room in the inn 2022/23 Season- 

more info coming this fall

Sign up HERE to volunteer. Thank you for serving our neighbors in this meaningful way. Contact our new RITI coordinator, Brent Sower with any questions.

We'll be providing assistance for Room In The Inn on 5 dates this year:

November 16

December 21

January 18

February 15

March 15


For each of those dates, we'll need the following:


2 individuals to donate and bring lunch supplies - youth will assemble the lunches before WNL

  • 20 decaf drinks (no water - bottles not allowed at RITI) - soda, fruit juice, gatorade
  • 20 sandwiches (10 meat, 10 cheese/peanut butter/tuna kits)
  • 10-20 fruits or vegetables (carrot sticks, celery sticks, cucumbers, oranges, bananas, applesauce, fruit cups - no whole apples due to oral health issues)
  • 10-20 snacks (chips, pretzels, etc.)
  • 10 desserts (Little Debbie, etc.)

1-2 individuals to donate and bring breakfast

  • Bring food Wednesday night with instructions to heat and serve in the morning
  • OR Arrive at the church at 5am on Thursday am and serve by 5:30am
    • Drinks - 1 gallon of orange juice or individual servings
    • Hot prepared food (sausage/ham and/or egg biscuit, breakfast casserole)
    • Cold prepared & convenience food (breakfast bars, oatmeal, muffins, doughnuts)
    • Fruits (bananas, mixed fresh fruit, grapes)

2 Innkeepers

  • Will stay overnight with the guests - arrive by 6:30pm Wednesday evening, depart shortly after 6am Thurs morning

2 Bus Drivers

  • Evening Bus Driver - Depart FPC at 3:45-4pm to pick up guests at 4:30pm
  • Morning Bus Driver - Depart FPC at 6am to return guests to RITI

2 Ride-Alongs

  • Accompany Evening and Morning bus driver

statistics on poverty and homelessness

It is the intent of RITI Ministry to not only focus and commit resources to the heartbreaking issue of homelessness but to also take in deep regard the incredible issue of poverty in a country as wealthy as ours.  Below are some statistics that shed light on the needs of so many people.  We recognize this issue and stand committed to lend assistance to the best of our ability to those in such dire need.


What is the poverty level in America?

The threshold in the United States are updated and used for statistical purposes. In 2020, in the United States, the poverty threshold for a single person under 65 was an annual income of US$12,760; the threshold for a family group of four, including two children, was US$26,200.


In 2018, 38.1 million people lived in Poverty USA. That means the poverty rate for 2018 was 11.8%


Poverty thresholds are determined by the US government, and vary according to the size of a family, and the ages of its members. In 2018, the poverty threshold—also known as the poverty line—for an individual was $12,784. For two people, the weighted average threshold was $16,247.


5.3% of the population—or 17.3 million people—live in deep poverty, with incomes below 50% of their poverty thresholds.

And 29.9% of the population—or 93.6 million—live close to poverty, with incomes less than two times that of their poverty thresholds. 


United States 2018



People Living in Poverty


Poverty Rate



Poverty is defined as a state of extreme levels of destitution. People are poor when their income falls below a certain threshold of money, which is determined by the United States Census Bureau. You might naturally associate the concept of being poor strictly with homeless individuals whom you pass on the streets, but not everyone who lives in poverty is without a house. Many people you might not associate with poverty are very poor, and it can be really hard to make ends meet in the United States, especially if the jobs people work do not compensate for the cost of living.


Homeless statistics according to the National Alliance to End Homelessness as of January 2019 for the United States were 567,715 people.  Homeless in Tennessee 2018 was 7,467 of which 1,986 were in Nashville/Davidson County.

Room in the Inn

Room In The Inn (RITI) started in 1985 with four congregations committed to sheltering homeless people in Nashville, TN. It was a vision of a Nashville minister, Father Charles F. Strobel. By the end of that winter, 31 congregations had joined together to house and feed the homeless. Now over 190 congregations in Middle TN, with over 6,500 volunteers, participate in Room in the Inn. They shelter over 1,400 men and women from November to March. Emergency services, transitional programs, and long term solutions are offered 365 days a year at the RITI downtown campus. 

First Presbyterian Church Franklin has been one of the member congregations for the past 14 years. What does this mean? Our church hosts 12 guests every Wednesday night (alternating men and women guests). A volunteer driver and rider pick up our guests from the Nashville campus and deliver them to the church. When they arrive at FPC, other volunteers have already set up beds in several of the rooms off of Wilson Hall. Our RITI guests join the congregation for our WNL dinner and fellowship. Volunteers provide breakfast and sack lunches, which are distributed Thursday morning. Members of our church also volunteer as InnKeepers-- they spend the night at the church. Thursday morning, another volunteer driver picks up the guests and returns them to the Nashville campus. 

There are many pieces to this puzzle and many ways to be involved in the mission. You needn't come to church Wednesday nights to participate, but we would love for you to join us and interact with our guests. Feel free to reach out to Mary Sellers Shaw or Namaste Anderson if you'd like more information. 

"Room In The Inn is not about giving; it is about receiving. It is about everyone, both guests and hosts, receiving a blessing, an encounter with God in the midst of suffering, hardship, pain, and grief. It is an opportunity, not an answer."

Father Charles F. Strobel, Founder of RITI