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Mayor Cooper Announces Metro Cold Weather Overflow Sheltering Plan

Andrea Fanta

Mayor John Cooper today announced the release of this year’s Metro Cold Weather Overflow Sheltering Plan, the result of a multi-agency effort that includes Metro Social Services, the Office of Emergency Management, the Metro Nashville Public Health Department and the Davidson County Sheriff’s Office.

“I want to thank our dedicated Metro employees and the community partners who worked together so we can support our most vulnerable residents during the cold weather season,” Mayor Cooper said. “By working together, we have ensured that we keep our commitment to this essential service an unwavering one.”

Metro’s Cold Weather Overflow Sheltering Plan is part of a coordinated community effort to ensure Nashville has accessible emergency shelter beds for single men and women, couples and people with pets.

“During these unprecedented times, it is imperative to provide adequate access to emergency shelter during inclement weather to ensure the health and safety of our neighbors without homes,” said Paula Foster, chair of the city’s Homelessness Planning Council and executive director of Open Table Nashville.

“The Homelessness Planning Council will continue to support the city's efforts to care for our neighbors, and we will work diligently to ensure that service providers are aware of the resources available to meet the needs of our community.”

From Nov. 1, 2020, through March 31, 2020, Metro’s overflow sheltering plan will activate any time the National Weather Service’s official local forecast reaches 28 degrees Fahrenheit or below, and the overflow shelter will begin receiving guests when primary community partner shelters reach maximum capacity.

Shelter activation status will be directly communicated to community partners and submitted to media outlets through the Office of Emergency Management’s public information officer. This information can also be accessed by calling the Extreme Weather Information Line, which is updated daily by 9:00 a.m., at 615-862-6391.

Public safety partners will be available to transport individuals requiring overflow shelter services beyond normal transportation hours of operation. Community partners will also receive instructions on after-hours overflow shelter drop-off procedures.

Metro’s overflow shelter is located at The Fairgrounds Nashville, 500 Wedgewood Ave. Standard hours of operation upon activation are 7:00 p.m. until 7:00 a.m.

The overflow shelter site will include:

  • Beds, blankets and pillows
  • Dinnertime meal service
  • Shower facilities
  • Outdoor smoking area
  • Boarding kennels and dog food
  • Fenced-in yard for guests’ pets
  • Facility security provided by local law enforcement agencies

Metro’s overflow shelter site has capacity for 250-300 guests and was selected because Metro is already using separated halls at the same site as its shelter response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

In total, there will be three separated areas at the Fairgrounds. One serves as a social distancing shelter for men who have tested negative for COVID-19 and are healthy. A second building is set up in accordance with CDC guidelines, with two separated areas for COVID-19 positive people and people awaiting test results (both populations will be strictly separated with strict monitoring from Metro Health). A third building will be used as the cold weather overflow shelter when temperatures reach 28 degrees Fahrenheit or below.

People in the cold weather overflow shelter will be provided with information about how they can access the social distancing shelter if they choose to remain indoors long-term. The process will include access to COVID-19 testing and a safe setup where they can await test results. Once they test negative, men will then be transferred to the social distancing shelter at the Fairgrounds, and women will be able to access the social distancing shelter at the Nashville Municipal Auditorium, 417 Fourth Ave. N.

Metro is partnering with nonprofit organizations to accommodate families with minor children who need immediate access to housing after hours. During business hours, which are Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m., Metro Social Services will staff the community’s Coordinated Entry Family line, established for families with minor children. That number is 615-862-6444.

The Metro cold weather overflow shelter is part of a larger, community-wide winter plan that is in effect each season from Nov. 1 through March 31. To learn more about each partner’s efforts, go to


Questions regarding the Metro Cold Weather Overflow Sheltering Plan should be directed to Andrea Fanta at or 615-878-5149. If Metro is under a state of emergency, or the Emergency Operations Center is activated, the city’s Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan (CEMP) will supersede the Cold Weather Overflow Sheltering Response Plan. Media inquiries during a state of emergency or questions regarding the CEMP should be directed to Joseph Pleasant at or 615-880-2011.