Churches open winter shelters for Room in the Inn

Photo: WKRN

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – As the temperatures drop well below freezing, local churches are stepping up to help those in need.

Roughly 200 congregations are supporting the Room in in the Inn’s emergency winter shelter program.

Different churches operate shelters on different days of the week, hosting people who are signed up through Room in the Inn.

Franklin First United Methodist Church is hosting a shelter for homeless families two nights a week.

On Thursday night, they hosted a family of 12: Allan Umphrey, his wife, and their 10 children. Umphrey is a prime example that just about anyone can become homeless.

He went from running his own business to losing everything. He lost the house a year ago.

“I was on the other side, and I used to do a lot of volunteering myself,” said Umphrey. “It’s just amazing how things can turn around like that.”

Photo: WKRN
Photo: WKRN

Volunteers with the church say that’s one reason they help out the less fortunate.

“This could be any one of us. It takes one catastrophic illness,” said church member and volunteer Cindy Solomon. “Things happen, and they are out on the street.”

Umphrey is working to get back on his feet. He has one job now and is hoping to land a second one soon.

“We’re just trying to battle up,” he explained. “It hasn’t been easy with 10 kids to battle up and get back on our feet.”

In the meantime, they depend on churches and shelters to get by.

Room in the Inn operates its emergency winter shelter program November through March.