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  • Neelley Hicks

At What Cost?

The last time I saw her alive, Angie shared this story:

A new neighbor on the “Next Door” app cautioned everyone about a suspicious looking homeless couple in the Nations neighborhood. Angie said that a response was soon posted from a lady – saying that she and her husband were that couple. She said they worked at McDonald’s but couldn’t afford a place to live. The lady had added in her response that nobody needed to worry – they wouldn’t bother anyone.

Each of the voices you will hear in this video created for Open Table Nashville is based on a true story.

Open Table Nashville is “a non-profit, interfaith community that disrupts cycles of poverty, journeys with the marginalized and provides education about issues of homelessness.” Their work intersects with a worldwide focus on the problem of homelessness, which is not simply a Nashville, or United States problem. UN Special Rapporteur on the right to housing, Leilani Farha, recently called “on governments to recognize homelessness as a human rights crisis and commit to its eradication by 2030, in line with the new UN Sustainable Development Goals.” The report added, “’Widespread homelessness is evidence of the failure of States to protect and ensure the human rights of the most vulnerable populations,’ Ms. Farha said, pointing to the social stigma, discrimination, violence and criminalization experienced by people who are homeless.”

Besides the couple Angie spoke of, there are many others whom society depends upon who cannot afford housing. Perhaps it is the person providing orders at the drive-through, working in adult or child day-care centers, or stocking the shelves at our stores of choice. Perhaps it is someone who cleaned the elementary school you once attended, or cooked in your school’s cafeteria.

These people bear the image of God – something within each of us. People of faith have a particular responsibility to honor this image and “do justice… love kindness, and…walk humbly with your God.” As a nation, we’ve committed to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” If life, then so must affordable housing be a human right.

Open Table Nashville, and other similar organizations, can’t go it alone. They need support from faith communities, government leaders, builders, and committed citizens. Affordable housing is an issue that affects everyone, so everyone must be involved in its solution.

Harper Hill Global is proud to support the efforts of Open Table Nashville. You can learn more about them at

By Grace, Neelley

Harper Hill Global provides media, messaging and mobile solutions aimed at improving lives and relieving human suffering. Your tax-deductible contributions make this happen. 

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