Who We Are
Jeremiah community welcomes home those have not had a place and a
people to call their own….if ever
Who we are
Fredericksburg’s downtown churches came together in 2005 to coordinate care for the community’s street homeless. They called their collaboration Micah Ecumenical Ministries As our churches fed, clothed and sheltered the unhoused in the winter, we learned about their deeper needs and developed tangible solutions, such as respite care for those who ended up in the hospital, housing stabilization, income development and street church. While our efforts have led to a more holistic continuum for those moving out of homelessness, we have learned that giving someone a set of keys and a case manager does not change their status. In fact, the Jeremiahs of our community frequently struggle in new ways when removed from their street community and faced with the added responsibilities of living indoors. While some can increase their independence and sustainability over time, others are truly limited due to disability or past trauma and will need a lifetime of support.
After years of living on the street, our neighbors remain stuck in survival mode even after moving indoors.
In following old patterns and staying connected to destructive circles they even give up and return to the woods or sabotage the positive steps they’ve taken out of fear of losing it all again. To truly overcome homelessness, a person must think of home as a matter of community; that home is about belonging, connectedness, shared burdens and relationships. The Jeremiahs of Fredericksburg, therefore, cannot live into the full image God created them to be without an approach that embodies the scriptural meaning of “shalom,” a true wholeness, a human at peace in all relationships–God, self, others and creation. It is from this understanding that the vision for Jeremiah Community has emerged. In doing so, we can finally say welcome home to those who have long-since had a place and a people to call their own.
Who’s supporting us
Jeremiah Community will build upon Micah’s long-standing partnerships with key service providers, such as the Rappahannock Community Services Board, Rappahannock Goodwill Industries, Fredericksburg Department of Social Services, Mary Washington Hospital,Germanna Nursing School, Fredericksburg Christian Health Center, Moss Clinic and Central Virginia Health Services. When possible a presence would be established onsite in the community. Additional partners would be brought into the project as support services (i.e. mental health, income development, health care) need to be established. Existing Micah staff in housing, health, income and basic need areas would be leveraged to offer professional case management. Volunteers from the church and broader region will be vital to establishing support systems for those living in the community. Additional partners will be sought to establish micro-enterprise (i.e. arts community, horticulture, food service) opportunities.
HKS, a national Architectural and Design firm, worked with us to conduct a feasibility study and develop a masterplan for a Jeremiah Community in our region. We are also working with SDI, a local engineering firm, and Tricord Companies, a local developer, to explore options. The full project, which also includes multi-family units, is being implemented in partnership with Virginia Supportive Housing, a non-profit developer with three decades experience building supportive homes for the chronically homeless across the state. Virginia Supportive Housing, Micah and the City of Fredericksburg are partnering on this project to develop enough units for chronically homeless neighbors that no one has to sleep outside.
Micah has already accepted our first major financial gifts toward the project; and we are looking forward to partnering with your church and family to care for our neighbors with the Kingdom of God in mind.
Join our mission. Volunteer, Donate, Advocate.
Let’s build a home for our neighbors.
Call Anytime: 540-479-4116