Room in the Inn is a non-profit ministry in Nashville that partners with more than 160 local congregations of various denominations to provide shelter for about 1,300 homeless individuals during our coldest season: from November 1 – March 31.
Hermitage UMC provides shelter and meals to about 14 men, women, and children on Tuesday nights during the season. Sometimes we are given an opportunity to help on additional nights, especially when winter weather is more severe than usual.
We pick our guests up in our church bus and bring them back to the church, where we provide them with a hot meal and a warm place to stay for the night. Sometimes, we take them out to a local restaurant for a good meal! They are able to shower, get new socks, clothes, and undergarments once they arrive at the church, too. We wake them up early Wednesday morning and provide them with a hearty breakfast and a sack lunch for that day before returning them to the Room in the Inn campus at 6:00 am. In addition to sharing food and shelter, we are given the opportunity to fellowship with our guests. This might include playing a game of cards, watching TV with them, or just having a chat. Room in the Inn creates an opportunity for those who have more material things in life to share them with people who don’t, and in fellowship, discover that we are not as different on the inside as we might appear on the outside.
How to Help:
- Sunday school classes and other church-affiliated groups are scheduled for primary Room in the Inn duties. You are welcome to come out and visit with our Room in the Inn guests and to become familiar with how this program operates. We ask that you keep in mind that the meal was planned for a limited number of people, so you may want to eat before coming out to visit. We have found that meal time is a great time for starting a dialogue with our guests. We advise that you call us before coming so that we can let you know whether they will be dining out at a local restaurant before arriving at the church.
- If your Sunday school or group would like to be added to the seasonal schedule, please contact us for more information. We start planning for the season in August and September.
- Look for our Wish Lists in our church newsletter, website, and service announcements. We are often in need of particular clothing and toiletry items for our guests. These items can be delivered to the church office.
- Donations can be made to assist the Room in the Inn program. This will help pay for the gasoline used to transport our guests and for additional supplies, toiletry, and clothing items when they are needed. Checks should be made payable to Hermitage UMC and specify that your donation is for the Room in the Inn program. Deliver it to the church office or place it in the collection basket during services.