Frequently Asked Questions
How long has Project Connect Nashville been ministering to families in poverty?
PCN began serving the Madison community 7 years ago. It was a small beginning, just a handful of staff ministering to families in poverty in an apartment community, Lexington Gardens. Since that time, God has given us the privilege of opening 2 additional sites in the communities of Woodbine and North Nashville. We have stayed faithful to the mission of ministering to families in poverty by providing resources, education, and relationships in partnership with the local church.
How do you find your clients?
We regularly reach out to the hurting communities around us with the invitation for people to join us for Work Life (a work-force development class,) or our Sunday night programming. Sometimes we use dual-purposed events that both show love by providing for needs in the community and also give us the opportunity to meet new people so we are able to invite them into our long-term programming. In addition, our supporters, supporting churches, current and former clients, and partner organizations will often refer people to us.
What curricula do you use? Is it faith-based?
Yes, all our curriculum is faith based! For our anchor classes we use a curriculum created by The Chalmers Center (When Helping Hurts) which includes Work Life and Faith & Finances. Additionally, we address trauma through Trauma Healing (American Bible Society) and stories in the Bible that tell the over-arching story of God’s Word orally so everyone can hear and understand. We believe that everyone has brokenness and God can heal anyone. Other classes include Boundaries, Your Story Matters, ID Recovery and more.
How can our church come alongside Project Connect Nashville?
There are a lot of ways that your church can get involved with caring for the poor. Our goal is to make it easy for each person in your congregation to get connected. We do that by offering monthly Volunteer Equipping Sessions that anyone can attend and walk away with a basic understanding of how to serve our friends in poverty without adding to their hurt. Depending on each person’s gifts and comfort levels, this might include cooking and serving a meal, stocking the pantry, becoming a personal ally to someone in the program, helping with special events or holiday blanket drives or art therapy classes, etc. We look for champions in churches that will spearhead the cause and invite friends to be a part of what God is doing. It is not our desire to create more work for the leadership, but rather to help your church discover a way to expand and grow your local mission opportunities.
If I want to get my church involved, what is the best first step?
Your church can get involved on many different levels. Sunday night meals are great opportunities for churches and small groups to come alongside Project Connect Nashville, meet the families served, and use their talents! We need cooks, musicians, tutors, teachers and more! Gathering as a community to share a meal and worship is an excellent way to begin building relationships with people in need of encouragement. We would love to meet with you and talk through the possibilities!
How are you funded? Do you need financial support?
We are historically and primarily funded through church and individual partners, and in 2020, the disaster-related grants were helpful for meeting growing needs. We are always looking for new church partners but we don’t expect that to be a part of the conversation in the beginning. Our hope is that we demonstrate the value that we can bring to you and your members. It is incumbent on us to provide a good and meaningful experience so that volunteers are drawn to the ministry. In other words, we believe that inspiring volunteer involvement and building relationships with the community of believers is a higher priority than fund-raising.
Can we refer people to your program?
Yes! We work with a lot of churches that have individuals that need a little extra encouraging. We are happy to partner with churches in this way. The best first class for new clients is Work Life. The class is 4 days a week for 6 weeks and equips them to enter (or re-enter) the workforce. Rental assistance is available for those that commit to the long-term.
What other churches in Middle Tennessee are involved with Project Connect Nashville?
First Baptist Church Hendersonville, Trinity Church of Nashville, Woodmont Christian Church, St. George’s Episcopal Church, Restoration Church, Brentwood Baptist Church and many more!
Are your services free to clients?
Yes, all the services and classes we offer are available at no-cost to the public. The cost for one person to complete the year-long program is $2,400.00.
What is the main goal for clients who participate in your program?
Our Goal for them is to gain long-term stability and for them to have hope. Hope for tomorrow and hope for eternity.