by Cindy Solomon
Glencliff United Methodist Church members and staff, local leaders, neighbors, and The Village at Glencliff (TVG) board members gathered July 19 for a ribbon-cutting ceremony celebrating the grand opening of 12 micro homes — Phase 1 — on the church’s campus. Once the interiors are complete, the homes will house adults experiencing homelessness.
Blending two residential models — bridge housing and medical respite — The Village will ultimately provide 18 single-occupancy and four double-occupancy homes. Each home has a kitchen and bathroom and will provide individuals with community, treatment, education, and training while they wait for a permanent housing option.
Two of the homes in Phase 2 will be funded by a grant from The Golden Cross Foundation (GCF). When complete, these homes will be earmarked to house older adults.
During the ceremony, The Village at Glencliff founder the Rev. Ingrid McIntyre spoke about obstacles and hurdles that had to be overcome during the planning and construction process.
“This is a scary, strange thing that we’re doing because it’s a little bit different,” said McIntyre. “But we believe that it is the story of love that needs to be shared. Hopefully, this village will be a reflection of love in our community. This is what we call risky discipleship … when you’re not sure if it’s the right thing to do. But you [Glencliff UMC members] prayed about it and you said it’s the love thing to do and we’re going to do it.”
Robb Nash, executive/medical director at TVG, spoke during the ceremony about the positive impact The Village will make.
“Being forced to live without housing isn’t difficult or challenging,” said Nash. “Being forced to live without housing is brutal, traumatizing, dehumanizing, and lethal. I know from years of working with these people [those experiencing homelessness] that the physical, mental, and spiritual pain inflicted by trauma is real and far-reaching. Look at the marvel you have created. This is what a community looks like. This is a place of intentional dignity, healing, love, and respect.”
The medical respite facet of The Village will provide short-term residential care for people who are too ill or frail to recover from an illness or injury if living on the streets but are not ill enough to be hospitalized. For those waiting for permanent housing, the micro homes provide a safe haven.
Soon, TVG staff will identify residents for the 12 micro homes showcased during the ribbon-cutting ceremony. While the average stay per resident is projected around 90 days, there may be special circumstances requiring extended stays — such as a resident requiring hospice care.
Golden Cross Foundation Executive Director Kent McNish said, “The Village at Glencliff’s mission of providing a dignified, loving, and hospitable medical respite/bridge housing community for people experiencing homelessness in Nashville, ties together nicely with two areas of concern for GCF — health care and housing. Our other areas, nutrition, and transportation could also fall under the micro homes’ umbrella. I look forward to The Village helping provide a safe haven for some of Nashville’s most vulnerable and most deserving population — older adults.”
If You Want to Know More
If you or your congregation would like to help provide furnishings, supplies, food, or medical supplies for future residents at the Village at Glencliff, visit villageatglencliff.org or follow social media @villageatglencliff.
For more information about the mission and ministry of The Golden Cross Foundation, visit goldencrossfoundation.org.
Cindy Solomon is a content writer and editor and lives in Franklin, Tennessee.