GraceWorks Ministries

GraceWorks will be closed may 25-27

Gimmie Shelter

The key programs of GraceWorks Ministries are Food, Shelter and Support.  And I have to say that I love how our community supports all the programs, especially the Food programs.  Individuals, churches, businesses, wholesale food distributors and even our local grocery stores partner with our food program through concerted food drives, individual food drop offs, grocery bill round up initiatives, volunteering and financial gifts specifically designated to go toward food.  We are also grateful for our strong partnership with Second Harvest Food Bank who passes on their efficiencies to greatly reduce our food costs.   

It takes all of this effort and more to meet the constant requests for food.  Last week alone we gave out 222 food carts! With these kinds of numbers, we are on track to match, if not beat, the 10,000 food carts we gave out last fiscal year. 

Food is crucial! But so is shelter.  In the same week we gave out 222 carts, we also had 19 requests for assistance with housing (rent or mortgage payments) and 50 requests for assistance with making utility payments.  Meeting these needs resulted in a $21,000 cost in just one week! 

And no wonder, when my recent research showed that the median price to rent a two-bedroom apartment in Franklin is $1,784 making Franklin rents 27.8% higher than the metro-wide median which includes Davidson and Rutherford Counties!  Given that there are only 4 subsidized, low-income apartment complexes that we know of and all of them are in Fairview there aren’t many options for the working poor among us. And many of these low rent apartments already have a waiting list.  

But without shelter, our food program becomes almost irrelevant!  If you have nowhere to store or cook your food, our bounteous food cart loses its full value and benefit.  Shelter, though just as crucial, is harder to address; a food drive can stock our Food Pantry, but only financial donations help with shelter.  Let’s face it, financial donations large enough to support someone’s rent aren’t as easy to give as canned and boxed food goods.  Frankly shelter costs more to support.   

We have seen a 38% increase in housing requests and these requests don’t appear to be slowing down.  If the need continues at this pace, we project that we will spend $92,000 in shelter assistance over what we budgeted for in this program for this fiscal year.  

But how could we say no to Susie, a realtor and single mom with a young daughter, who needed help with her rent? Having fallen behind in her rent because of the unpredictability of her income, she was facing eviction.  Your donations allowed us to help her with her rent, with her utilities, give her food, and offer additional wrap around services as well.  With this worry behind her, Susie has since closed on two homes and is going back to school to advance her education and improve her situation.  Susie told us that having GraceWorks’ help at such a vulnerable time of her life was a true blessing and exactly what she needed to get back on her feet!   

While I don’t want to take away or diminish your support of our food program, I do want to let you know that your support of our shelter program is much needed.  We depend on you because parents and their children depend on us.  Thank you for all you do to equip us to keep roofs over the heads of our Neighbors and worry out of their hearts!  

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