church on Monday to assemble the backpacks. They are filled with a variety of essentials including snacks, socks, hand-warmers, blankets, and toiletries.
"We are putting together about 250 homeless survival packs," said Nate. "We want this to be a little less transactional of an interaction and more relational."
Nate stated that this would create a great opportunity to help and learn more about the people outside of their situation.
It would also hope to remove the awkwardness from drivers wanting to help those standing on the corners.
"Hopefully you're giving this to somebody you see a lot and maybe that's in your neighbor and on your way to work. You can build a relationship so it's not constantly handing something out of the window and driving away," added Nate.
The Lampas are also involved with the non-profit People Loving Nashville, which provides food and clothing to the homeless at War Memorial Plaza on Monday nights.
Over the weekend, Open Table Nashville held a memorial honoring the homeless men and women who died so far. This year has been the deadliest in the organization's history.
"This is not just a bunch of lazy, drug addicts living on the street. This is people like you and me. Let's just take of our neighbors and let's take care of our community," said Nate.
The survival backpacks will be available on Tuesday and Sunday nights at The Belonging Co.