Tina Mitchell, Director of CrossBRIDGE
Initiatives currently include recovery programs offered in partnership with Trevecca Community Church: recovery housing for men and women and an after-school program for at-risk children (KidPOWER). Our programs are both preventative and restorative. We help addicts and alcoholics (most with criminal records) break the bondage of addiction while preventing the cycle from continuing in young children through KidPOWER. The programs are holistic in nature involving a plethora of services designed to address the numerous needs of our participants. The problems facing these populations are enormous, but we know we are overcoming challenges and changing lives for the better. Excursion participants will hear from Tina Mitchell on how she has developed this vibrant ministry and will visit the restorative homes located in the community.
Trevecca Urban Farm
Jason Adkins, Environmental Projects Coordinator & Urban Farm Leader
Trevecca’s Urban Farm began several years ago when Jason Adkins, TNU professor for the Center for Social Justice, had a vision for helping others in a community facing food access challenges. Trevecca Farms tour will show you the constellation of food works that have sprung up in and around the Trevecca Campus including a tour of the greenhouse, the aquaponics system (growing fish and plants together), bio-intensive raised beds, fruit trees, chickens, goats, pigs, worms, bees (at a safe distance), community gardens and a one acre vegetable garden. Excursion participants will learn how the farm operates logistically, how the parts complement one another, and how the farm serves our mission by teaching and inspiring people to grow their own food as a way of addressing food sufficiency and community building.
Becca Stevens, Founder of Magdalene & Thistle Farms
Founded in 1997 by Becca Stevens, an Episcopal priest on the campus of Vanderbilt University, Magdalene is a residential program for women who have survived lives of prostitution, trafficking, addiction and life on the streets. Thistle Farms is the social enterprise run by the women of Magdalene. By hand, the women create natural bath and body products that are as good for the earth as they are for the body. Purchases of Thistle Farms products directly benefit the women by whom they were made. Thistle Farms employs approximately 40 Magdalene residents or graduates. While working at Thistle Farms, women learn skills in manufacturing, packaging, marketing and sales, and administration. It is a supportive workplace where women acquire the skills they need to earn a living wage. Employees have the opportunity to put a percentage of their earnings in a matched savings account provided by Magdalene. Through Thistle Farms, the women of Magdalene gain much needed job skills, and learn responsibility and cooperation. Excursion participants will tour the 11,000 square foot sales and manufacturing facility near downtown Nashville, TN as well as the paper making studio and the sewing studio. We will enjoy our coffee break in the Thistle Stop café, also run by the women of Magdalen and Thistle Farms as we hear from some of the staff and residents.
Room In The Inn & Clancey’s Crossroads Café
December 1986, four congregations committed to shelter homeless people through March 1987. By the end of that winter, 31 congregations had joined. Now we have over 180 congregations in Middle Tennessee and over 6,000 volunteers, in addition to our downtown campus, sheltering almost 1400 men and women from November 1st through March 31st each season. 365 days a year we offer emergency services, transitional programs, and long-term solutions to help people rebuild their lives.
The heart of Room In The Inn remains it’s hospitality. In 2010, we opened a new 45,000 square foot building and began offering permanent supportive housing for the first time. We now can walk with people on their journey out of chaos, through periods of great change, and continue to support them as they rejoin the workforce, seek education, and work with partner agencies. We do this work with an emphasis on one-on-one relationships and a commitment to serving all those who call the streets of Nashville home.
Clancey’s Café is the flagship workforce development internship program for Room In The Inn transitional housing residents. Each Monday, Wednesday and Friday morning, interns have the opportunity to work for several weeks in an authentic coffee house environment as servers, bussers, and managers. Participants using Room In The Inn services can use points earned for attending educational classes to buy coupons for coffee and pastries. Often, local musicians come to perform for the coffee house patrons. Excursion participants will tour this state of the art facility while learning about the transformational process experienced by residents.