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Upscale living for the Homeless in Nashville?!

You may have noticed a recent addition to Nashville’s ever-growing skyline downtown near 8th Ave South and The Mercy Lounge. A Nashville-based charity, Room In The Inn, recently opened the doors to their fabulous new facility designed to provide a comfortable, safe, and hopeful living environment for the homeless in Nashville, in addition to being an all-purpose resource facility for the nearby community. The $13million, 44,000 square foot Comprehensive Center is located at 705 Drexel St and 8th Ave S and features 38 affordable housing apartments, state-of-the-art classrooms and boardrooms overlooking downtown Nashville, a computer learning center and library, as well as an on-site cafe and art studio! And did we mention that it’s exterior has a striking upscale urban appearance, similar to Icon in the Gulch??

This amazing new facility was designed to provide emergency shelter, daily meals, computer training, job coaching, and long term housing for Nashville’s homeless community. “With the Comprehensive Center we are offering the opportunity for someone to go from living on the street to securing a permanent apartment, all the while growing as an individual mentally, physically and spiritually.” said Charles Strobel, Founding Director of Room In The Inn (quote from Nash Bus Journal article). Strobel founded Room In The Inn 25 yrs ago in Nashville one winter as he noticed a group of homeless people who were camping out in his church parking lot. “I did what anyone would do”, said Strobel, “I invited them in”. (quote from article) Through the years Room In The Inn has partnered with more than 170 local churches to provide shelter for thousands of Nashville’s homeless community by literally taking them from the cold streets to area churches where they are fed a warm meal, provided a bed and shower, and given a snack/lunch to take with them after an overnight stay.

People just like John “Cowboy” Brazelton, a 59yr-old veteran, and homeless resident in Nashville are now given the opportunity for permanent housing and emotional/spiritual support. John lost his job, home and eventually his marriage due to an alcohol addiction until he decided to get help in Aug of 2008. Now he is a resident at the Comprehensive Center and has 2 jobs working with Bridgestone Arena kitchens and Nashville Sounds Concessions. John is working on furthering his education at National College in Nashville where he is seeking a degree in computer applied technology and he is seeking to reconnect with his son and daughter who are now 33 and 36. John said after 5 years of living in the streets of Nashville he would have never imagined that he would be living in his own apartment again. Residents of the building have to be eligible for the program by submitting an application, have a job, social security or military benefits, and be willing to sign a 6-month lease that requires they pay rent on a sliding scale based on income. All of the 500 square-foot apartments are fully furnished by Room In The Inn.

Local businesses and individuals are also encouraged to seek out the facilities for special public events, music and art showcases, board meetings and rooftop receptions, etc.

For more information about Room In The Inn or the use of the new Comprehensive Center facilities, contact Hilary Barnett, Volunteer Manager, at 615.251.9791 or . Or , @roomintheinn on Twitter.

info via The Tennessean, Nashville Scene, Nashville Business Journal

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