Hike for the Homeless: Not JUST a Hike








We are gearing up for our 8th Annual Hike for the Homeless! What does this mean? Well, on our end, we are creating marketing materials, planning our team kick off, securing food for the Hike, fine tuning logistics, recruiting volunteers and most importantly, asking people to create teams to support our Hike…and our mission.

We know that we all get a lot of information about many events happening in Nashville. So why should you mark your calendar, get your tennis shoes ready and form a team for the Hike? We are glad you asked! There are many reasons for your family, group, organization or company to support the Hike for the Homeless.

There is the event itself: The Hike for the Homeless is a Nashville favorite for its heavy dose of outdoor time, friends, family, food and fun. The event includes hiking on two paved trails, a complimentary breakfast and lunch, children’s activities a climbing wall, live music and more. This is a fun family/community event which brings everyone together to support the mission of Safe Haven Family Shelter. The Hike provides a space for the community to learn more about Safe Haven Family Shelter, engage with our volunteers, staff and board, and gives everyone the opportunity to make an impact through individual and team donations.

There is the mission: Safe Haven Family Shelter empowers homeless families with children to achieve lasting self-sufficiency. Safe Haven does amazing, essential work for our community. I know this a blog from Safe Haven on our own website—so we are a little biased- but we think it is warranted. Our work is truly important. Safe Haven is the only shelter-to-housing program of its kind in Middle Tennessee that accepts the entire homeless family. We keep the family together and provide comprehensive services that empower them to achieve lasting self-sufficiency. As our name implies, we have an emergency shelter program, but we also offer a Transitional Housing Program and Rapid Rehousing Program. Safe Haven Family Shelter’s comprehensive approach is one of service, compassion, trauma-informed care and evidenced-bases practices.

And then there are our families and clients: Did you know that families with children make up 32% of the homeless population? Did you know that the average age of a homeless person in the U.S. is nine years old? We could go on about the stats and that would be one part of the picture. But at the heart of Safe Haven are our families. We celebrate their successes and work with them through their setbacks. We recently celebrated home ownership with one of our families through Habitat for Humanity while other families paid off debts, got promotions and earned their GEDs. We measure success at Safe Haven when our clients secure employment, develop a savings account, and gain housing through an apartment/house (or acquire a home through our Transitional Housing Program). Through education, training and case management, families are prepared to return to a home of their own with long-term economic and social success. We strive to meet an 86% success rate which is defined by families maintaining independent and stable living at least one year after they move out of one of our programs. You can read more about our families’ stories here.

Why Hike teams? We hear these phrases a lot: “The Power of One;” “One person can make a difference.” And we all know these things to be true. But we also know that the power and impact increases when one become two, and two becomes three and three becomes a team!  When you form or join a team for the Hike for the Homeless, the team raises money together and increases the financial impact you can have for Safe Haven and our families. But more than that, the team format helps spread the word about Safe Haven, engages more people and provides a community-spirited event that is fun, rewarding and truly makes a difference. And for those of us who have a competitive streak, the team format can be a lot of fun for school rivalries, competing companies, organizations or just families who want to outdo one another. J

Are you ready to mark your calendar and form a team? We want to see you there. So here are the main details:

WHEN: November 3, 2012; 9 a.m. (Registration opens at 9:00am with the Hike beginning at 10:00am)
WHERE: Edwin Warner Park, Picnic Shelters 9 and 11
Participants are encouraged to create teams, with a fundraising goal of $1,000 per team/ $100 per individual. We also welcome virtual teams and teams of one (individual hikers). We even have teams led by dogs! All participants who donate $25 or more will get a cool Hike t-shirt! Let us know you are interested in volunteering, hiking, donating or all of the above by clicking here.

Kicking it off! We will host our Hike for the Homeless team kickoff event on September 13, 6 p.m. at the Nashville Airport Marriott. We hope you will join us (and bring some friends) for great food, a little music and more information about the Hike. Sign up here to attend this free event and receive an email invite (and reminder) to the event.

Want to get involved with the Hike for the Homeless? Let us know if you are interested in hiking, attending the kick off, volunteering, forming a team, donating or all of the above by clicking here.

Stacy Nunnally coordinates the Hike for the Homeless for Safe Haven Family Shelter. You can follow her on Twitter at @StacyNunnally.


  1. Stacy, Thank you for detailing the experience of Hike for the Homeless. Your coordination of this event has helped bring it to another level of success and service. The Hike is truly a Nashville favorite – family friendly (and dog friendly!) – as we bring so many community partners, friends, the faith community, corporations, other agencies, and Safe Haven staff, board, and volunteers together to raise awareness and funds for homeless family services through the excellent and proven programs we offer.

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