Back to School with Confidence

Back to School with Confidence

On an average night, there are about 50-100 children that depend on the Mission to survive. For children experiencing homelessness, there are whole new sets of challenges, most of which are developmental. When a homeless child is able to rely on Nashville Rescue Mission, immediate securities are met: the child can sleep safe, eat nutritious meals, make it to school, have clean clothes, finish their homework with volunteers that can help with difficult questions, and more. It means having a balanced, “normal” childhood.

Kids who depend on the Mission certainly have their needs met, but items like school supplies and new sneakers are placed on the want list and are often secondhand items. Many of the school-aged kids that stay at Nashville Rescue Mission have never experienced the excitement that approaches late summer when back to school season nears— the changing store aisles, the thrill for new school binders and pencils, and the anticipation to show off a new outfit or lunchbox to classmates you hadn’t seen in several months. Homelessness steals the back to school delight for kids.

Because we know excitement for school can lead to an excitement to learn, we asked Nashville Rescue Mission supporters to help us send homeless kids back to school fully-stocked with school supplies and new uniforms and undies. The options were simple: give online, donate gently used items, or purchase items from our back to school wish list on Amazon.com. The response was overwhelming! We received box after box of items that will go directly to the children that stay with us at our Women’s campus. So many Mission donors were able to give homeless kids anticipation for school! From all of us at the Mission, we want to say a very big thank you for all you do to support Nashville Rescue Mission.

 


If you would like to join the Back to School Initiative, you can:

Full Throttle: Bikers for Christ

Full Throttle: Bikers for Christ

“It continues to surprise me how God took a bunch of bone head bikers like us and now gives us the opportunity to minister to those in need.”

It’s the third Sunday of the month, and Joe Drake, along with 30 to 40 of his biker friends are praying in the lobby of Nashville Rescue Mission. This monthly ministry to the homeless, which started with just two men, has been three years in the making.

After a time of prayer, many of the men and women will visit with the guests until the chapel service starts. Then Joe Drake, who recently celebrated 20 years of sobriety, will deliver a message he describes as “God given.”

“God always puts the message on my heart,” said Joe. “The topics change, but the message I am most focused on sharing with these men who are ‘marginalized’ and considered the ‘least of these’ is that they matter, they have value, and they have worth. These men matter to us and they matter to God.”

Over time, bikers from Christian Motorcycle Associates, Crossroads Riders Motorcycle Ministry of Clarksville, and Sons of God Motorcycle Club have joined Joe’s group in this monthly outreach to the homeless. The group Damascus Road brings the praise and worship for the night.

“I’m amazed at how this group has grown,” said Joe. “I believe it is as much of a ministry to us as it is to the men we meet at the Mission. Many of us have also been in recovery, overcoming bad situations, and bad life style choices. So we get it. And we know that God can make a change in their life, just like He did in ours. When I see one of the men we’ve ministered to at the Mission show up at my church, which is right down the street, I know we are making an impact.”

At the end of the service there is always an altar call. Twenty to thirty men and women will line up along the stage, ready and willing to pray with anyone in need. “You can see in so many of their faces that God spoke to them during the service,” shared Joe. “And time and time again, a club member will tell me it’s the first time they’ve ever led someone to the Lord. Both are blessed and touched by God.”

At the end of the night, as Joe heads home, he says a prayer, “Thank you Jesus for restoring my life and my family. I was on a path of destruction and had I stayed on it, that could just have easily been me sitting in that chapel tonight. Thank you God for allowing me the opportunity to minister to these men who you dearly love. Amen.”


The Mission is grateful to Joe and this monthly motorcycle ministry to our guests. If you’d like to learn about ways in which you and your organization can get involved, visit nashvillerescuemission.org/get-involved.

Homeless: How Does It Happen?

Homeless: How Does It Happen?

Imagine for a moment you have no family and only a few close friends. You have a job, but you’re living paycheck to paycheck. One day, your employer says he’s sorry, but he’s going to have to let you go. You start your job search, but in the meantime, you don’t have enough money to pay your rent. Eventually, you’re evicted.

There’s no family to help you. What few friends you have are unwilling to offer you their couch. You could sleep outside, but it’s not safe. It’s also the middle of summer … when the heat can be brutal and deadly.

Where will you sleep? What will you eat for dinner? What will you do? Where will you go?

If you’re David, and others like him, you go to Nashville Rescue Mission, where you receive respite from the heat, cold water to drink, safe shelter, a nutritious meal, a hot shower, and clean clothes … and hope … hope that things can be better.

“My dad passed away and left me with a large sum of money,” said David. “My wife and I had separated and I was careless with the money I inherited. In the midst of that situation I developed a horrible case of tinnitus and was no longer able to work. Over the course of a couple of years, both my mom and stepfather died. My wife and I eventually reconciled, but she was bipolar and died from a drug overdose.”

So many painful losses in such a short period of time was too much for David to bear. Having struggled with drinking for a number of years, he turned to the bottle. And with no money and no one else to turn to David became homeless.

David spent time living on the streets in Florida, often resorting to eating food he got out of a dumpster. “I used to know what time Burger King and some of the other restaurants would throw out what they had not served for breakfast. I would watch and wait. Desperate times call for desperate measures. But that’s no way to live.”

“I never thought about retirement,” said David. “I had a house and two cars. I always ate well and had clean clothes. Heck, I even donated the things I no longer used or needed to the homeless. I never thought one day that would be me.”

Eventually, David’s daughter, who lives in Nashville, encouraged him to move and stay at Nashville Rescue Mission. “Moving in with her wasn’t an option,” said David. “She loves me, but she’s got her own family to take care of and provide for. She stops by to check on me, brings me things now and then, and visits when she can.”

“Most nights I stay at the Mission. Honestly, I’m scared to sleep outside,” shared David. “Although I’ve had to do it a time or two. One night I did end up sleeping behind a dumpster. During the night, someone set it on fire. Thankfully, a bystander saw me and woke me up. Otherwise, I might have 3rd degree burns, or worse … I could be dead.”

It’s been 18 years since David has had a drop of liquor. He’s given his life to the Lord and says that in acknowledging God, accepting Him, and surrendering his life to Him, he’s found freedom. His Bible … always in his pocket … gives him comfort.

In January 2018, David can file for social security benefits. But until then, he has no income, and he is unable to work to support himself. “I’m grateful for the Mission,” said David. “I don’t know where I would go if I didn’t stay here. It’s not a resort, but if it were, no one would ever want to leave. Me? I’m anxious to find an apartment and live my life in peace. I’m just waiting for January to get here. In the meantime, I have a roof over my head, I eat three meals a day, I have access to clean clothes, and a hot shower. My needs are being taken care of and for that I’m thankful.”

Without you, David would have nowhere to go. It’s through your generous gifts that Nashville Rescue Mission exists to provide help and hope to David and others like him. Thank you for your faithful generosity.


If you would like to provide hope for those in need like David and others here at the Mission, visit: nashvillerescuemission.org.

Mission in My Words: Danielle Breezy

Mission in My Words: Danielle Breezy

My husband Joe and I moved here a year ago and it already feels like home. I’m originally from Philadelphia, however due to my career, I’ve lived in Oklahoma City, Dallas, and most recently, where Joe and I met, Boston. We will soon be celebrating our one year anniversary and we are excited to be starting our lives together in Nashville.

In every city I’ve lived, I’ve made a point to get involved in the community. I believe it’s important to give back. Taking care of those in need is a value my parents instilled in me at an early age. My family and I used to visit and spend time with the elderly through our local church.

This past Thanksgiving, I had the opportunity to serve at Nashville Rescue Mission’s Great Thanksgiving Banquet. It was a wonderful experience. Not only did I get to start a new tradition of serving with my husband, it was also beautiful to see the community come together to help those struggling with homelessness. The energy and excitement of the day was contagious and there were plenty of smiles to go around.

As I refilled the guests’ glasses with water and tea, I found myself striking up conversations with many of them. Each one had a story. I couldn’t help but wonder, ‘What if this was a member of my family?’ It certainly puts things into a different perspective and reminded me of how important it is to care for one another.

As the summer temperatures rise, caring about others—especially those who are homeless or living on the street, might make a life or death difference. Last summer, Nashville had more 90-degree days than the city had seen in a long time. The heat takes a toll, especially if you’re in it for extended periods of time. On days like that, water is a must.

Some of the first signs of heat-related illnesses include shaking, fainting, and a flushed face. The homeless have a great risk for severe forms of heat illness. Dehydration, fever, and heatstroke are a major concern. Which is why I believe it’s important to check on others and call for help if you see someone in need.

It’s at times like this when I’m especially grateful for Nashville Rescue Mission and the work they do. They are doing a phenomenal job of keeping people safe and healthy. Their doors are open to anyone who is in need of safe shelter, cold water, and cool air conditioning. It scares me to think what our city would be like without the crucial services the Mission provides. They are a big part of what makes Nashville a great place to be. I’m looking forward to bringing my family to serve with me this Thanksgiving. I hope to see you there.


Danielle Breezy joined News 2 as Chief Meteorologist in July 2016. Danielle is a graduate of Cornell University where she studied atmospheric science and communications. She has also been awarded the certified broadcast meteorologist seal from the American Meteorological Society.