East Nashville man tries to stop homeless housing

Sunday, October 3, 2010 at 11:45pm

As always, already, at 3:45 p.m. Wednesday afternoon, Gallatin Pike at Eastland Avenue was semi-gridlocked with school traffic. Just around the corner, though, at 1034 West Eastland Ave., home to Edgefield Hospital, the Nashville Rehabilitation Hospital and now partly occupied by a small inpatient facility run by the Mental Health Cooperative of Middle Tennessee, the universe felt serene and orderly.

Alas, the bucolic-meadow charms of the mostly vacant ex-hospital turned home for the mentally ill may soon give way to something else entirely: a hardscrabble miniature-fourth-world of makeshift tents and knife fights, a nightly orgy of depravity illuminated by barrel fire and fueled by rubbing alcohol, jug wine and the unrelenting commitment to spoil family fun.

To be fair, that exaggerated image isn’t precisely the one nearby property owner John Stevenson — owner of the American Professional Building, a two-story shopping complex, and, within the building, Steve’s Restaurant, at the corner of Eastland and Gallatin, right next to the hospital — conjures in his newly minted campaign to stop a local nonprofit from purchasing the hospital building and, perhaps, adding a working kitchen and some temporary housing for the homeless. But it’s not far.

“FUTURE HOMELESS CAMPGROUND,” with an arrow pointing to the hospital, go the banners Stevenson’s affixed to a Grove ManLift aerial work platform in a parking lot he owns across the street from the hospital building. The signs even list potential developer Hsing Liu’s personal cell phone number, encouraging people to give him a call. Turning it into a campground is, of course, not anywhere to be found in Liu’s proposal. Still, Stevenson insists that it’s inevitable.

Campaign of one?

When Stevenson started to hear rumors last week that someone was negotiating the purchase of the building from its current owner, PSI, he checked it out at Metro Codes. Liu, of Antioch, is a board member of a number of area nonprofits, including American Idol cast member Danny Gokey’s Sophia’s Heart Foundation, the organization behind the Antioch Relief Center, which provided temporary housing to displaced flood victims this year.

Liu, on behalf of Sophia’s Heart, had inquired with Metro Codes about the building’s zoning, asking if it could be used for a number of purposes, not merely the homeless housing Stevenson is so focused on. In a memo, Liu — who did not respond to several interview requests — sent to codes, he wrote that he represents a nonprofit organization (Sophia’s Heart) “that is considering plans to do two things: continue providing certain services [provided by the Mental Health Cooperative] and to expand those services.”

Judging by the memo, the shelter is only a very small part of a much larger charitable project.

Liu’s memo goes on to bullet-point the additional services, including overnight housing and food preparation for a small group (10-20) of overnight homeless guests, meal preparation for up to 200 (dining off premises), a space to receive food and clothing donations, a community center for children’s activities, and classrooms for computer and life-skills training.

Stevenson found out that existing zoning did allow for such a project, and if purchased, it would likely go through if he didn’t do what every property owner who’s ever found himself NIMBY-ed up against a proposed homeless shelter. He started a website (www.saveoureastneighborhood.com) and began circulating a petition. He also put up the banners across the street.

“It’s going to destroy our entire neighborhood. I have a parking lot over there [across Eastland Avenue from the hospital], and occasionally I’ll have a homeless person out there that I’ll have to run out, but it’s going to turn into a homeless campground,” he said in a phone interview. “They’re going to be wandering around everywhere, all up in our city streets that we’ve worked hard to clean up.”

Later, during an interview on the balcony at Steve’s, which overlooks the roof of the hospital, Stevenson expanded on his concerns.

“Am I going to have to have an armed guard over there?” he said. When asked if characterizing the proposal as a future “campground” so early on, well before the scale of the project, which isn’t even a project yet, was fair, or merely a scare tactic, he said that it would be inevitable. “What do you call it when someone is sleeping under your carport? … They’re proposing this, but what’s actually going to happen is it’s going to be a campground.”

Stevenson said that nearly every business owner and nearby resident he’s talked to has told him that any such project would be sure to scare away business. He didn’t say whom specifically.

“I think [Stevenson’s campaign] is fine. I think it’s fine because we’re trying to build this whole Five Points area up,” said Jeremy Taylor, owner of Mohawk Salon in the American Professional Building. “You don’t want to see the same thing that’s been happening for years, that’s been keeping it down.”

Others, however, were more open to the proposal, including John Lozier, executive director of the National Health Care for the Homeless Council, which is, appropriately enough in the context of this story, on the first floor of Stevenson’s building.

“You realize you’re pitting me with my landlord,” Lozier said. “There are already very important services provided next door, critical services. And the need for housing and services for people who are poor is critical in our community. I believe that a well-operated program of services for poor and dispossessed people is not incompatible with the values of this community where I live and work.”

Ryan Rado, owner of Humankind Thrift Store, said he would be in favor of the project. His store, he noted, donates 15 percent of its profits to low-income public-school students who can’t afford required school attire. At the same time, he was careful to say that he’s sympathetic to his landlord’s concerns.

“I understand Mr. Stevenson’s point. It may create more transients around here. From his perspective, what I would think, would be that he wants to create — god, it’s a touchy subject,” Rado said. “I would be into [the proposed project] if it were well-regulated … I’m just saying there should be accountability on all sides, from the employees to the administration to growing these folks in their mental capacity and trying to rehabilitate them.”

Mackenzi Johnson, a receptionist at East Nashville Community Acupuncture in the American Professional Building, said she’d favor a well-run organization in the neighborhood.

“I would rather have a homeless shelter than homeless people with nowhere to go,” she said, adding that she was not speaking on behalf of her employer but as someone who, as an employee working next door and a longtime resident of the neighborhood, spends a lot of time around the hospital. “A shelter provides some kind of organization, and it keeps people in check. If it’s going to be run right, they’re going to have to check in regularly. Is it really so bad to advocate for people to have a bit more security in their life, even if it’s only for a couple of hours a day?”

Bizarre allegations of fraud

It’s not only the fear of attracting homeless people that Stevenson said he objects to.

“This isn’t about helping the homeless; this is about milking Medicare and Medicaid and the homeless people,” he said.

Lozier said that, in his experience, it’s fairly rare that such scams — in which homeless people are lured into hospitals or clinics, not treated, treated insufficiently or had their treatment paid for through their own private insurance, and Medicare or Medicaid is still billed — are actually quite rare.

“There have been one or two scams [of this variety] involving Medicaid or Medicare, that I’ve been aware of nationally, over the last 25 years that I’ve been involved in this work. One or two fairly significant scams,” he said.

Throughout the course of several interviews, Stevenson frequently used language like “Medicare scam,” “sweetheart deal for the charity,” and referred to Liu’s charity (“a front”) “using the homeless” to “funnel Medicare money,” advising that one should “just follow the money” in his characterization and condemnation of the proposal.

When asked if he had any evidence that Liu, Sophia’s Heart, the Mental Health Cooperative or any other involved party actually intended to commit any type of fraud or financial impropriety, though, he balked. Asked if he simply believes they might, he said no. The “sweetheart deal” appears to be simply that the shelter and associated medical facility might be legally reimbursed by the government for services they actually intend to provide.

It remained unclear just how, in Stevenson’s mind, anyone save the people served by the proposed facility would realize any material benefit whatsoever.

30 Comments on this post:

By: tv8527 on 10/4/10 at 4:26

This has to be stopped .You can't put something like this in a neighborhood full of single family homes.Expand the rescue mission & safe haven family shelter both very good programs.Something like this needs to be downtown so the homeless can't panhandle all over a residential area.

By: richgoose on 10/4/10 at 5:31

It would be acceptable at least to a humanitarian point of view if you could keep these animals confined to a certain area. Unfortunately they tend to roam the neighborhood.

By: nvestnbna on 10/4/10 at 5:53

Hopefully, they'll save enough room for a violent registered sex offender re-hab program.... every neighborhood needs one of those, just ask the mission's neighbors.

By: HokeyPokey on 10/4/10 at 6:22

Oh c'mon guys, it's EAST NASHVILLE for cryin' in a bucket!

It's what we've always done with EAST NASHVILLE, and it's how we'll always treat EAST NASHVILLE.

And still, despite all our efforts we can never quite punish EAST NASHVILLE enough for producing Bill Boner, grrrrr


By: shinestx on 10/4/10 at 7:53

Wonder how many of those in opposition are "compassionate progressives". East Nashville has a lot of "evolved" leftists who claim to be liberal until it actually affects them directly, on a personal level. Like the great lady said, "Liberalism is a luxury we (they) can afford no more!"

By: trtay2004 on 10/4/10 at 8:12

We've fought too hard in East Nashville to get crime out. Unfortunately, some crimes are committed by homeless people. There are lots of homeless organizations in town and we don't need another one in our neighborhood (that already has more than most neighborhoods). To anyone that thinks we are not being compassionate, please open up your neighborhood before you respond.

By: trtay2004 on 10/4/10 at 8:18

One more thing... why doesn't Mr Liu look for homeless organization in his neighborhood... BRENTWOOD. I bet there's a lot more money to help them there.

By: cb512 on 10/4/10 at 8:49

This needs to be downtown in the Rescue Mission area....period. Neighborhoods on the road to improvement in safety, crime and aesthetics do not need to have a homeless shelter in the midst.
Already on the East Side, it is impossible to even go to the drugstore, grocery....even your dry cleaners....without having bums coming out of the shadows to panhandle. Everyone is sick of it and everyone is afraid to state their true feelings for not being "politically correct".

And may I add, in defense of the East Side, twice in the past week, I have been approached for money in the West End area and Green Hills Kroger. We have become a "homeless hub" in the Southeast. Our panhandling ordinances are not respected/enforced and the bleeding hearts have created a monster in our midst. "They" are arriving here from all over the country as we become more and more known for being "soft on homelessness".

Mr. Stevenson has very valid concerns. Do you want them walking up and down your neighborhood sidewalks with their stolen grocery carts on the lookout for anything in your yard they can take? Do you want them outside of your house at night...sleeping in your bushes, garage, carport? I have witnessed all of this firsthand. They were sleeping down the street from my home in an empty security booth, hanging out in a neighborhood park (across the street from a school) all day with their booze and marijuana.

We had better get tough. Enforce our ordinances....have transient centers in the downtown area to help these people with strict rules to help them leave the streets (if that is even their desire).

By: i.am.a.taxpayer on 10/4/10 at 9:09

Some of these comments seem to be from cruel, bitter and self-absorbed people. One can only hope that if you ever need help, people will treat you with more respect than you have for others.

By: Imagery on 10/4/10 at 9:21


Every one of the above comments disgusts me. I am ashamed that Nashvillians would speaks these words. If as many hours were spent working on the problem as is being spent putting up barriers and spilling hated and venom from your mouths a great deal of progress could be made. Shame on each and everyone of you.

By: EastNashvilleGirl on 10/4/10 at 9:41

I am also ashamed that people would have such misgivings and animosity against people who could use our help. Most people who find themselves on the street are working class people who live on the brink of poverty and fall into homelessness for a short period of time and then lift themselves back out of it through programs such as this one. Programs for people who are mentally ill are especially needed. Imagine having a mental illness which you are able to control with medication and then imagine losing your job and health insurance. It happens more often than we'd like to think. Once you lose your health insurance, its easy for your life to spiral out of control. These programs are especially needed in a time when so many people are out of work.

By: cval on 10/4/10 at 10:58

Perhaps we could take up a collection and deport all these unwanted homeless beings. They're not really good enough to call people, are they? There must be some place we can send them. I've heard of a far off land that advertises for such beings. There is a plaque at the entrance of this land that says,
"Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"
There is a plaque with this poem inscribed that was written by the poet Emma Lazarus and placed in the Statue of Liberty.

By: MetalMan on 10/4/10 at 11:20

The wretched refuse? Well, I guess if the shoe fits...

By: richgoose on 10/4/10 at 11:53

I think a floating community beneath the statue of liberty would be a good place to put these people. Send them some k-rations every day by row] boat.

By: yucchhii on 10/4/10 at 12:57

Ya know, I am sooooo REALLY SICK AN TIRED of the STREO TYPICAL IDIOTS that want to make "ALL" the homeless people seem so destructive!!! I'd seen the comments saying to "EXPAND THE RESCUE MISSION!! Well, let me TELL YOU SOMETING...The Nashville recsue Mission IS EVIL!! They project the "CHRISTIAN" image and the people who RUN the place ARE NOT, I don't care HOW MUCH BIBLE THEY TALK! Satan knows the bible too...THAT'S RIGHT HE DOES!!! Before you say anything good about the Nashville Rescue mission RESEARCH THIS... If you believe the commercials you see on channel 5 about the mission...YOUR GULLIBLE!! They are sooo full of it it comes out their EARS!! I know this for a FACT...I USED to stay at the MISSION! DON WORRELL who is the HEAD honcho there gets over $90,000 a year to run a "SHELTER?" It's supposed to be "NON-PROFIT" So what's he doing getting $90,000 for? There is a LOOOOOOoooooooooooooooonnnnnnnnnng list of things that are "NOT" right about that place. The commercials have people in them that I've "NEVER" seen in there before...They're either people who work in management or ACTORS. If they were actual people who STAY there, they would not have the KIND words to say about the place. How would you like to be fed food that's NOT worthy of giving to a PIG? How would you like to take a shower that has "BLACK MOLD" on or near them? How would you like to use a toilet that does "NOT" flush well and has droppings from others still in there? How would you like to be "FORCED" to sit in chapel for 45 minutes to an hour when you are DEAD TIRED after busting your hump all day at a day labor job to get $30 for a ten hour day and you have to listen to some preacher that wants to HOOT, HOLLER, YELL AND SCREAM AND POUND THEIR HANDS AND FEET and find out it's all an ACT? ALL THAT "BEFORE" YOU CAN GO TO BED!!! EVERYNIGHT, SEVEN (7) NIGHTS A WEEK!!! IF you DON'T go to chapel, you CAN'T have a BED!!! Don't get me wrong, "SOME" of the people who have nothing to do with the mission are there to legitimately preach about Jesus. Then you get through that and you get a blanket full of holes with a sheet that was torn and sleep on a mattress that has holes and ripps and stands a GOOD chance of having bedbugs. Then they put you on the TOP bunk and MAYBE your not a stable person who can be steady on the TOP bunk. You fall out and hit your head real hard on the way down. Maybe you were drunk and they STILL put you on the TOP bunk. How about this, Your OVERWEIGHT and CAN'T climb the ladder, BUT they STILL put you on the TOP bunk, Some of the beds DON'T have a ladder to climb!! So, shall I go on with this list? If I do, there won't be room for ANYMORE COMMENTS ON THIS ARTICLE!!! Go ahead, call me a liar! I'll dare you to pose as homeless and investigate for yourself! Don't EVER tell ME that YOU"LL "NEVER" BE HOMELESS, as "I WILL CALL "YOU" a liar!!! I SAY CONTINUE ON WITH THE PROJECT AND "PERMANTLY" HOUSE THE HOMELESS! Not temporary, that don't do ANYTHING to rid the problem of HOMELESSNESS! PERMANT housing is the ANSWER!!!!

By: avoidbelmontuni... on 10/4/10 at 1:03

The Homelessness Commission holds monthly meetings which have been referred to as a "circus". their non-profit branch, the Key Alliance, was supposed to have been handling this months ago. They were given a solution by a volunteer months ago which was widely accepted by many, which would enable authorities to enforce the vagrancy, no tresspassing, and no camping (no outdoor fires either). Similar to Portland's village for the homeless. The director, Clifton Harris, makes over 100k per year, and yet, in the middle of their "ten-year-plan" they've barely housed 70 people. Just follow the money indeed...

I'd like to see some measurable results from them.

By: yucchhii on 10/4/10 at 1:22

Ok, yet another comment BY.....ME!!! TOO MANY PEOPLE WANT TO BLAME "ALL" THE HOMELESS FOR CRIMES AND PANHANDLING. Though I won't deny that a lot of homeless people are just as guilty of various crimes AND panhandling. I have seen many people who are "NOT" homeless who commit various crimes and also panhandle! Be mindful that there is a difference between homeless people and bums. There homeless people who are REALLY TRYING to get something going in their lives and the bums are those that don't give a dam about ANYTHING, NOT EVEN THEMSELVES! How about giving the homeless some dignity and giving them a place to stay where the rules don't hinder them from making progress with their lives. How about working "WITH" them instaed of AGAINST them. The Nashville rescue mission litterally tries to BREAK your spirit instead of lifting it. There are many there who say life in PRISON was BETTER than the mission! This is why many people who were in tent city didn't saty there. The mission wants to fall back on the excuse..."Well, they just don't want to follow rules!" No, they don't want to deal with "STUPID" rules that make NO sense and keeps a person from making progress!! They have NO case workers to work with you to help you do ANYTHING! Much of the donations they get go to thrift stores and NOT to the homeless that are there that NEED it. They pick through much of the good stuff and give it to people are NOT as in need! That's backwards isn't it? They get litterally MILLIONS of dollars in donations there too...BUT to look at the conditions of the place and how people are treated, you's wonder "What are they doing with the money?" They also want to fall back on the excuse "The bills need to be paid"..."WHAT BILLS?" When it's all donated, "WHAT BILLS?" By now through all these words I say here, don't you get the feeling that this place needs to be "INVESTIGATED"? Don't shut the mission down, replace the exec "Don Worrell" and ALL the management team with people who will ACTUALLY CARE and are REAL CHRISTIANS....THEN WE CAN GET SOMEWHERE!!!

By: yucchhii on 10/4/10 at 1:31

As for the homelessness commision: They are useless. They are a distraction for the mayors office. They mayors office created the commision to keep people from comming to his office and bitching about the HOMELESS! What needs to be done is for people to start attending council meeting all the time and not bother goiung to commision meetings! I was even told by a reliable source that the commision has NO authority to do ANYTHING. The money they were given by the federal government that is supposed to be spent on housing the homeless. What they are doing is to wait for this ten year plan to end homelessness (Five years into it already) to come to an end so they can put the money into a general fund and spend it on other things instead of homelessness. I don't know what you call it, but I call it "GREED"!! BOTTOM LINE!!!

By: yucchhii on 10/4/10 at 1:37

If all you can do is put the homeless down, and you have the mindset that YOU will NEVER be homeless, DON'T let yourself be known "WHEN" (NOT IF) you have to stay at the NASHVILLE RESCUE MISSION!!! You WON'T last there very long!!!

By: tenntoad on 10/4/10 at 4:21


You have unwittingly proved the point of those in complete opposition to this proposed "shelter". Thank you.

Joe Carpenter
"Give a man a fish....."

By: tv8527 on 10/4/10 at 4:54

To all of you bleeding hearts.why don't you come back when you have a vested interest ( yes own a piece of property ) & have one of these facilities move in next to you.Tell us how much compassion you have after you run the bums off your lawn or doorstep.How safe you feel letting your wife walk to the car after dark.& how there just trying to scrape out a living when you see stuff from your yard going down the street in a shopping cart.My guess is the view's pretty nice from your collage dorm or high rise condo near west end or Belmont where you have ample security & enjoy spending other peoples money to help the homeless.

By: Kai on 10/4/10 at 6:28

I am so tired of hearing lame stereotypes and shallow assumptions being made about this project. How many of you have actually worked with the homeless? They aren't a bunch of big bad alcoholic, drugged out, mentally ill people. The majority of homeless in America are children. This proposal only includes provisions for a small number of homeless people sleeping there in the evenings; there will be many other services being offered. Yet I see no emphasis put on the fact that they will be collecting food, clothing, providing activities for children (not everyone can afford afterschool care), computer and life skills classes. It sounds a lot like Room in the Inn, which I have worked with and even *gasp* taken my daughter along with other Girl Scouts to spend time with them. These are interesting, often educated men who have fallen on tough times and want to better themselves. But it's hard to get a job when you don't have a home. Most likely, due to the small numbers of people being assisted, this organization will bus in the homeless not unlike RITI. So, no that doesn't mean hundreds of rowdy unkempt men knocking on doors in the neighborhood. How could they even manage that with the children that they will be serving during the day? Get a clue, people! All I hear is fear dripping from your so-called liberal lips. Stop discriminating against the less fortunate! Your precious homes won't drop in value because of a discreet community non-profit. Did it drop when the Mental Health Co-op moved in? Geesh!
And YES I live in the neighborhood!

By: Kai on 10/4/10 at 6:30

BTW, the Room in the Inn project wasn't downtown or East Nashville, it was in Pegram, a tiny affluent town just west of Bellevue. What do you know, there are homes there, AND even children! *gasp*

By: tv8527 on 10/4/10 at 7:04

Yes it's out of town In Pegram. The transient homeless population that thrives here in Nashville stays because there are plenty of opportunity's for them to get a meal morning & night then they are wandering around the area until there next meal.If you want to help the homeless keep them downtown near the mission & teach them job/social skills so they can support themselves.Or even better give the money to a credible origination like the mission that has a track record of getting people back into society or safe haven family shelter for those with kids.

By: cb512 on 10/5/10 at 6:52

"Give" them a place to live
"Give" them job/social skills
"Give" them meals
Give, give, give, give...

Listen up, you bleeding hearts. I work downtown, I live downtown....17 years now. I know many homeless by name. I have my "favorites" that I slip money to. I've heard all of their stories. I've yet to meet ONE yet who is homeless because *sob* they lost their job, lost their benefits, etc...
EVERYONE of them I know is on the streets because of drugs/alcohol....period. They are addicts whose families have had it. Many have mothers, fathers, exes, children....even that was not enough for them to break the bonds of addiction. Yet, I'm supposed to GIVE my hard-earned income to feed/house addicts who have had countless other opportunities by friends and families to go straight? I have had them tell me to my face...I like my life...I am free to do what I want.
I am supportive of the Constitution...all men are free to follow their desires. I just don't have to fund it.

Oh, and by the way, I am a staunch supporter of Safe Haven. Homeless families struggling to get on their feet...now, that is something worth supporting. I think "The Contributor" is a great idea and I respect those that are out there selling those papers as TRYING TO DO SOMETHING TO EARN A LIVING. There are programs in place to help those who truly want off the streets.
The rest...they want a bed and fed....without anyone infringing on their right to drink/do drugs/come and go as they please AND PANHANDLE..

By: Kai on 10/5/10 at 10:19

Well cb, I somewhat agree with you. I have also worked with/donated to Safe Haven since coming to this wonderful city. What they do is unique and it is such a well run program. But I don't think you can assume that the panhandlers/homeless downtown represent the homeless at large. Studies have been done on this subject time and time again, and the harsh reality is the majority of homeless are indeed children.
After the floods, I know personally of several families that had to avail themselves of shelters. Safe Haven is so small, that families were split up into different programs. I personally came very close to being homeless a couple years ago and contacted every shelter in town. There was no place that was designed to take our entire family due to special needs. It was a scary situation.
I try not to lump anyone in any one category. The fact of the matter is, since *we* don't want to feed and house the homeless, I am so glad that there are organizations willing to do so. Just because they are addicts does not make them trash. It makes them physically and emotionally dependent, like you and I are for food. Can you imagine losing control over your life like that? Also keep in mind that many become addicts in order to cope with the conditions that homelessness creates. They crave an escape.

By: LFCRed on 10/5/10 at 12:21

WWJD, anyone?
"Beer is proof God loves us and wants us to be happy." Benjamin Franklin

By: avoidbelmontuni... on 10/6/10 at 1:16

What I would like to see is the solution that was introduced to the Key Alliance back in October put in to place because it made all parties happy. However, if the homeless are housed, then some of these non-profits won't be able to line their pockets the way they've been doing. I'd like to see some MEASURABLE RESULTS from the Key Alliance, especially since the director, Clifton Harris makes over 101k per year. He was almost fired in November-check out the news articles on the internet. As far as Otter Creek goes, Doug Sanders blogs about everything he does; he's merely in it for the glory. He wants to be like Jesus, then he should help people and not get caught instead of broadcasting everything he does like he wants a Scooby snack. The situation could be a lot worse. There are thousands of homeless people who could be doing more damage if they became an angry mob. I, for one, like the idea of their being housed in transitional housing with rules within city limits so they have to follow city codes as well. People will see that folks are taking care of each other. The working homeless will be immediately housed, and can transition out into mainstream society and make room for the next one. Folks with mental health issues and other limitations can be dealt with by the remaining non-profits. Clifton Harris and his "Housing First" with "wraparound services" is a bullshit solution at a snail's pace to drag out the money. He needs to graduate from his ebonics course and stop saying things like "wif" and "bof". He makes enough money, he should know there is no "f" in "with" and "both". Dude, recognize. The public needs to demand measurable results or nothing will change. Peace.

By: localboy on 10/8/10 at 9:46

Again the author masks an opinion piece as a news story...yawn.

By: localboy on 10/8/10 at 10:45

"BTW, the Room in the Inn project wasn't downtown or East Nashville, it was in Pegram, a tiny affluent town just west of Bellevue. What do you know, there are homes there, AND even children! *gasp*"
RITI utilizes church congregations in multiple locations throughout Metro and the surrounding counties, including but not limited to Pegram.