News

South Nashville Services Expand
(Catholic Charities of TN Spring 2014 Newsletter)

Posted 04/09/2014

Catholic Charities is no stranger to South Nashville.

Hispanic Family Services has offered educational programs and health-focused initiatives at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church and other locations for more than a decade.

Refugee Services has built a presence there, too, providing programs for recently arrived refugees to facilitate their transition to self-sufficiency, often within six months.

With the recent South Nashville Family Resource Center (FRC) opening at 4928 Edmondson Pike (Suite 204), Catholic Charities, in partnership with Saint Thomas Health and United Way of Metropolitan Nashville, has solidified its role in that area of town. Leslie Hayes is the site director.

"The South Nashville FRC has tremendous potential for South Nashville," said Megan Stack, Family Assistance and Community Employment director. "It is truly a community collaboration addressing many aspects of life which, if not properly addressed, can contribute to continuing the cycle of poverty." The Saint Thomas Family Health Center South, South Nashville FRC's next door neighbor, has been in the area for about 10 years.

"This is an exciting opportunity for our agencies to work with the community to improve health and wellness and address nutrition and access to healthy food," said Nancy Lim, executive director, Community Health & Benefit for Saint Thomas Health.

One of the first ways in which the FRC partners will work together is in nutrition. "The ability to work together for nutritional benefits is an important part of access to healthy food," Lim added.

"We see an opportunity to assemble emergency food boxes specifically designed with input from the nutritionists to best serve the household requesting assistance," Stack explained. Other "healthy living" programs are also being discussed.

"We hope to take the adult education programs established by Hispanic Family Services and expand on them," Leslie Hayes added.

A computer training lab was created for clients' use for job seeking, language learning, and other educational endeavors. Other programs and initiatives Catholic Charities hopes to offer at the FRC include:

•Food Stamp outreach providing education and enrollment assistance;

•Emergency material assistance;

•Immigration Services assistance;

•Refugee orientation sessions, English as a Second Language classes, health screenings, and financial literacy training; and

•Community-wide special events.

"The neighborhoods off Nolensville Road in 37211 have typically been an underserved at-risk population in Nashville for the last 15 years," said John Michael Ford, manager of Family Resource Centers for United Way of Metropolitan Nashville.

"The South Nashville FRC collaboration between our three teams brings together experts in the community to create a focused delivery model for South Nashville residents in the most need of help."

For more information, contact Leslie Hayes (615-878-5326; lhayes@cctenn.org).





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