Room In The Inn concludes 25th year, seeks to raise $2.5M

Wednesday, December 22, 2010 at 10:05pm

Room In The Inn celebrated 2010 with the satisfaction of completing 25 years of operations and a new $13 million mixed-use building at its SoBro-based campus.

Now the nonprofit points to a fundraising goal of $2.5 million by mid-2011, with approximately $1 million to be used to put the finishing touches on the new building, sometimes called the Comprehensive Center, and $1.5 million to go toward renovating an existing facility on the campus.

RITI is partnering with Nashville-based The Key Alliance in the effort. A nonprofit fundraising arm of the Metropolitan Homelessness Commission, The Key Alliance will provide technical assistance with the fundraising drive.

Room In The Inn’s new building includes space for the Guest House and is slated to offer expanded respite services. The respite services allow for hospitals to release homeless patients sooner than otherwise, thus minimizing their care costs as most chronically homeless individuals do not have health insurance. The Guest House allows police officers to drop off homeless individuals who otherwise would have been arrested for public intoxication.

Father Charles Strobel, Room In The Inn founder, said that 25 years of operations has provided context to the city’s social ills.

“In some ways, things are still tragically the same — there’s not enough affordable housing,” Strobel said. “In another way, things have changed, as thousands of Room In The Inn volunteers all over the city are more informed citizenry. They know about the complexity of homelessness and, even more importantly, have a more compassionate attitude toward the poor.” 

Judith Tackett, communications coordinator for The Key Alliance, described Room In The Inn as a “great partner.”

“The programs Charles Strobel, Rachel Hester (RITI executive director) and the team at RITI developed over the past quarter of a century always filled a need,” Tackett said. “The Key Alliance is proud to partner with RITI and support any programs that help people move toward self-sufficiency and provide permanent solutions.”