Tiny homes have been all the rage over the last few years, especially for people who want to save money and achieve location freedom.
But this community in South Nashville, Tennessee, built tiny houses for a greater purpose—to accommodate medically vulnerable citizens without a home.
The Village at Glencliff (TVG) recently held a ribbon-cutting ceremony attended by District 16 Metro Councilwoman Ginny Welsch. She says the tiny houses are located on the property of the Glencliff United Methodist Church.
It’s the first of its kind in the country, making this initiative even more remarkable.
“It’s been a very long time coming, but today we finally cut the ribbon and officially welcomed the Village at Glencliff to the 16th!” Welsch wrote in a Facebook post, sharing a few photos of the village.
The Center for Disease Control Foundation (CDCF) and the National Institute for Medical Respite Care (NIMRC) awarded TVG $270,000 to provide medical respite community to individuals experiencing homelessness. This grant is one of nine awards given by the CDCF and NIMRC.
The money will go to supporting three units, staffing, medical equipment, and operational expenses. The grant also includes two years of customized technical assistance from the NIMRC.
“I couldn’t be prouder of Rev. Ingrid McIntrye and the congregation at Glencliff United Methodist Church for their work in bringing this beautiful place to life,” Welsch said.
According to Welsch, they’re raising funds to complete phase two of the project, which involves building 10 more tiny homes. All the infrastructure is in place and made; all they need is to furnish houses.
“We are incredibly grateful to CDCF, NIMRC, and all of our community supporters for recognizing the importance of compassionate, transformative medical respite care in Nashville,” said Rev. Ingrid McIntyre, the executive director of TVG.
“Through this grant, we are one of a growing community of organizations making long-term impact in addressing the cycle of healthcare and homelessness. Participation in this national pilot that models collaboration across sectors of housing and healthcare is an honor.”
Initially, some residents in the area opposed the initiative. Many community members worried that it would hurt property values and compromise security. Some of them were afraid of having potential criminals in the neighborhood.
After years of delays and court battles, the medical respite center won the case and is now open for people who have nowhere to go after staying in a hospital.
“It’s hard for people to imagine things before they see them. I think it’s hard sometimes when there are negative stereotypes in homelessness, that they’re this or that or the other thing and they’re going to hurt people, and actually, nothing can be further from the truth,” TVG Medical Director Robb Nash said.
The medical respite spaces mean a lot to homeless people. As Nash said, “you can’t put clean bandages on an open wound under a bridge.”
Eventually, there will be 22 tiny homes in the area.
Valegia Tidwell, who was formerly homeless, is helping raise money for the tiny home village. The cause is close to her heart because back when she didn’t have a home, she was hit by a drunk driver.
Tidwell broke her hips, a leg, and her pelvis during the accident. If it wasn’t for a kindhearted stranger, she would have had to recover on the streets.
“I wouldn’t have made it out there in the streets, being in the position that I was in, I couldn’t do it,” she said.
Remembering the predicament she’d been in and seeing these tiny homes, Tidwell is glad that there are projects like this catering to the unhoused. Like every other citizen, they, too, deserve to have spaces that can accommodate their needs.
To find more information about this amazing project please visit The Village at Glencliff Facebook’s page.