An empty Moose Lodge on Charlotte Pike in west Nashville is getting a new life as a service center for the homeless.
A ministry known as No More Hunger is using part of the old Moose club as a center to provide meals, clothing, job counseling and housing assistance for those living on the streets of Nashville.
Volunteers from Humphreys County started the ministry.
"When the gentleman comes in that hasn't eaten for seven days, it breaks your heart. You go to bed every night, every time you sit down at your food, every time you open your refrigerator, you think about how many are doing without," said Shirley James Moran, who helped organize the non-profit ministry.
The group drives through downtown with church buses looking for homeless people to invite for a meal and a brief worship service.
One guest, whose name is George, said he's been homeless for about a year, and enjoys the food and services, but mostly enjoys the fellowship and welcoming atmosphere.
"This is a special type of church, right here," George said.
"We all make mistakes. I've made some. Even though you fall down, you get back up," he said.
The volunteers never know what message or what kindness will make a difference in someone's life.
Jerry Early left his life on the streets after something touched his heart during a prayer service.
"I'd been away from the church since I was 15 years old, and I'm 55," Early said.
"Brother Carlos got me a job, and they gave me a hand up instead of a hand out, and kind of gave me my dignity back, and it's been great," he said.
The ministry is just getting started; they hope to find more volunteers and donations so they can eventually open seven days a week.
They're also looking for a permanent location, since the former Moose Lodge location is only temporary.
"Isn't that what we're called to do? I mean, Jesus said, 'Feed the poor,' That's what we're doing," said Moran.
Copyright 2013 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.