Urban Missions and Service Experiences for Youth, Adult, and Family Groups




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Nashville

Facts and Figures

Nashville has grown over 18% during the last six years and is the largest metropolitan area in the central South.

Over 600,000 people live in the Nashville and Davidson county area, which encompasses 526 square miles. The Nashville Economic Market encompasses 10 surrounding counties with a population of more than 1.5 million.

Nashville’s population is 65.9% Anglo-American, 26.8% African-American, and 4.7% Hispanic, and 2.7% mixture of other races including Asian, and Middle Eastern. Nashville has the largest Kurdish community in the United States, numbering approximately 11,000.

Did You Know That…

50% of the US population lives within 650 miles of Nashville. There are more people within a six hour drive of Nashville than anywhere in the country.

Over the last 4 decades, Nashville has been the second biggest music production center (after New York) in the U.S. As of 2006, Nashville’s music industry is estimated to have a total economic impact of $6.4 billion per year and to contribute 19,000 jobs to the Nashville area.

There are over 18 Universities and 100,000 college students within an hour’s drive of Nashville.

Nashville has over 700 churches, and is the home to many of the denominational headquarters and publishing companies. It is considered “The Buckle of the Bible Belt.”

There are 30,000 acres of lakes in the Nashville area.

People, Problems, Issues

A Middle Tennessee household would need 2.3 full-time jobs at minimum wage to afford the Fair Market Rent for a two-bedroom home at 30% of income.

About 10.0% of families and 13.3% of the population were below the poverty line ($20,000 for a family of 4)

11,000 people live in low income housing; the waiting list is closed until 2009.

Insights on the City

by Jes Williams (City Director)

Whether it’s the creativity from the music industry, or the constant research, studying, and discussions from the numerous colleges, hospitals, and healthcare corporations, Nashville is filled with energy and life. Having been voted No. 1 City in America for Business Relocations and Expansions by Expansion Management Magazine two years in a row, this city is booming with economic and industrial growth. And yet, with its southern hospitality, people still feel like they are visiting or moving to a small town.

With all the “success”, sometimes it is difficult to remember the contrasting side of Nashville. There are folks living off minimum wage in a city requiring twice that income to survive. We have a public school system trying to overcome its 40% drop-out rate. The chronic homelessness statistics are 20-30% higher than the national average. People are struggling, and not just to “make it big.”

Statistically, Nashville’s problems aren’t as extreme as some larger cities, but they are still a testimony to a number of people hurting. Jesus called us to be the hands and feet of Christ. Thankfully, there are a number of churches and non-profit organizations here in Nashville heeding that call. They have committed to serving those who are economically, physically, mentally, and/or spiritually poor and it is a privilege for our groups to be a small part of the ministry being done through them.

CSM Ministry Site Sampler

East Nashville Cooperative Ministries is a coalition of 20+ area churches in the East Nashville area. It offers assistance to area low-income residents as well as the homeless, distributing food and clothing to those in need. They also run a thrift store where clothes and shoes can be bought for a very small price. They distribute food through lunches that are passed out to the homeless and emergency food boxes (from Second Harvest Food Bank) for families. CSM groups have assisted in organizing the thrift store, cleaning the bathrooms and outside of the store, sorting food boxes and handing out food to those who come in.

The Salvation Army provides breakfast to many homeless in conjunction with East Nashville Co-op. The Army takes a large bus that is actually a “kitchen on wheels” and serves a warm breakfast to those who are hungry. CSM groups assist by helping prepare the meal, serving the food, and fellowshipping with the guests.

Campus for Human Development is one of the two homeless day shelters in Nashville. They offer a number of services to the homeless population including job training, art classes, GED classes, and mailboxes (because you can’t get a job if you don’t have an address). They are very focused on hospitality and respect. As soon as we enter the door, we are to call the homeless “guests” here.

Nashville CARES offers the community a variety of services focusing on issues surrounding HIV. Their programs include: Food pantry – distributes food to persons with HIV that has progressed to a point that they aren’t able to do the grocery shopping for themselves. Hot Meals – are distributed to persons that are unable to prepare the food themselves. HIV Education Program – is probably the most important thing CARES does. They have several people in this program whose job it is to lead educational training sessions on the disease. The education class is required by Nashville CARES for anyone who volunteers to work with their organization. They speak in schools, churches, community centers, business offices, pretty much wherever they are allowed the opportunity to educate people. Heartline – is a 24 hour telephone counseling program that is offered to the community. CSM groups have done a variety of tasks for Nashville Cares including stuff envelopes, working in the food pantry, and cleaning houses/apartments of their clients.

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