Supporting the Homeless Community | Serve Nashville

    Week Three of our Serve Nashville blog series is focusing on ways in which we can serve the homeless community residing in the greater Nashville area. The two nonprofits that we are spotlighting today are both organizations doing incredible work in supporting and meeting this community at their points of need; Room at the Inn and Safe Haven Family Shelter.

    Room in the Inn:

    Nashville nonprofit Room in the Inn has been supporting the homeless community in Middle Tennessee since December 1986. That year, four congregations committed to shelter homeless people through that winter, until March of ’87. By the end of that following winter, 31 congregations had joined. Today, 26 years later, 180 congregations open their doors from Nov. 1 through March 31st to provide a safe, warm place for homeless individuals to seek shelter . Aside from that, year-round services are also provided, including emergency services, transitional programs and long-term solutions to help people rebuild their lives.

    In 2010, a large campus – 45,000 square feet – was opened, providing services as well as permanent supportive housing. Being able to offer permanent housing to individuals allows them to offer an event greater amount of support every step of the way, as they rejoin the workforce, seek education, and work with partner agencies. All along the way, Room in the Inn seeks to provide help through one-on-one relationships and a commitment to serving all those who call the streets of Nashville home.

    So, how can you get involved with Nashville’s Room in the Inn this holiday season? There are numerous volunteer opportunities at Room at the Inn. One of which is serving meals to its guests and residents. Other volunteer needs are for both on-site and off-site needs; On-site needs include being an activities facilitator, working at the Support Desk, assisting with the Laundry Program, being a Class Instructor or Library Assistant, leading a women’s group, helping out with the Recovery Communities and Permanent housing and much more. Off-site needs including sponsoring a donation drive, hosting a speaker, serving at your congregation, or a congregations that hosts the homeless during the winter months, and putting together and giving encouragement gifts to the guests and residents. Aside from on- and off-site volunteer needs, there are still dozens of other ways to get involved with Room at the Inn, either for just one day or a long-term volunteer commitment.

    If you are crunched on time but still want to support Room in the Inn, they also provide a lengthy list of items that they are always in need of. Click here to see the list and consider making a simple donation of items such as toothpaste, batteries, bottled water or sunscreen.

    To fill out a volunteer application or learn more about the volunteer needs at Room at the Inn, please click here. For specific questions, email

    Safe Haven Family Shelter:

    Safe Haven has 28 years of experience in the changing field of family homelessness with proactive programs, evidence based practices and trauma informed care. As a Nashville nonprofit, it always plays a leadership role in education and advocacy to address this community-wide issue.

    Safe Haven is the only shelter-to-housing program of its kind in Middle Tennessee that accepts the entire homeless family. They keep the family together and provide comprehensive services that empower them to achieve lasting self-sufficiency. As their name implies, we have an emergency shelter program, but they also offer a Transitional Housing Program and Rapid Rehousing Program.

    Safe Haven has had the support of over 1,000 Nashvillians over the years. Volunteers help support Safe Haven’s mission by helping with maintenance and renovation projects, family activities, program assistance and fundraisers. Ongoing needs at Safe Haven include overnight shelter assistance, meal prep, weekend shift volunteers, donation pick-up, administrative needs, computer lab helper, child care and family mentoring. To learn more details about each of the specific needs listing above and more, click here. To inquire about volunteering, contact Stefanie Tinnell at

    Safe Haven has countless volunteer needs, both suitable for individuals and families alike. Head to their website here to learn more about their needs and consider giving your time or donating to their cause this holiday season.

    Also, keep an eye out for their next upcoming event, Dancing for Safe Haven, that is slated to happen sometime in 2013. This event partners local celebs with professional dancers to compete for online favorite, audience favorite and judges’ favorite. This event helps raise money for Safe Haven and also provides family-friendly fun. Learn more about it here.

    Thanks for tuning in to our Serve Nashville blog series! Last week: Project Transformation + Front Porch Ministry. Next week: Nonprofits serving the Africa and helping providing clean water. | Want to stay connected? Like us on Facebook +  follow us on Twitter and Instagram. And, as always, check out our current homes for sale in the Nashville area.

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