Room in the Inn is a vibrant community center offering meals, support services and dozens of job training classes for the homeless of Nashville, Tennessee. The people behind that effort do it with a focus on community, a strong sense of empathy, and an abundance of friendship.
They also think a lot about safety. Since the onset of the healthcare crisis, daily gatherings inside Room in the Inn were replaced with curbside tent service that allows those in need to sign up for a shower, drop off their laundry, pick up over-the-counter medications, or see if they have received mail at the center’s address. Port-a-potties and a hand-washing stations have been set up outside.
“A large part of what we do is nurturing relationships,” says Melanie Barnett, director of community development. “Room in the Inn’s unofficial motto is “Love Your Neighbor, Y’All,” and that spirit has never waned. “We’re not just serving those in need, we’re in the community with those in need,” says Barnett. “That makes all the difference.”