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Volunteers Ready To Help Homeless Survive Upcoming Cold Weather

Posted: 9:57 AM, Jan 09, 2019
Updated: 2019-01-09 15:57:21Z
Open Table Nashville

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — As freezing temperatures prepare to return to Middle Tennessee, volunteers are gearing up to help homeless people looking for a warm place to stay.

Open Table Nashville hosted a Winter Outreach Training session at Glencliff United Methodist Church Tuesday night. The group hosts two sessions each Winter. Residents came from across the city, and some said this was the first time they had volunteered for the group.

“I wanted to give back to people I see in the streets of my neighborhood and downtown who really need help,” said Jonathan Rizzo, a first-time volunteer.

The session focused on how to identify the correct shelter location for a person in need, as well as how to identify hypothermia, and safely approach someone in need of help.

Volunteers also learned about how to pack a survival kit filled with essential items like socks, toiletries and hand warmers that could help someone left in the cold.

After completing the training, volunteers will join others who canvass the city when temperatures drop to 28 degrees or below. Open Table Nashville coordinates crews from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. to cover as much ground across the city as possible.

Organizers say volunteers and people across the city play a critical role in saving lives.

“The effort of keeping everyone safe in the Winter isn’t just for outreach teams,” said Lindsey Krinks, the Education Coordinator at Open Table Nashville. “It’s for everyone in the community. We need everyone checking on folks they see.”

If you see someone in the cold who needs help, you can also call the Metro Non Emergency line at (615) 862-8600 and ask for a wellness check.

Open Table Nashville also posts a video of the Winter Outreach Training online. For more information visit: http://opentablenashville.org/

For more information on Metro Nashville’s Cold Weather Response Plan visit: http://www.coldweathernashville.com/