Two Micro Homes at Glencliff UMC to House Older Adults Experiencing Homelessness 

By Cindy Solomon

In 2018, Open Table Nashville (OTN) received a Golden Cross Foundation grant for $60,000. Money from the grant is being used to build two of the 24 micro homes at The Village of Glencliff located on the grounds of Glencliff United Methodist Church in Nashville. When complete, these two micro homes will house older adults experiencing homelessness.

While the pandemic and legal and environmental issues have delayed opening the micro homes, the site work for both Phase 1 (12 homes, including the two funded by the foundation grant) and Phase 2 (12 homes) is complete. Additionally, Phase 1 homes are built and are ready for interior completion.

When completed, each home will have a kitchen and bathroom. Twenty of the homes will be single-occupancy (200 square feet), and four will be double-occupancy (400 square feet). A majority of the homes feature wheelchair-accessible floor plans.

Blending two residential models—bridge housing and medical respite—The Village will provide individuals with community, treatment, education, and training while they wait for a permanent housing option.

“While the ideal length of stay is 90 days or less,” said Glencliff’s pastor and The Village’s executive director Rev. Ingrid McIntyre, “due to the severe lack of affordable housing options in Nashville, we anticipate residents will stay longer while waiting for their move-in date.”

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.

“Residents have the opportunity to rest in a safe environment while accessing medical care and other supportive services, often preventing further complications or death,” said McIntyre. “For some, The Village may serve as hospice space for people needing end-of-life care rather than permanent housing.

“Homelessness exacerbates health problems, complicates treatment, and disrupts the continuity of care. Homeless persons are three to four times more likely to die prematurely than their housed counterparts. Since 2010, our team has dreamed of a place that would allow the most medically vulnerable people to have a safe and supportive place while they wait for permanent housing.”

Supported by The United Methodist Church, McIntyre hopes The Village at Glencliff will become a sustainable model that can be reproduced by groups in other areas.

“We are thankful for the support and grant we received from the Golden Cross Foundation,” said McIntyre. “Through programs like The Village, we can provide a dignified, loving, and hospitable bridge between housing and medical respite for people experiencing homelessness so they are empowered to focus on healing and permanent supportive housing.”

To learn more about The Village of Glencliff, how you can support it, or arrange a tour, contact McIntyre at ingrid.mcintyre@gmail.com.