Paula D. Foster, MSW, LCSW
Paula D. Foster, MSW, LCSW, received her Bachelor’s degree in Social Work from Louisiana College in 1986 and her Master’s degree from the City University of New York, Hunter College School of Social Work in 1993. During her 13 years in NYC, Paula worked in a variety of culturally diverse settings throughout the city including the NYC public hospital system and a number of non-profit organizations. After receiving her Master’s degree, Paula began working in the field of HIV/AIDS and homelessness, continuing this work after moving to Nashville in 2001 as the Director of Emotional & Practical Support for Nashville CARES, Tennessee’s leading provider of community based social services for people living with HIV/AIDS. She has served as a Co-chair of the Ryan White Part A Planning Council for the Metro-Nashville Transitional Grant Area, providing input regarding the funding of services to the HIV/AIDS service community. Paula has been an adjunct instructor in the Social Work department at Tennessee State University and an adjunct instructor and field liaison for the University of Tennessee’s School of Social Work, Nashville campus. She has been a practicing faculty member at Vanderbilt’s School of Nursing, for the Vanderbilt Program in Inter-professional Learning. She also teaches a Social Services Competency Based Training at TSU’s Center for Excellence in Learning Sciences. Most recently, Paula was the Executive Director of the Tennessee Conference on Social Welfare (TCSW), a statewide advocacy and training organization.
Paula’s experience spans a variety of service areas including advocacy, healthcare, mental healthcare, substance abuse, hospice and homelessness. She is a past President of the Board of Directors for NASW-TN and has served as the Region VII Representative to the national board of directors of the National Association of Social Workers in Washington, DC. Paula was a trainer with the HIV/AIDS Spectrum Project of NASW and has developed extensive educational workshops for social workers throughout the state of Tennessee. In 2011, she was honored as NASW-TN’s Social Worker of the Year. Paula has served on a number of non-profit boards including Saddle Up!, the TN Disability Coalition, the Women’s Political Collaborative, Nashville Pride and was a mayoral appointment to the Metropolitan Nashville Homelessness Commission in 2016. The commission merged with the HUD mandated Nashville Continuum of Care in 2018 becoming the Nashville Davidson County Continuum of Care Homelessness Planning Council where she is currently the chair of the council.
Co-Founder, Director of Education and Advocacy
Lindsey Krinks is Co-founder and Interim Co-Director of Open Table Nashville. For over a decade, she has worked on the underside of Nashville—the streets, encampments, jails, slums, and underpasses—while also working with faith leaders, community organizers, and public officials to make the city more hospitable and just. Lindsey is passionate about education and evidence-based practices that affirm the dignity, agency, and humanity of all people. She was ordained in 2013 and serves as an interfaith street chaplain. She graduated from Vanderbilt Divinity School in 2013 with a Masters of Theological Studies degree and is on the Alumni Council and is on the board of the Nashville Coalition for the Homeless. Her first book, Praying With Our Feet, is forthcoming though Brazos Press, a division of Baker Publishing, and is set for release in March of 2021. On any given day, Lindsey can be found in tent cities, washing feet on the streets, marching for change, or foraging for native herbs and plants. To learn more about Lindsey’s work, visit her blog.
Lisa Avrit started volunteering with Open Table Nashville in 2015, served on the board, and when the opportunity arose to join the staff full-time as the Operations Coordinator, jumped at the chance. In her spare time, Lisa enjoys spending time with her husband and two kids, hiking and playing outdoors.
Interim Co-Director of Open Table Nashville
Linda Bailey moved to Nashville on a whim seven years ago after studying journalism at Abilene Christian University in Texas, where she’s from. She’s worked with people experiencing homelessness in multiple capacities since arriving in the city and uses her journalism background and passion for social justice to write stories, design infographics, and empower other storytellers. Linda has also managed the Where to Turn in Nashville resource guide since it’s first printing in 2013, and is continuing that work for Open Table Nashville. When she’s not working, Linda is most likely drinking coffee, listening to podcasts, or rearranging her home to accommodate something odd she found at a flea market.
Street Outreach & Resource Navigator
Susan graduated from the University of Cincinnati and worked in the field of mental health for the first ten years of her career. Eventually she realized she couldn’t stay indoors eight hours a day and moved on to photojournalism and outreach, where she learned to work with a long stream culturally diverse individuals and groups. She joined Open Table in early 2018 as a street outreach and resource navigator and can typically be found on the streets of Nashville with a camera and a rather large, lovable dog.
Street Outreach & Resource Navigator
Andre Chunaco hails to us from Asia, where he was born and raised, and comes from a multi-cultural, multi-racial, multi-national, multi-many-things background. Andre works to share his experiences and leverage all he identifies with to connect with others. He desires to become a bridge for folks who seek to cross, break, or blur barriers and illusory lines, and to bring external mobilization to where folks have the right to be and inner belonging in exactly who folks are to his neighbors. Having lived in south Nashville since 2008, Andre feels like pretty much everything he’s done has lead to his becoming our good neighbor and Southside Outreach Worker. Find him camping out, nerding out, or at home in his free time — but also don’t.
Allie joined Open Table Nashville’s staff in August of 2019. She has volunteered with Open Table Nashville since OTN’s founding in 2010. Previous to her work as OTN’s executive assistant, Allie served as a pastor for 5 years at a local church in Goodlettsville. Allie has dedicated her academic career to the study of theology and is deeply interested in the intersections that exist between spirituality and justice. In December, Allie will graduate with her Masters of Divinity from Lipscomb University. Allie is so excited to be a part of the staff at Open Table Nashville because she is passionate about journeying alongside the marginalized. If she isn’t hanging out with her twin sister or watching Netflix, you can find Allie reading on her back porch, inviting herself over to her friends’ houses, or eating a snack.
Susannah E. Shumate, CFRE
Director of Development
Susannah hold a Master of Arts Degree in Organizational Management from Trevecca Nazarene University in Nashville and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Rhodes College in Memphis, where she was a history major. She is a Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE); she is one of only 6,000 people in the world who hold the credential.
Her work with vulnerable and marginalized populations has made Susannah an advocate for social and economic justice and for criminal justice system reconstruction. When she’s not at work, you can find Susannah with her husband and their three four-legged children (one canine and two feline) or reading, writing, or making handmade greeting cards.
Street Outreach & Resource Navigator
Edward comes to OTN from the community organizing family here in Nashville, working with several local grassroots organizations and nonprofits. Edward moved to Nashville in early 2018 from Washington where he went to college at The Evergreen State, triple majoring in Communications, Acting, and Political Economics. His goal is to de-professionalize community organizing in order to bring politics back to the people. Because of this goal he can be found canvassing in your neighborhood sometime soon.
India holds a bachelor of science degree in dietetics and global health from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. She is a Midwest transplant who came to Nashville to pursue her master of public health degree at Vanderbilt. She started as a volunteer and immediately fell in love with the Open Table Nashville way – building relationships and standing in solidarity with our friends. She wants to spend her career working with and advocating for people experiencing homelessness and affordable housing by merging efforts from local government, advocacy, and research sectors. She believes housing is a fundamental human right and supports housing first models.
When she is not doing nerdy things on her computer for school or work, you can find her at the dog park with her pug, trying a new coffee shop, going for a run, or planning her next escape into the wilderness for some hiking and camping. She is always in search of people, places, and experiences that allow her to experience grace deeply.
Co-Founder of Open Table Nashville and The Village at Glencliff
Ingrid McIntyre is the Executive Director of The Village at Glencliff and co-founder of Open Table Nashville. She graduated from Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington D.C. in 2008 with a Masters of Theological Studies. Her journey thus far has been shaped by her work with Habitat for Humanity, as a Youth Minister at Christ United Methodist Church in Franklin, TN, and as the Director of Connectional Relations at the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry for the United Methodist Church. She currently serves on the Board of the Nashville Coalition for Homelessness, Nashville Transit Now and the Board of JustPeace: Center for Mediation and Conﬂict Transformation in Washington, D.C. Ingrid is inspired by heroes like Desmond Tutu, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Dorothy Day and strives to imitate their dedication to justice for the marginalized and love for all. If not painting, gardening, or militantly composting, she’s probably traveling, reading, working crossword puzzles, or kayaking at her parent’s farm.
Board of Directors
Caleigh Keadle, Chair
Matt Todd, Treasurer
Justin Pitt, Secretary