NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — There are 9,000 young adults 16-24 years old in Nashville who don’t have stable housing, aren’t in school, and don’t earn a livable wage. To help address the need, Crossroads Campus, which helps young adults who’ve experienced trauma, built a second location in North Nashville.
At the new campus, the organization will provide 22 additional affordable housing units, expanded professional job training in pet-related careers, and more job support services for young adults who have been traumatized by homelessness, time in the foster care system, social inequities, and childhood abuse.
“When you’ve experienced significant trauma, especially as a child, you exhibit certain behaviors, so we see our young adults come in with issues of attachment, issues with identity, and honestly no sense of hope when they come to us,” Eric Davis, the director of programs for young adults at Crossroads Campus said.
At Crossroad Campus’ Germantown location, which is home to Middle Tennessee’s only professional pet grooming school, participants have received paid job training for pet-related careers and are provided affordable housing in the four-bedroom dormitory style apartment at the location.
Crossroads Campus also pairs the young adults up with abandoned animals to provide healing through its caring connections program where participants learn about proper pet care, communication, patience, and empathy.
The Buchanan location will have an expanded pet grooming school, a dog training academy, a cat adoption center, and a cat café, in addition to the 22 new, affordable units.
Davis, who has firsthand experience with the trauma that comes from aging out of the foster care system and homelessness, told News 2 it’s a transformative experience watching the young adults go through the programs and succeed.
“The biggest thing with our young adults is we’ve heard those stories; we’ve heard the statistics; we’ve heard the narrative, but what people don’t talk about is the potential that creates with a young person and the drive and the resilience that these young adults come into the program with,” Davis said.
Crossroads Campus’ ultimate goal is to break the cycle of intergenerational poverty.
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The organization is opening the Buchanan campus in phases. Six young adults currently live there. Davis said Crossroads Campus plans to lease up the rest of the apartments soon, and staff is currently interviewing the young people who have applied to be part of the Buchanan campus program.
The cat café and dog training academy is set to open early next year.
To learn more about Crossroads Campus, click here.