Warming Shelters Open In Nashville, But They’re Not Always The First Choice For Homeless
Kornegay has lived on Nashville's streets on and off since 2008. Credit: Nina Cardona/WPLN

Warming Shelters Open In Nashville, But They’re Not Always The First Choice For Homeless

Kornegay has lived on Nashville's streets on and off since 2008. Credit: Nina Cardona/WPLN
Stephen Kornegay has lived on Nashville’s streets on and off since 2008. Credit: Nina Cardona/WPLN

“Winter is here, it’s time to mobilize. No more deaths.”

That was the status message posted earlier today on Facebook by a homeless outreach agency in Nashville.

When temperatures drop below 25 degrees, groups like Open Table scramble to provide warming shelters. But not everyone on the street is eager to take advantage of them

Stephen Kornegay says he did ok outside when the temperature first dipped, thanks to six layers of clothing and a spot he found with some protection from the wind. He splurged a few years ago on a good sleeping bag, rated as being able to handle temperatures as low as 10 degrees. He says it keeps him warm all night. The hardest part, he says, is getting out of it in the morning. That’s when his arthritis really acts up.

Still, the 64-year old says he may end up in a shelter before long, if only to stick with a pair of buddies who’d rather go indoors.

“We all stay together, Nikita, Jerry and me. It’s a matter of looking out for one another and it’s a little safer that way.”

Kornegay says he usually tries to avoid shelters, calling them a good place to get your stuff stolen.

It seems there has already been at least one cold-related death in the area. The body of 73-year old Edward Green was found on the steps of a church in Madison yesterday morning.

Nina Cardona

Nina Cardona is WPLN's host for All Things Considered. As a reporter, she covers a wide range of assignments with an emphasis on culture, the arts and local history. A graduate of Converse College, she's lived in Middle Tennessee most of her life.
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