State-of-the-art homeless facility celebrates milestone

Thursday, September 9, 2010 at 2:37pm
Mayor Karl Dean, Gov. Phil Bredesen, Room In The Inn founding Director Charles Strobel and Board President Jim Fleming Photo by Mark Wheeler/SouthComm

Room In The Inn hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony Thursday to celebrate the completion of its new state-of-the-art, five-story Comprehensive Center that will help the Nashville homeless community.

The new facility is part of Room In The Inn’s $13 million dollar expansion that will allow the nonprofit to provide a more diverse array of services including 38 affordable housing apartments, job readiness programs, an on-site library and Internet access.

Mayor Karl Dean, Gov. Phil Bredesen and about 200 involved members of the Nashville community attended the event.

The Comprehensive Center, off Eighth Avenue, includes a 13-classroom learning center to assist in the nonprofit’s education and job readiness programs, an on-site office for the Department of Human Services, personal hygiene facilities and a new kitchen and dining hall. A mid-day meal service provides lunch to 200-300 people each day.

“So many things I’ve found the government won’t get it done, the private sector won’t get it done, nonprofits won’t get it done; but when people come together there is no limit to what we can do,” Bredesen said of Room In The Inn’s achievements. “No one entity is going to solve the problem of homelessness.”

The expansion signifies a major step in the growth of Room In The Inn, since its humble beginnings in 1986, the group has engaged 173 Nashville congregations to help shelter and feed the homeless during winter months.

The Comprehensive Center is the first of two phases in Room In The Inn’s expansion plan. In Phase II, the nonprofit plans to provide transitional housing for the chronically homeless, social detoxification for the publicly intoxicated, recuperative care for those discharged from local hospitals and services for those pending drug and alcohol treatment.

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8 Comments on this post:

By: HokeyPokey on 9/10/10 at 7:36

This sounds suspiciously like the Mosque in the Shadow of Ground Zero!

How does a penniless priest, having taken a vow of poverty, find that much money?

What's next, Vatican Law in Nashville?!?!?!


By: cval on 9/10/10 at 8:15

Spend $13 Million and get just 38 "affordable apts? As in- they have to pay to live there? Are you kidding me? If they could afford an apt, they wouldn't be homeless. Think how many homeless could be helped if you built barracks instead of apts. Provide security so they can go to sleep without worry of being robbed or killed, provide education on how to interview and hold a job, provide training for basic job skills, meals, and a hand up. What's more, have qualified homeless to fill these jobs. $13 Million for what they're getting? Sounds like a lot of smiling "businessmen" in the picture made a bundle on this project.

By: xhexx on 9/10/10 at 9:11

Where'd the $13 million come from? How much of that was our tax dollars?

By: garyallanstewart on 9/10/10 at 10:52

Some of the people who post on here (see earlier posts) must be blind, stupid, or just clueless. First of all, before spewing the garbage like you have, maybe you should have gone to the groundbreaking yesterday (I did) to see what has been accomplished for yourself. You could also go to the Room in the Inn website and read about what they are doing and how they get their money. No tax dollars are involved. I feel sorry sometimes for people who show their ignorance so casually. This is a wonderful organization that is providing the kind of assistance that most professionals say is needed to help with the problem of homelessness. Read Gov Bredesen's comment about how no one group (government, private sector, or nonprofits) can do this alone. All are needed to work together to help our neighbors who are living on the margins of society. Instead of pontificating with no knowledge about the subject, why don't you get involved and help? That would be a much better use of your time than writing these kinds of comments.

By: yucchhii on 9/11/10 at 9:18

Karl Dean is a complete IDIOT!!! Dean is only at the opening because he wants the public to "THINK" he's a good man! When he is actually ANTI HOMELESS! If he "REALLY SREIOUSLY CARED", he would have already had implemented constructive and helpful programs to get homeless people off the streets! His office created the Homelessness commision which I was told by Clifton Harris himself that the commision has NO authorization to do anything. There are people who show up at the commision meeting to have their say about what should be done. BUT nothing is getting done. The commision had been given x amount of millions of dollars to spend on the HOMELESS in a ten year program to END HOMELESSNESS. It's been FIVE YEARS and have housed VERY FEW homeless people. What they are doing is "WAITING" for the ten years to end and the money will go into a general fund, so they can spend it they way THEY choose. They going to keep sweeping all this under the carpet. The carpet already has a big mound under it and is visible. Soon people are going to TRIP on this mound and S*#@ is going to hit the fan!!!

By: HelpThem on 9/16/10 at 2:00

The Campus for Human Development and it's Room in the Inn program are well-run (the staff is educated, trained, and responsible), their projects are well planned (communicating with the city regarding the design of the structure to ensure that it blends well with the new convention center), and the work they do is incredible. No one else in Nashville has been able to truly bring together the support of city government, the funding of corporations and private citizens, and the volunteer involvement of local community members like the Room in the Inn program. What an exciting day for Nashville for the new center to open. The center allows homeless individuals to gain job training and skills that make them employable. They can attend alchohol recovery courses. And for people who prefer not to see homeless people or acknowledge that there is a large homeless population in Nashville, the new center allows for homeless people to attend classes indoors and then they are housed through the overnight Room in the Inn program where local churches house the homeless. I'm grateful for the $13 million that was raised to build this center.
I do not work for Room in the Inn. But I do work with the homeless, and their lives are changed each day by the services at Room in the Inn.

By: avoidbelmontuni... on 10/6/10 at 1:13

Dana, I can agree with some of your statements and understand the frustration. 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: justice2003 on 2/26/11 at 11:13

Did you know that? yucchhii is right about old carl dean,and allow me to add to it.there are wisphers in the air about carl dean plans to make room at the enn,his,by buying it from the one who has the papers so he could turn it into a hotel.and move the homeless mission by the airport.also,i been to the homeless commission and they ran me off back in the year 2003.a big white guy with a cowboy hat.He told me that( the commissioner don't want to see you!).as i approached the door.How do you think i got this tittle now?,.Justice 2003.My higher power,which is god told me along time ago that", those who are first shall be last,and those that were last shall be first.