Similar to the model used in the 18th to 19th century, Habitat for Hope is launching a community driven development project on our Millington property. The old model of a barn raising enabled one family to be blessed by the collaborative effort of the local community. This collective building project provided a new barn for the family and ultimately for the community. Likewise, Habitat for Hope has recognized a need in the Mid-south, and we are gathering partners to help us build our “Barn”.
Our vision is to transform our 48-acre site into a haven for the families we serve. The environmentally friendly development plan includes a village center, cabins, staff residences, office space, chapel, hiking trails, equestrian center, and other recreation activities.
Looking ahead, we see an established community serving a special niche of society: Families who have been personally touched by childhood illness.
Scenario: A family from Southern California learns their child has been diagnosed with a life threatening illness. They choose to come to Memphis, TN for treatment. Without a second thought, they pack their car with everything they can carry with them. They have only one thought in mind: “I’ll do whatever it takes and go wherever needed for my child to get better.” They put their lives on hold, effectively leaving everything familiar to them: family, friends, church, house, jobs, and school.
The Barn Raising Project envisions this family arriving in Memphis and having a place where they can immediately begin to rebuild their support system. They can be comforted by the fact that the community they left behind isn’t that different than the one that’s waiting for them here: The comforts of home, people they can relate to, people who care about them.
The Barn Raising Project will enable Habitat for Hope to create a place where architecture and key design elements promote natural interaction between families, staff, and the local community. Leveraging the natural beauty of the landscape, connections will be made between God’s creation and the people in it. Families will be able to experience this through nature walks with their kids, sharing breakfast on the porch, horseback riding and lessons, fishing, dinner in the village center, a night of singing by the fire, yoga and fitness classes, working in the community garden, counseling, prayer and reflection in the chapel, children’s play areas, canoeing, and outdoor gathering spaces.
The people make the place. The Barn Raising Project will provide opportunities for families to socialize and allow them to revel in the solitude of God’s handiwork. We see a community being created on this beautiful property God has provided. It will be a place for families that are hurting, sharing experiences, learning, loving, crying, and laughing together…a Habitat for Hope.