Advocates work to keep homeless safe in the cold - WSMV Channel 4

Advocates work to keep homeless safe in the cold

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An overflow shelter was opened at the Nashville Farmer's Market during last month's snow storm. (WSMV) An overflow shelter was opened at the Nashville Farmer's Market during last month's snow storm. (WSMV)
NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

For many it feels like a time of promising development in Nashville, but for Lindsey Krinks, it's a time of defeat.

"We've been focused on development and luxury and entertainment, and not our brothers and sisters who are literally freezing to death and living in a living hell," Krinks said.

Krinks said the homeless rate climbed more than 15 percent last year.

"If you're not angry and upset, wake up," Krinks said.

Shelters like the one at Holy Name Church help some.

"Tonight this is a Band-Aid. We are trying to make sure no more of our friends freeze to death on the streets. Long-term, we are working on affordable housing because we know housing ends homelessness," Krinks said.

Michelle Rodriguez and Timothy Davis have an income, but still no roof over their heads.

"I can pay rent, but can you afford affordable housing in Nashville, Tennessee, Davidson County?" Davis said.

They said it has been an uphill battle.

"Trying to keep a job is really hard when you don't have a place to stay," Rodriguez said.

Open Table has always believed serving starts on the streets.

Volunteers have been out every night this week trying to bring people in from the cold. That convincing can take a while.

"We try to build trust so they do feel like they can get out of the cold," Krinks said.

If they say no, volunteers provide them with a cold weather kit, but sometimes it doesn't work.

"We had a friend who had his feet amputated and we have a friend who had his toes amputated, so literally in Nashville people are being dismembered in the shadows of progress," Krinks said.

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