Nashville Homeless Power Project

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The Nashville Homeless Power Project is a non-profit organization of homeless and formerly homeless people focused on advocating for the rights of the homeless in Nashville, Tennessee.


From their website:

We are homeless and formerly homeless people confronting the root causes of poverty and oppression. We fight for the human rights of all poor people while striving for the civil rights of those who remain on the streets. We believe that housing, healthcare, food security and use of public facilities are rights that we all deserve. We develop concrete solutions by building power through relationships with our brothers and sisters in the streets, allies, and decision makers. WE ORGANIZE FOR CHANGE!


The Nashville Homeless Power Project was founded in June 2002 by Jerry West, John Zirker, Howard Allen, Emma McCloud, Daniel Brown, Karl Smithson, Matt Leber, and Toni Clayton. The organization hosted its first event on October 2, 2002, a forum for political candidates to discuss issues relevant to Nashville's homeless. The event was attended by over 200 homeless individuals and attracted significant media attention.[1]

In June 2007, the group organized an "Urban Plunge" for Nashville's mayoral candidates, in which six of the candidates agreed to be homeless for a night in order to gain first-hand experience of the issues faced by the city's homeless population. It is believed to have been the first event of its kind in the U.S.[2][3] The Power Project also published a study in November 2007 addressing the poor conditions of the Nashville Rescue Mission, a local homeless shelter.[4]


  1. ^ Moriarty, Megan (2002-10-03). "Public officials promise attention to homeless". The City Paper.
  2. ^ "Mayoral candidates spend night on streets to learn about lives of the homeless". International Herald Tribune. 2007-06-20.
  3. ^ "Mayoral candidates join Urban Plunge". The City Paper. 2007-06-18.
  4. ^ Allen, Jared (2007-11-05). "Commissions hears of 'horrible' conditions at Rescue Mission". The City Paper.[permanent dead link]

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