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Street Outreach

Open Table Nashville is committed to relational outreach. We are mindful of the fact that the people we are working with are not numbers in a data sheet or cases to be managed – they are our friends we journey with. We seek to create a community with our friends to develop stability that moves people into permanent housing solutions. OTN never wants to assume what is best for someone. Rather, we seek to stand in solidarity with our community.

Solidarity takes a myriad of shapes. The most notable are:

being a consistent presence in the homeless community, advocating with the marginalized, and creatively networking available resources. We always seek to center the voices, needs, and agency of our friends in their journey to housing.

We work from our cars, in downtown areas, inside hospitals, in many of our partner places of worship, or anywhere else we find people struggling with housing insecurity.  Our outreach team takes on multiple roles daily- one day may look like supply distribution to a camp, the next looks like filling out applications for housing. Experiencing homelessness is not a “one size fits all” context and the care we provide is individualized to each person we are working with.

Here are a few of the ways that care can look:

Documentation

We help friends obtain needed documents like IDs, birth certificates, and social security cards.

Supplies

We provide clothing, camping supplies, and meals to our friends, largely provided by donations from our amazing supporters. Learn more about how to donate here.

Mental & Physical Health

We connect friends with physical and mental health care, counseling, and substance abuse treatment.

Housing

We assist our friends with the application and move-in process for permanent and transitional housing.

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Winter Canvassing

Winter canvassing is one of the most critical parts of our outreach program. During the winter months, OTN puts extra time, care, and attention on the safety and survival of our friends. For over a decade, OTN has been on the frontlines of winter canvassing. This is an effort to inform and support people sleeping overnight in the streets about the best ways to stay warm and make it to the next morning.

You can support our winter canvassing efforts by donating supplies or volunteering to canvas.

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