Hear the Micah Clergy’s excitement for Jeremiah Community! Click here to go to our YouTube channel to hear short clips from our some of our clergy talking about the vision for Jeremiah Community!
DON’T MISS JEREMIAH CARRYING HIS BENCH ONTO THE PROPOSED LAND
Yes! That is our very own Jeremiah who is featured in the recent video release.
A fixture in downtown Fredericksburg, Jeremiah sat outside the visitor center for 27 years after becoming homeless. It took a pandemic, an oncoming snowstorm, and a group of diligent friends who loved him to finally lure him back into a house and convince him to stay. Instead of waking to the rumble of a morning trash truck and taking cover from the snow, Jeremiah now rolls his own garbage to the curb and watches precipitation fall from a screened-in back porch attached to his home. No longer tucked away on a cardboard mattress under the Galleria overhang, he snores beneath the covers in a warm room and his own bed. Yet, the work of making a house for Jeremiah his home is only just beginning.
Jeremiah is doing so well, that he agreed to help us tell you the story of the vision he inspired, a supportive neighborhood built to care for the unique needs of our neighbors.
The Jeremiah Community will include at least 50 small homes (450 square feet), a community center, a garden, an art workshop, and a variety of on-site supportive services. Land has been identified, and Micah is working to clear several zoning hurdles. We are developing a funding strategy and meeting with stakeholders who live and work near the identified property to understand what core elements will make the project successful.
The Jeremiah vision seeks to combine all that the downtown churches have learned in caring for unhoused neighbors these last 18 years. It is named for both our own Jeremiah and the prophet Jeremiah—whose story holds a message of hope for an exiled people in Israel. The effort it took to help our local Jeremiah off the street and continue to be part of his life after housing is a testament to the relationship many chronically unhoused neighbors need live a flourishing life.
The total project is estimated to cost between $12 to $16 million. A fund established with the Community Foundation will allow Micah to leverage The Community Foundation’s more than 25 years of experience managing and communicating with major donors. It will also help Micah to hold funds dedicated to the project separately from its regular operating dollars.
Donations for all aspects of the project can be made directly to The Community Foundation, www.cfrrr.org/the-jeremiah-
To learn more about Jeremiah Community visit: www.jeremiahcommunity.org
Micah’s collaboration of churches feeds the “neighborhood” 365 days of the year. The community meals are not just about the home-cooked supper; they are about gathering people around the table to grow meaningful relationships. Each night a host church in downtown Fredericksburg provides a location, and up to 30 different churches take turns serving at each site. There are many different opportunities for groups and/or individuals to provide meals for our neighbors.
To join in on the Community Meals, email us at [email protected].
Fredericksburg’s downtown churches began their journey toward the vision for Micah Ecumenical Ministries almost 18 years ago. We’ve now been at this as many years as there are miles to the treacherous Jericho Road of the Good Samaritan story. Along the way, encounters with our neighbors’ suffering have taught us much about the home God envisions for humanity, and how we are called to take part.