‘Real Life Bible Story.’ GraceWorks of Williamson County nonprofit signs lease.

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GraceWorks leaders and many Williamson County citizens can breathe a little easier after two anxious years of working to secure a future for the local nonprofit.

Nearly 30-year-old GraceWorks, which helps county residents deal with poverty, homelessness and other issues, signed a new lease on Friday for the facility it has used for eight years. . The future was murky, with the nonprofit’s lease coming to an end after the building changed ownership twice in the past year. Finding space similar to the 30,000 square foot warehouse used by GraceWorks has proven difficult in Williamson County’s competitive real estate market.

GraceWorks closed the deal with Stonelake Capital Partners, which purchased the building earlier this year from another owner who intended to use the entire facility.

“We are grateful to be on this page of our real biblical history that the Lord is writing,” GraceWorks CEO Valencia Breckenridge said in a statement. “With this new lease, GraceWorks is turning a page.”

Breckenridge said the focus now is on finding a bigger, long-term home.

GraceWorks, which was founded in 1995 by more than 30 local churches, is seeking a six-acre property on which to build or use an existing building of over 60,000 square feet and over 200 parking spaces in the Williamson County.

GraceWorks volunteers process an average of 70 loads of donations a day, organize and evaluate them, and guide customers around a large pantry filled with items delivered from local grocery stores.

More than 4% of Williamson County residents live in poverty, according to the 2020 U.S. Census. GraceWorks strives to serve these residents and more.

“People wanted to answer the question, ‘How do we care for people in our community who may be suffering from generational or situational poverty?'” Breckenridge said. “So our core services are food, shelter and overall support… And it’s been that way since day one.”

Breckenridge said the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic brought in more new customers than ever. During this time, the organization’s food program has served more than 9,300 neighbors with more than 9,600 food carts and 585 boxes of holiday food through its in-house and mobile food pantries, as well as school partnerships.

To help provide permanent housing, contact Valencia Breckenridge at [email protected]

After:After 26 years of serving those in need, GraceWorks struggles to find a new home

Isaiah Delaney helps pack a medium-sized bag of food in the Graceworks Ministries food pantry in Franklin.  He and the other volunteers distribute meals, including turkeys, to the community.  They are also hosting a Mobile Food Pantry event on Saturday, November 20 to bring food and other community support ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday.

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