Surplus cots used to serve the homeless

American Red Cross Regional CEO Joel Sullivan

The Nashville Area Red Cross has donated 120 cots to two of their community partner agencies with 20 cots going to Room in the Inn and 100 to the Nashville Rescue Mission.

“Nashville has a great spirit of collaboration and community involvement,” said Nashville Regional CEO, Joel Sullivan. “When I met with the Nashville Rescue Mission and we were talking about their needs and our needs and how we could collaborate, we determined there was a need for space. They have permanent sleeping facilities and they can also set up emergency sleeping arrangements, but they needed additional cots to do so.”

When a significant, unforeseen, emergency incident or disaster takes place in the community and displaces individuals from their homes, the Red Cross responds, often by opening emergency shelters. This is very different from the mission of social services organizations and nonprofits. For those like Room in the Inn or the Nashville Rescue Mission, they strive to shelter individuals year round needing a place to stay because they do not have a permanent residence. Their services are not triggered by emergency incidents or natural disasters, but they play a life-sustaining role in our community.

“I think it’s important that we offer a safe, clean, warm place for people to be and what we try to do at our agencies is also provide hope for people to deal with their long term solutions,” said Rachel Hester, executive director for Room in the Inn.

Though the groups’ missions are quite different, they all share a common compassion for humanity. For this reason, the American Red Cross is partnering with Room in the Inn and the Nashville Union Rescue Mission so as to serve needs within Davidson County. With the cold winter months approaching, there will inevitably be an increased need for these agencies to serve those in our community who do not have a permanent place to call home. Furthermore, this will help the Red Cross focus on the Emergency Incident Response Element while the residential facilities focus on sheltering and offering educational and developmental resources to the homeless population of Nashville.

“Our gratefulness and our thanks go to American Red Cross and Room in the Inn and many of the other agencies as we work together to combat homelessness right here in Nashville. Together we can make a difference, and I think today is a great example of how we are working together,” said Glenn Cranfield, president/CEO for the Nashville Rescue Mission.