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When Nights Turn Cold

Nashville Rescue Mission Sends Out the Cold Patrol

For most of us, the cold blast of winter means layering and bundling up, but for the homeless it can be fatal. Which is why on the coldest nights of the year, the Mission’s “Cold Patrol” goes searching for those sleeping outside.
Imagine a cold winter night—nothing feels better than curling up in front of warm fire, wrapped in a blanket, a hot cup of cocoa in hand and watching a movie or reading a book. Soon you are warm and you forget the biting wind that lies just outside your door.
ColdHomeless Struggle in the Cold
For the homeless, however, there are no doors to shut out the cold. Instead, they huddle over rough fire pits dug in the ground or fires built in empty metal trash cans. When it’s time for bed, they climb up into the small space just below an overpass. Old, worn-out cardboard boxes help block the stiffening cold radiating from the concrete as they lay down on their makeshift beds. The lucky ones might curl up in the plush luxury of a rundown, abandoned vehicle.
What’s more, they don’t have hot cocoa or coffee to warm them from the inside out. Instead, they turn to drugs, alcohol or, in a pinch, huff substances that have intoxicating fumes—all in an effort to simply forget the piercing wind blasting around them.
However, the city’s least, last and lost are not that different from you and I. While we can close a door and forget the cold, our friends are not so fortunate. Through some turn of life, they ended up on the street, cold and alone. As English Reformer John Bradford said, “There but by the grace of God, go I.”
Mission’s Cold Patrol
This is why the Nashville Rescue Mission journeys out on cold nights with the “Cold Patrol” to encourage men, women and children to come in from the harsh elements.
“We really hate the thought of the homeless sleeping on the streets, on grates or on church steps. We want people sleeping in beds,” said Director of Transient Services, Ed Grimes.
Grimes said while many will come to the Mission there are others who choose to remain out in the elements, continuing to sleep under bridges, even in sub-zero temperatures. Getting them into shelters is difficult, he said. “But it doesn’t stop us from trying.”
Through your support and God’s grace, the Nashville Rescue Mission offers support to our city’s homeless and hurting every day. Thank you for befriending Nashville’s homeless and giving them a resource to come in out of the cold year-round.           
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