feature

Help Stand in the Gap

“To tolerate injustice and descend into apathy is to dissolve the bonds that are the formation of our community.” I read this quote from students at the University of Virginia in a news article recently, and it really struck a chord with me. Students used this quote to entice people to take action to form a more inclusive and prosperous community within their university, and Open Table Nashville is doing the same thing, right here in our community.

OTN can always use more volunteers, so I’m here to encourage you to recruit your friends and neighbors to become more involved with Open Table. There are an estimated 6,000 homeless people in Nashville., including 2,800 children. That’s 6,000 people who, without relationships with Open Table Nashville and a handful of other outreach service providers, have nowhere to go. NOwhere to go.

Can you imagine yourself in that situation?

Additionally, through partnership with How’s Nashville and with other resource providers, Open Table has contributed to getting 550 people into affordable housing since June 4, 2013. The Open Table team is effectively working towards their mission to end chronic homelessness in Nashville, and, let’s face it-who doesn’t want to be a part of a winning team? We all  have a responsibility to our brothers and sisters to ensure that all have a place to call home. Personally, I believe that, as a society, we have a duty to leave the world a better place than we found it. Open Table works hard to see that people in need of assistance get the help they need and deserve.

The other day, Natalie, Ingrid, and I went to hang out with our friends Smurf, Angel, and Cowboy. Before he sang us a song, Cowboy prayed a prayer with an ending that really moved me. Cowboy asked God that he and his friends be able to “help others while we try to help ourselves.” People experiencing homelessness are often dismissed as lazy or freeloaders looking for a handout, but these friends are truly loving, holy people who want to help stand in the gap with people because they have been helped in times of need, too. Will you lend a hand? I hope you will consider becoming involved with Open Table Nashville’s work in our community and to share your passion for helping our brothers and sisters who need it the most. (volunteer@opentablenashville.org) Thank you to so many who have already reached out to serve –– we couldn’t do it without you!

Peace,

Matthew

OTN Summer Intern

feature

We need you!

foot clinic resource shelterOTN 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. Guests also receive good food, hot showers, fresh clothes, and a safe space to relax and connect with volunteers. Volunteers help set up beds, serve dinner, cut hair, offer foot care, provide for basic medical needs, stay as innkeepers, and help with clean up. We are currently partnering with Barth Vernon United Methodist Church and Hillcrest United Methodist Church to provide these spaces to rapidly re-house chronically homeless and medically vulnerable individuals and couples who are desperately need in housing.

If you want to volunteer at one of the shelters or can provide supplies, please contact Anne at Volunteer@opentablenashville.org.