Walk the Talk: Gideon's Army Purchases Neighborhood Store
For Immediate Release
May 19, 2020
Contact: Tee Wilson, COO
Nashville, TN - Gideon’s Army has taken a major step to initiate and generate solutions for the community of North Nashville. With the purchase of the former MHM Market, located at 1625 23rd Ave. North, the organization has set a precedent for building long term community capacity and fostering the integration of economic, social and community objectives.
The store was the site of conflict between the previous owner and members of the community. It also stands at the center of a neighborhood devastated by the March 3rd tornado. Now, it will be owned and operated by the organization at the center of the mission to rebuild and heal North Nashville.
"We're excited because this project is designed to help address community needs while retaining the earnings in the community," said Founder Rasheedat Fetuga.
The new store is projected to open later this summer and will provide internships and training opportunities, as well as jobs through a partnership with The Department of Labor and Workforce Development. The store will also offer hot food, convenient store items, and serve as a meeting place for the organization.
"This was a food desert, and many of the families are tornado victims," said Fetuga, "now they will have better food options nearby and a safe place to go for support services, a place owned and operated by people they know and trust."
Urban Campus and Core CEO Jeff McGruder is assisting with the store's development plan and was instrumental in bringing the project to fruition. "This is a historic moment for Gideon's Army and North Nashville," said McGruder, "they are building a social enterprise that will produce financial return to the organization for future projects. The significance of that cannot be overstated."
"This project proves that community organizations can secure assets within their community for the betterment of their community," said Gideon's Army Chief Operating Officer Tee Wilson , "boycotting sent a message, but this is that message put into action."
Gideon's Army has also led the disaster recovery effort in North Nashville. The organization has helped over 3600 families and distributed over 30,000 non-perishable goods in the past two months. Funding for the purchase of the store came from a private donor.
"The purchase of the store symbolizes the organization's commitment to rebuilding North Nashville", said Fetuga, "and healing the community from within. We are so thankful to all who helped to make this a reality."
For more information about Gideon's Army or to donate visit gideonsarmyunited.org. For more information on the Rebuild North Nashville program visit rebuildnorthnashville.com.
Gideon's Army: Grassroots Army For Children
Gideon’s Army is a community-based, grassroots organization that works to design programs, based on contemporary interpretations of the theory of restorative justice. Gideon’s Army is currently the only local organization in Nashville that focuses solely on dismantling the school-to-prison pipeline through social activism by children in the prison pipeline, their families, and their community.