NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — As temperatures drop, the demand for area shelters increases, but this yea, the Nashville Rescue Mission has seen a new trend — more families and youth are seeking shelter than ever before.
Over the weekend, the Nashville Rescue Mission saw a 10% increase in the number of people in its shelter due to the cold weather, and the demographics of those people have shifted compared to years past.
The mission is currently serving 25 families, when it normally provides shelter for 16. In addition, it has experienced a 600% increase in the number of youth in its shelters.
“We know some of it has to do with the nonprofits that work with the youth and the changing in their direction, but that’s a population we were really unprepared to see,” Cheryl Chunn, Vice President of Development at the Nashville Rescue Mission said.
Not only does the mission have to place families and youth in different areas of the shelter, but they also have to cater to their needs which are different than their other clients, according to Chunn.
“Trying to work with them to get them into stable housing with a family member, with a friend, that is what we really want to happen with the youth, with all of our sheltered people,” Chunn said.
The mission is currently working with 40 nonprofits to help ensure all of the people seeking shelter have somewhere to go, even if there isn’t space at the mission.
“I think with the influx of new families, people and other nonprofits have really stepped up and say, ‘We can take, we can take,’ or, ‘Let’s put them here, let’s put them there,’ so I think working together is really the key,” Chunn said.
The mission expects an even busier shelter next week during Thanksgiving.
To learn more about the Nashville Rescue Mission, click here.