CFMT Grantee: Midstate nonprofit practices what it preaches in tornado-torn Lebanon, Hermitage communities

Broken Restored Redeemed Ministries (BRRM) is a nonprofit and is one of the largest faith-based housing homeless ministries that promotes rebuilding of our communities through our Housing Program Service FROM HOMELESS TO HOME OWNERSHIP by teaching accountability, responsibility and sustainability. Broken, Restored Redeemed, Ministries bridges the gap between society and behavioral health agencies, law enforcement and social services. BRRM advocates for and provide for young adults, individuals, and families who have suffered from mental illness, generational poverty and job loss.

The organization has received a $50,000 grant from the Middle Tennessee Emergency Response Fund of The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee to provide housing placement and additional wraparound services to individuals living in Hermitage and Lebanon directly impacted by the March 2020 tornadoes.


God can restore what is broken and turn it into something amazing. All you need is as little faith.

That’s a message the Gallatin, Tennessee-located, faith-based housing nonprofit Broken Restored Redeemed Ministries wants you to remember.

Executive Director Laquanus Boykin has been preaching it for years and never more so than in the aftermath of a series of tornadoes that ravaged Middle Tennessee in early March.

Some of the most extensive property damage occurred in nearby Wilson County and in Hermitage. Boykin, her small staff and a host of volunteers have been working ever since to ensure victims find housing and the essentials needed to survive.

“I have been extremely busy trying to make sure we get everything that’s needed for our families in our communities,” Boykin said one Monday afternoon recently.

“We’re still moving in some of our families from the tornadoes as well as dealing with the ones we got placed [into housing] that have been affected by COVID-19,” she continued.

“We’re rebuilding one life at a time.”

The rebuilding process is never more fulfilling than when it involves families and young children.

Here’s a post from the organization’s Facebook page in late March:

“Beautiful Day … we would like to give a warm Thanksgiving for all the baby items today. We were able to bless a single mother of two in Lebanon, and also a mother who is pregnant with twins, which [with] her husband will make baby number 10.

“With safety, we were still able to pray, even with social distances. With God today, we prayed for our client, and heaven heard. Again, what[ever] situation you find yourselves, learn to be content, no matter the storm we are overcom[ing]. …

Hallelujah, and amen.


CFMT Grantee:  Broken Restored Redeemed Ministries
Miracle Ford car dealership in Gallatin continues to gather tornado relief donations and host volunteers for the nonprofit Broken Restored Redeemed Ministries. Pictured include the organization’s executive director Laquanus Boykin (from left, front), Linda Crenshaw, Alexandra Hemingway, and Miracle Ford’s Jeff Dooley. An unidentified volunteer is in the second row.

Boykin took time recently to respond to a few questions from The Community Foundation 

CFMT: How are you using, or planning to utilize, the tornado emergency response grant?

BRRM: The funds will be used to provide rental assistance, food, toiletries, clothing, and mattresses for low- to middle-income families affected by the tornado.

CFMT: In light of changes in how we all live and work due to the COVID-19 coronavirus, how is your organization managing to work in supporting tornado relief and recovery efforts? What challenges have you all overcome or are overcoming?

BRRM: We are still meeting face to face with clients during intake and in moving the client. We have incurred additional mileage/fuel/vehicle expenditures to go to the client rather than have them in our offices. This increases our travel time and our hours of service. Also, we are accommodating clients with no computer access due to libraries being closed, so we are having to print and maintain additional documentation.

We have challenges in providing safety to our workers when moving families. Due to technology updates needed, we are still meeting with clients face-to-face to complete housing intake paperwork. Our offices are closed ,and we are meeting by appointment only to limit contact and exposure for our clients and our workers. This leads to longer work hours due to handling one client at a time and practicing social distancing. The number of families have increased by 300% due to the tornado and COVID-19 financial difficulties.

CFMT: Give a favorite example or two of your staffers or volunteers stepping up to make a difference to help people through these disasters?

BRRM: Artega Smith has stepped up to help pass out food and toiletries to our families placed in housing. She has a brownie business and has provided brownies to add a smile to the faces of the parents and children of the families we serve. Brandon Simpson, one of our clients, has also helped out with moving our clients and remodeling our units where the families are placed. Alexandra Hemingway has volunteered numerous hours with our single-parent households by distributing food, clothing, diapers, wipes and laundry baskets to assist during the tornado recovery.

CFMT: In terms of tornado relief and recovery, what needs remain in your community or communities for tornado relief and recovery?

BRRM: We need sites set up to help those affected in rural areas for at least 120 days. We have 45 families on the wait list for assistance due to the tornado devastation. We are in need of additional supplies to accommodate the families in need and to help with office supplies being used to help families while the libraries are closed.

CFMT: Define the word “hope” for you and your organization.
HOPE stands for Habitation for those in needs, Overcoming odds, Prosperity, and Elevation for sustainability.


LEARN MORE ABOUT BROKEN RESTORED REDEEMED MINISTRIES

Online at https://www.brrmrestoredhousing.org