For decades, there’s been a homeless encampment hidden under the Spring Street bridge near the intersection of Fifth Avenue and Main Street. The city knocks it down from time to time, but it always gets rebuilt. And for over 35 years, a church nearby, Holy Name Catholic Church, housed in the building that hosts this mural, has provided meals for the homeless, both from the camp and elsewhere. The Loaves and Fishes program was founded by Father Charles Strobel, who first opened the doors of the church to the homeless in the winter of ’85-’86 when, after a recent round of the city tearing down the camp, some of its residents camped out in the church’s parking lot. This ultimately led to both the founding of Loaves and Fishes and also Room in the Inn, in which a number of Nashville churches cooperate to provide shelter and other services to the homeless. Recently, the parish center building that houses Loaves and Fishes was renamed in Father Strobel’s honor. Strobel, who retired some years ago, also recently received the Joe Kraft Humanitarian Award, one of Nashville’s most prestigious awards. (Seriously, check out the list of honorees on that page.) This mural, by the artist who signs his work “Little Stone,” shows open, giving hands in front of a basket weave, evoking a basket that might hold food, a perfect symbol of the church’s charitable work.
Located at 521 Woodland Street. That’s actually the address of the main church building. The Strobel Building (which is not yet labeled as such) is at the back of a neighboring parking lot. The mural itself faces Main Street, across from the Stacks on Main complex. You can often park in the church parking lot at Sixth and Main, though probably not during mass. There is street parking available on Sixth Street.