Got questions? We’ve got answers.
How was the property at Glencliff UMC chosen as the location for the Village at Glencliff?
Glencliff United Methodist Church members saw the opportunity to partner with Open Table Nashville (OTN) and offer use of a portion of land (which not many urban churches have) as a way to live out their faith. They made the decision to be in ministry with people experiencing homelessness. Providing bridge housing for our most vulnerable friends is a ministry supported by The United Methodist Church. OTN has had their offices in Woodbine UMC and later Glencliff UMC for the past year and a half. A natural relationship formed out of a sharing of space.
Have you communicated with neighbors?
During the fall of 2016, OTN had conversations with the pastor of Glencliff United Methodist Church to determine if the church might have an interest in partnering with OTN on a micro home village to pro- vide bridge housing for our most vulnerable friends experiencing homelessness.
OTN was asked to make a presentation to all church members in December 2016. Most church mem- bers are also neighborhood residents. There were a lot of conversations within the church community, and a specific meeting for neighbors and members. Following OTN’s presentation, church members voted the next day to move forward with OTN on a partnership to build the Village at Glencliff.
What has happened since the church voted to join OTN in partnership on the Village?
Following their vote, staff from Open Table Nashville reached out to Metro Planning to seek guidance on how to proceed and sent a letter on December 19, 2016 to Council Member Mike Freeman, Vice Mayor David Briley, and Mayor Megan Barry to inform them of our progress. During January, we fol- lowed steps outlined by Metro Codes Administration to seek approval from Metro government to con- struct the Village at Glencliff.
On February 15 we were notified that our request was approved and we could begin the planning process. We scheduled our second community meeting at that time which was held on March 5.
What is Councilman Freeman’s role in this project?
Mike Freeman was elected by the 16th District to represent constituents through his role on the Metro Council. He has been in conversations with both neighbors and Open Table Nashville regarding the possibility of OTN constructing the Village at Glencliff on church land. OTN has not asked Mr. Freeman to speak out publicly in support of the Village at Glencliff.
What will be the role of the neighbors/community with the Village?
A community group will be formed to meet regularly. The group will be comprised of 2 people from each neighborhood group, the executive director of OTN and the Village Care Coordinator. There will also be opportunities for neighborhood residents to volunteer at the Village and participate in community meals, etc.
What is RLUIPA?
The Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA), is a United States federal law that gives churches and other religious institutions a way to use their property for reasons outlined in their discipline of faith. It does not give the church “carte blanche” to do whatever it wants. RLUIPA was enacted by the United States Congress in 2000.
Does OTN have experience and history in housing the homeless?
In 2011, Open Table Nashville was launched as an interfaith 501 c 3 non-profit community.
We focus on housing, education and advocacy. This past year, we served over 2,000 individuals and families who were chronically homeless and medically vulnerable. We have successfully moved 600 people into permanent affordable housing since 2010. We also provide significant leadership that goes into collaborating with 30 other resource agencies throughout Davidson County in a coordinated effort to end chronic homelessness in Nashville, including the Metro Homelessness Commission.
Who will live at the Village at Glencliff?
We will house the most vulnerable people experiencing homelessness at the Village. The Vulnerability Index (VI), a nationally recognized tool to measure vulnerability of people experiencing homelessness, is taken by each person we work with. Residents of the Village will be people who are currently receiv- ing hospital care and will be referred to us by one of two hospital partners. It will be for people who are most likely to die on the streets to find respite until permanent, sustainable, supportive housing can be identified.
The Village will be a place where people can recover “at home”—instead of on the streets. During their recovery process, OTN will work with each person to secure permanent supportive housing. They will be allowed to live in the Village as long as they are actively working with our Care Coordinator to make that transition.
Occupancy will be limited to one person per unit, with the exception of the three couple’s units, which will house two people per unit and help avoid having to break up couples during recovery of one or both partners.
Will there be staff on site?
Yes. A Care Coordinator will be on site weekdays, 8 hours a day. The OTN offices are also on cam- pus. Additionally, there will be a nurse on staff 3 days a week.
Will the Village be a holistic program?
Yes, it will be a holistic site. In addition to having an on-site Care Coordinator (5 days a week), we will partner with nurses, counselors and other healthcare providers to provide various programs to resi- dents such as 12 Step Programs and Physical and Mental Wellness Programs.
In addition, we will help residents navigate the permanent housing process with our on-site Care Coordinator.
What type of security is planned for the Village at Glencliff?
In our experience, we have seen our friends—particularly the most vulnerable—preyed upon. There- fore, our security concerns are for both residents and neighbors. Each unit will have doors that lock for residents’ safety and the safety of their belongings. We plan to contract with security professionals for patrolling the area on weekends and after hours. We will have an on-site Care Coordinator 40 hours a week, a nurse 3 days a week, and 2 security poles (campus style) in each phase. We have been secur- ing bids from various security companies about further security options and will be meeting with the neighborhood representatives as developments progress.
Will there be pets allowed at the Village at Glencliff?
Yes. OTN works with other agencies to ensure all pets are vaccinated, spayed and neutered. Residents will follow Metro’s rules of keeping pets in their space or on leashes. We will accept people with pets, but we will not allow resident to acquire pets after they move in.
Will tents be allowed in the Village? Will camping be allowed?
No. Tents and camping will not be allowed on Village grounds.
Will residents be screened for approval?
Yes. In addition to utilizing the Vulnerability Index (VI) and working together with our hospital partners to determine who will be good candidates for The Village at Glencliff, we are also working with our team of highly qualified staff as well as consulting with other organizations that work with vulnerable and home- less populations to establish a comprehensive screening process that will incorporate best practices and specific benchmarks and metrics to determine who will be eligible to live temporarily at the Village at Glencliff and who will not. No one will be allowed to stay at the Village whose identity we cannot verify.
Will people on the sex offender registry, violent offenders and people with a history of criminal and/or mental instability be allowed to move into the Village?
Because the Village will be located on church land, people on the sex offender registry (from any state) will not have this community resource as an option. All residents will have access to the psychological resources needed to attend to their illness. Our team is highly trained in de-escalation, trauma informed care and other areas that residents can access.
How is the Village funded?
Open Table Nashville accepts private donations for development of the Village and for annual operating costs. No government funds or tax dollars will be used to support the Village. Many faith based organi- zations, companies and individuals have contributed funds and in-kind donations to support the Village.
Will OTN be adding more homes after Phase One and Phase Two are completed?
There are no plans to build more than 22 homes on the land.
What type of transportation will be provided for the residents?
Beginning April 1, 2017, MTA will offer bus service from 100 Oaks to Glastonbury. Those residents who may be receiving Medicaid are eligible as a part of their benefits for free transportation to and from medical appointments. OTN also has transportation that we frequently use to take our friends to med- ical appointments, housing meetings, etc.
Statistics About Homelessness in Nashville
- Homeless advocates estimate that there are over 20,000 people experiencing homelessness in Nashville. This includes people living in cars, on the streets, in camps, in motels, in hospitals, in shelters, and those doubling up/couch surfing. (This estimate was compiled by Open Table Nashville using data and estimates from The U.S. Conference of Mayors’ Report on Hunger and Homelessness, Catherine Knowles (supervisor of the Homeless Education Program for Metro Nashville Public Schools), and the Nashville Rescue Mission and Room In The Inn.)
- Of that 20,000, it is estimated 8,000 are children.
- An estimated 350 people experiencing homelessness already live on the streets in the 16th District throughout the year, and several hundred more can be found living in cars, cheap motels and temporary shared apartments in the area.
In 2000, Nashville had an estimated 2,000-unit surplus of affordable rental housing. By 2015 that surplus had become a deficit of 18,000 units. This means that by 2025, Nashville could need to create as many as 31,000 affordable rental units. (“Housing Nashville: Housing Report from the Office of Mayor Megan Barry,” 2017)
- In 2016, 87 people from Nashville’s homeless community died (The Tennessean). Most of these were medically vulnerable.
To download the answers to the community questions provided at the March 2017 meeting, please click HERE.