Trainings

Open Table Nashville trainings are interactive, taught by seasoned outreach workers, centered in evidence-based practices like Trauma-Informed Care, and framed with a systemic analysis. They also center the voices and stories of people who have been or are currently experiencing homelessness. Trainings range from beginner to advanced, general to specific.

Please email lindsey@opentablenashville.org to schedule a training or ask about upcoming dates.


General Volunteer Training
Our volunteer training provides a basic understanding of who we are, what we do (and don’t do), what volunteer opportunities are available, our philosophy of homeless outreach, tips for staying safe, and the basic skills needed for volunteering at Resource Shelters. If you want to learn more about how to get involved with Open Table Nashville, this training is for you.

Beginner Homeless Outreach Training
The Beginner Homeless Outreach Training covers the basics of how to better understand the complexities of both the personal and systemic aspects of homelessness, how to approach and engage in outreach, how to navigate the resources in Nashville, and how to cultivate active listening skills and healthy boundaries. If you have a little volunteer experience under your belt or are hoping to get more experience in the realm of homeless outreach, this training is for you.

Navigating The Resources 101 
This training is focused on helping you to better understand the lay of the land with available resources and services in Nashville. We will cover how to use the Where to Turn in Nashville resource guide, some tips for navigating housing needs, and how to help people get connected with all kinds of services from food assistance to mental health care. Please email lindsey@opentablenashville.org if you’d like access to the materials or fill out [this form] schedule this training for your group or organization.

Advocacy & Policy Training
The Advocacy and Policy Training focuses on equipping you to know what’s happening on the ground with policy changes in Nashville, how to effectively navigate Metro Council and State Legislature, and how to organize for change in your community. If you’re interested in learning more about addressing the root causes of homelessness (like the lack of affordable housing and the criminalization of poverty), then this training is for you.

Trauma-Informed De-escalation Training
If you serve in an environment like an overnight shelter, a soup kitchen, or other places where people who have experienced stressful circumstances congregate, you know that it doesn’t take much for tensions to rise and situations to escalate. This training will better equip you to understand what is happening before and during escalations, to be prepared with intervention strategies, and to feel more equipped to step in and assist. Not only is this training interactive, but it is also steeped in evidence-based practices like trauma-informed care and operates in an anti-oppression framework.

Motivational Interviewing Training
Motivational Interviewing (MI) is a person-centered, strength-based, solution-focused model of engagement that helps people connect with their own motivation to take positive steps forward in their lives. MI is an evidence-based practice that is transformative in its understanding of why people change and how we can best accompany them on the journey toward greater healing and wholeness. This training is highly interactive and also covers the core skills of active and reflective listening.

Winter Outreach Training
As the temperature drops, learn how you can help prevent cold weather deaths and injuries. This training will better equip you to engage and support our friends on the streets during winter, to help with outreach canvassing efforts on the coldest nights[Link to winter outreach page], to recognize and respond to injuries and illnesses like hypothermia and frostbite, and to better navigate the winter shelter system.