Homeless outreach

Vegas and IngridOpen Table Nashville is committed to relational outreach and housing navigation. This means we seek out and accompany the most vulnerable un-housed individuals and families, advocating with them and creatively networking available resources to open up opportunities for housing and other critical services.

Our day-to-day outreach activities start with meeting people where they are—geographically, mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually—and working with them to form trusting relationships. From there, we help folks navigate the complex social services system so they can obtain needed resources like IDs, birth certificates, social security cards, food stamps, transportation, clothing, camping supplies, mental and physical health care, employment, substance abuse treatment, counseling, transitional and permanent housing, and referrals to other programs. That being said, we’re rarely found in an office. We work from our cars, at camps, in hospitals, or anywhere else we find people struggling with homelessness. Because we spend so much time in the field and seek to focus our attention to those who fall through cracks of other services, we aren’t often able to take referrals from other agencies. However, we are always happy to brainstorm about options and resources with people. For general outreach and resource information, call Becca at (615) 425-0141 or email info@opentablenashville.org.

Beyond these material services, we also seek to cultivate relationships marked by trust and solidarity where those who have been marginalized, forgotten, or abandoned can enter into a supportive community as they journey toward stability and wholeness.

Warm Weather Outreach

During the summer months, we host “Outreach Wednesdays” where a small group of staff, interns, and volunteers hand out cold water, share lunch, organize mobile foot clinics, and practice being present to people on the streets of downtown Nashville.

Cold Weather Outreach

During the winter months, outreach workers and volunteers canvass the city at night to do wellness checks and get survival supplies to those in encampments or on the streets who do not fit into traditional shelter programs –– or get left out in the cold because there aren’t nearly enough shelter beds to accommodate the approximately 5,000 who are without housing in Nashville on any given night. Winter outreach is about preventing exposure-related injuries and deaths. We strive to know the people who get left out in the cold, know where they are, and advocate for or create shelter space on nights that are dangerously cold. We’re so thankful for faith and community groups who are able to open alternative/overflow space in emergency situations.

For information on the city-wide Cold Weather Response system, visit www.coldweathernashville.com.

If you are able to help coordinate or host emergency shelter space, please email voluunteer@opentablenashville.org.

If you are interested in joining a winter canvassing team, fill out a volunteer form and email Samuel at otnwinter@gmail.com.