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Wed Oct 16, 2019, 02:27 PM

Nashville Metro Will Not Open Emergency Shelters This Winter

Nashville’s homeless service providers are scrambling to prepare for the cold weather after Metro revealed it would not open emergency shelters this winter. The announcement, which came during an Emergency Weather Committee & Stakeholder meeting Monday night, leaves a gap in the winter strategy private providers had been coordinating.

“We’ve been planning on [the shelters] to happen, we pushed for them to happen,” Lindsey Krinks tells the Scene. Krinks, the co-founder of Open Table Nashville — a nonprofit that focuses on addressing issues of poverty and homelessness — says Metro’s decision results in a shortfall of 200 to 300 shelter beds. Krinks was blindsided by the decision, saying “we received no communication” from the city ahead of the decision.

Vice Mayor Jim Shulman is also surprised by the news. “I thought everything was taken care of as of two weeks ago,” he tells the Scene. As far as he knew, transportation was the last issue they hadn’t figured out for the winter plan. “We need to act quickly, bring all the parties together and figure this out.”

In past winters, Metro would open up additional shelters when temperatures dropped below 28 degrees. The cold-weather response also included coordinated efforts around transportation and meals. According to a government website hosting data on Metro shelters, “During the three-month period of December 2017-February 2018, Metro Social Services provided shelter to approximately 2,200 homeless clients and their pets.” Shelters were open 18 different nights that winter, and Metro saw an average of 121 guests per night.

Read more: https://www.nashvillescene.com/news/pith-in-the-wind/article/21092622/metro-will-not-open-emergency-shelters-this-winter

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