Cold Patrol Hits the Streets
Cold temperatures can very quickly make the already dangerous streets deadly for those who are homeless. Ice, snow and weeks of temperatures below freezing make winter in Tennessee far from typical and the doors of the Rescue Mission become the difference between life and death for some. Once inside, a hot meal and a warm bed replace a sewer grate or dumpster and the devastating consequences of hypothermia. The Nashville Rescue Mission is open every day of the year. In fact, when the temperature drops below 36 degrees, the Mission’s “Cold Patrol” hits the streets of Nashville in search of those without shelter giving anyone in need a ride back to the Mission.
“We are trying to prevent hypothermia, especially among people who are under the influence of drugs or alcohol and might not notice how cold it is,” says Don Worrell, President and CEO of the Nashville Rescue Mission. “We have over 800 beds and during the cold winter months, we are often over capacity. But we will never turn someone away when it’s cold. We will always make room.”
While no one agency is responsible for keeping a tally of the number of deaths caused by extreme cold, an Internet search reveals this problem is growing larger each year. Increasing fuel costs are also making it harder for those who are disabled or living on a fixed income to keep their houses warm. This results in many more deaths occurring from chronic conditions that are exacerbated by the cold weather.
“I know what it’s like to be homeless and sleep out in the cold,” says Leroy, who works at the Nashville Rescue Mission. “I know a lot of homeless people don’t come to the Mission because of pride, they think they can handle the cold or they have been drinking and can’t feel the cold. I once walked in their shoes. But the Mission provided me with a way out of the cold and off of the streets. The doors here are always open.”
With your support, the Mission provides shelter for those seeking a warm place to lay their heads and a hot meal to fill their stomachs. If you’d like to be a part of our “Cold Patrol” efforts, please call (615) 255-2475 or donate today. You just might save a life!