Overflow shelter opens as freezing temperatures move into Metro

Posted at 10:08 PM, Jan 21, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-21 23:43:54-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn (WTVF) — Metro Nashville is opening its emergency overflow shelter.

That gives people a warm place to stay if they can't make it to another shelter. Nearly 200 congregations across Middle Tennessee are opening their doors for those without a home.

“On a night like tonight a warm, safe shelter that’s really the most emergency need,” said Jeff Moles with Room in the Inn.

One of congregations that is helping is the 14th Avenue Baptist Church. Staff say they’ve been helping coordinate with the Room in the Inn for nearly 30 years.

“On a night like tonight when it’s so cold, it’s such a great, great, great blessing, said Deacon Chris Buford.

The Room in the Inn, Nashville Rescue Mission and the City of Nashville are working to make sure no one is caught sleeping on the streets any night, let alone a frigid, cold one.

“We should have 10 guests tonight, 10 neighbors,” said Buford.

These 10 men will get a warm meal and a warm bed tonight and so will countless others.

“We will be sheltering over 300 people at the Room at the Inn tonight,” said Moles.

When the temperatures hit below freezing many of the county shelters quickly fill up. That's when Metro Social Services opens its overflow shelters.

Tonight, the overflow shelter at Shelby Park Community Center is welcoming guests who can't make it to any of the other shelters. Hopwever, staff say there are rules at the overflow shelter: check with the other shelters first, do not line up early and be prepared to use the public transit system to get to and from the shelter.

Those who volunteer like Buford say they’re just glad there’s a plan in place to keep people safe.

“I’m proud to be Nashvillan, proud to know that this city has plans to care about those that might need a little extra help,” said Buford.

The overflow shelter does take in pets and couples and will close by 8 in the morning.