The tree of life

We are the “supply line” to troops battling on the front lines. We like to visit with our partner agencies to see first hand the struggles they contend with every day. Yesterday, we went to the Room In The Inn, a program that serves chronically homeless people. It was inspiring, to say the least.

Room In The Inn has multiple programs serving the homeless, including overnight lodging at area churches, drug and alcohol rehabilitation programs, a new transitional living facility currently under construction and a day area where the homeless can just relax, watch television or use a computer.

But we were blown away by the art program. Some would say pain fuels art. It certainly does at Room In The Inn. The walls of the building are studded with unspeakably beautiful art. The art room holds pottery and sculpture. The Room In The Inn holds an annual art show and supplements its budget with the proceeds.

Now, to the Tree of Life. It is a collection of leaves, painted with the names of those homeless people whose pain has now been ended by death.

Karen Stevens, the special projects coordinator at the Inn, was telling us about a woman who just got added to the tree. She had been homeless for 20 years. Someone found her lifeless body under a trestle not 100 feet from the Inn. Betsy asked if she died from the cold. No, Karen said, the harshness of her life finally caught up with her.

Most people tend to look away when confronted with a homeless person. But this visit was a revelation to me. Many of them greeted us as if we’d just stopped by for a cup of coffee. One gentleman sitting in the TV room said hello in an impeccably British accent. But, clearly, he was not British. How oddly delightful.

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About CRC Nashville

Who are we? We are literally two chicks - Catherine Mayhew and Betsy Everett, and a warehouse - the Community Resource Center (CRC). In short, CRC is a non-profit organization that provides household goods, furniture, and appliances to people in desperate need. Think of us as Robin Hoods – without the stealing. Catherine is a former journalist and Betsy is a marketing chick. We are both devoted to acquiring stuff – good stuff, no junk – because that’s what our most fragile citizens deserve. If you have metal desks, televisions that don’t work or underwear you don’t want anymore, don’t give it to us. We’ll sneer at you. If you are companies that have excess primo stuff like furniture in good condition, school supplies, personal hygiene items or pretty much anything else, we’ll be your new best friends. For more information: www.crcnashville.org Fan, Follow, and Friend CRC or Join our Cause CRCNashville - Twitter Community Resource Center - Facebook and Myspace Community Resource Center (CRC) - Facebook Cause

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