The Nashville Rescue Mission has commenced the demolition of its women’s shelter with plans to reinvent the site with a larger and more sufficient facility expected to open in late 2023.

Women and their children from the Mission’s former satellite campus, located in Salemtown at 1716 Rosa L Parks Blvd., are temporarily living in the main campus at 639 Lafayette Street, having relocated beginning in July.

The future women’s campus — with an estimated $20 million price tag — is expected to take local builder T.W. Frierson Contractor Inc. between 18 and 24 months to complete. The design (pictured) shows a three-story facility with 348 beds in emergency services dorms, 166 beds more than the 1958-opened previous building offered.

The edifice to come will fill the space between Garfield Street and Buchanan Street on Rosa Parks Blvd with parking lots on the northern and southern ends of the consolidated property.

Currently, the 14 lots are split into five properties that cover 2.59 acres zoned for mixed-use and commercial service and with addresses of 1700, 1702A, 1704, 1716 and 1726 Rosa Parks Blvd. The consolidated property will expand 1700 to cover all the site's lots.

The forthcoming Women’s Rescue Mission will offer a larger kitchen and a cafeteria with a seating capacity of 156 (the previous building offered 96). The building will feature a significantly larger chapel, which will seat 375 compared to that of the Rosa Parks site (which accommodated 225). In addition, the next building will provide 20 family units as opposed to the original eight.

Rev. Glenn Cranfield, president and CEO of the Nashville Rescue Mission, has emphasized that the number of women experiencing homelessness, “especially those with small children” and utilizing the Mission’s services is increasing steadily and that this necessitated a larger facility with increased capacity.

“We’ve been quietly working behind the scenes for the past three years to prepare the way for this project,” Cranfield said. “As we are preparing for demolition, [it required] the temporary consolidation of our two campuses.”

The future building will feature larger classroom, office and meeting spaces and an increased number of lockers. Likewise, restroom and shower capacities will also be larger, with the eventual facility expected to provide better accessibility for individuals with mobility impairments.

The imminent grounds also will come with an improved playground compared to that of old as the new one will add a play area meant for older kids so that each age group has a safe play area. The campus will offer enhanced security features, more parking availability and a designated service entrance separate from the main entrance.

In addition to its main facility and women’s campus, Nashville Rescue Mission operates a donation center at 616 7th Ave. S.. The Mission generated over $19 million in public support in 2020 and nearly $15 million in 2019, mostly from businesses and individual donors. Net gains for those years were about $11.2 million and $8.1 million, respectively.

Compared to other metropolitan areas of its size, Greater Nashville is lacking in homelessness infrastructure, social services advocates contend. Nashville Rescue Mission provisions and services are featured in the Homeless Management Information System, a local information technology system for centralizing client-level data on individuals lacking house and the services with which they can be connected in Greater Nashville.

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