'It's just heart touching.' The Village At Glencliff becomes city's first medical respite center

The Village At Glencliff
Posted at 5:18 PM, Jul 19, 2021

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — After years of push-back, delays and court battles, a medical respite center for Nashville's unhoused is now open at Glencliff United Methodist Church.

The tiny homes at The Village At Glencliff are for people who have nowhere to go after a hospital stay.

"You might have a wound and you have to put clean bandages on it several times a day so it heals... you can't put clean bandages on an open wound under a bridge," said The Village At Glencliff Medical Director Robb Nash.

A crowd filled the churchyard for the ribbon cutting on Monday. Eventually, there will be 22 tiny homes downhill from the church.

"I don't care if it's a dollar, if it's two dollars, anything helps," said Valegia Tidwell. "It's for a good cause as you can see."

Valegia Tidwell is helping to raise money for the tiny home village. When she was experiencing homelessness in 2016, she was hit by a drunk driver. She broke her hips, a leg and her pelvis. If it wasn't for a Good Samaritan, she would have had to recover on the streets.

"I wouldn't have made it out there in the streets, being in the position that I was in, I couldn't do it," Tidwell said.

Originally, some neighbors fought the idea. They worried housing for people without a permanent home would hurt property values and make the neighborhood less safe. They battled it out in court, but lost and the tiny homes were built.

"Thanks to the work of lots of people, particularly Rev. Ingrid McIntyre who just stayed with this and understood the significance, we did it," said Vice Mayor Jim Shulman.

The medical director acknowledged that it was a long road to this point.

"It's hard for people to imagine things before they see them. I think it's hard sometimes when there are negative stereotypes in homelessness, that they're this or that or the other thing and they're going to hurt people, and actually, nothing can be further from the truth," Nash said.

The tiny medical respite spaces mean the world to a village of people.

"In the predicament that I was in, I had nowhere to go and just looking at these homes man, it's just heart-touching," Tidwell said.