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Mission in My Words—Beth Harwell

Over the years, my family has always been aware of Nashville Rescue Mission. But to understand their true impact on our community—you must see it for yourself.
Two years ago, my family took what the Mission calls their “I Had No Idea” tour. And they are right—at the end of the tour we found ourselves saying, “I had no idea the Mission did this.” Needless to say, their breadth of services blew us away.
The Mission does more than provide a warm bed, or a hot meal, or addiction services. They do all these things, while also sharing the love of Jesus Christ. Each person’s needs are different, and addressing those individually is the way they change lives. I find their approach inspiring. Supporting an organization with that mission is a no-brainer.
Over the years the Mission has helped change my perception of homelessness and addiction, as well as the perception of the community at large. Working with and supporting the Mission changes the way you think about approaching these issues. My involvement with them has made me a better legislator. The state has made big strides in how we address this on a state level, committing funding to mental health and addiction treatment services, and implementing specialty drug courts, which have been successful. All of these things, coupled with the work of the Mission, will have a positive and lasting impact on our community.
We are so fortunate to have this unique non-profit right here in Nashville. It means a lot to me to see the work they do with women, particularly victims of domestic violence. Providing that safe shelter for a woman in need is crucial. In addition, the Mission helps each man or woman who walks through their doors by developing a personal plan for them to improve their situation—it might include coaching, employment, addiction treatment, or providing a safe place for their children. No two cases are the same, and they recognize this and work to address each person’s needs.
In a word, Nashville Rescue Mission is—hope. It drives everything they do—and that changes lives. It means hope for people in our community who feel hopeless; it means hope for those who never thought they could break free from addiction; and it means hope for the community that an organization out there is serving this population. Hope is a powerful thing that should not be underestimated, and the Mission gives people that blessing each day.
There are always going to be people out there who are in desperate need of the Mission’s services. It’s been said that a rising tide lifts all boats—so when we support organizations such as Nashville Rescue Mission, we help not only the individuals that walk through the door, but our support also benefits the entire community.


Beth Harwell currently serves as Speaker of the House, a position to which she was elected by her House colleagues. She is the first female Speaker in both Tennessee and the entire Southeast. Harwell represents State House District 56, which includes a part of Davidson County.
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