Earlier this week, a junior high youth group visited Nashville on their summer mission trip. Samuel and I led them around the city that morning, teaching and discussing with them the issues surrounding homelessness and poverty in Nashville. In the afternoon, we split the group in two; half learned about resource shelters and assembled hygiene kits, while the other half learned about our housing campaign and assembled Welcome Home kits.
In honor of Mother’s Day this coming Sunday, I want to tell you about a mother I’ve spent a lot of time with in recent months and who has often occupied my thoughts and become dear to me. I met her –– we’ll call her Jennifer, in late January. I answered my phone one afternoon while preparing for an Emergency Winter Shelter and heard a frantic voice on the other end of the line. She had just been released from a psychiatric unit and a nurse had given her my number. She burst into a tearful explanation of her situation –– living in a car, 6 year old son, car towed, severe mental health issues, no money, nowhere to go, no one willing to help. The Women’s Rescue Mission is the only shelter that will accept mothers with children, but it was full, and Jennifer’s combination of paranoia and anxiety left her unable to access those services.
The Big Payback is taking place during a 24-hour span between 6:00 a.m. on Tuesday, May 6 and 6:00 a.m. on Wednesday, May 7.
What is it? Think of it as a citywide competition where everyone who participates wins.
What we do at Open Table Nashville cannot be done without the financial support of the individuals, community and organizational partners who share the vision and work we do. In 2013, we are excited to report that we accomplished the…
OTN is partnering with local congregations to provide bimonthly shelters on the second and fourth Fridays of every month. Resource Shelters allow for a consistent place to connect our un-housed friends with needed services and resources like birth certificates, housing applications, foot clinics, first aid, and haircuts.
Posted by Lindsey Krinks
Last week, we had four people in the same hospital: a hit and run, a baby born early, and two broken bodies driven to madness by broken minds. I cannot fathom what it would be like to feel my flesh and bones give way to a rush of metal, to give birth to a child without a home, to be haunted by voices no one else hears. I walked the sterile, weaving, windowless hallways feeling heavy, reminding myself I cannot fix people. They said both his legs were broken, that his lungs were not fully formed, that she was severely malnourished, that he would get to keep his feet. Plastic tubes with legal drugs spilled into their veins quieting the voices, numbing the pain. For now, they will all make it, but in their varying states, what do they hunger for? Is it stillness, silence, reprieve, escape? Is it human touch, meaning, answers, grace? When I visited him, he could barely speak. He opened the slits of his eyes long enough to know I was there, that it was me, and reached out for my hand. He took my hand in his, squeezed it, and kissed it. He knew he was not alone, and for the moment, that was enough.