When I met Charlie, he insisted that I not refer to him as an unsung hero. He is just a really humble, big-hearted guy with a simple message of hope. He was once a priest who handed out sandwiches to the hungry and found the homeless a place to sleep, but he felt like he had to do more. So Charlie became a voice for the homeless in the Nashville community and founded one of the most progressive homeless programs in the country, Room In The Inn. He calls the facility the Center for Human Development, referring to the fact that the staff and volunteers get just as much out of the experience as the people served. The program is one of the most advanced in the country, and organizations from all over have modeled their own programs after it. Charlie may not consider himself noble, but he is giving hope to the hopeless and homes to the homeless, and that’s what a hero is to me.
Photo. John Rudoff, Corbis / City Journal; Video excerpt. Unsung Heroes Network. Photo, Room In The Inn. loveyourneighboryall.org; Photos, Room In The Inn. Shelley Mays / The Tennessean
Christmas in Action. Joe B. Wiles / Vance Air Force Base; Iris Stevenson & the Crenshaw High School Choir. Twitter: petesouza4; Joy Bianchi. Leilani Marie Labong _ 7x7; Charles Strobel. George Walker IV / The Tennessaen; Montgomery Lee Photography / Angel Heart Farm Blog;
W Mitchell. wmitchell.com; Thistle Farms. Lindsey Freitas / Nourishing the Planet; Farmers Occupy the Mall 1979. Jo Freeman / jofreeman.com