Since 1999, Greenhouse Ministries’ goal has been to move people out of their current situation of hopelessness and help them see possibilities.
Executive Directors Cliff and Jane Sharp began serving Murfreesboro through their work in the Franklin Heights federal housing project, a 140-apartment complex built in the early 1950’s. The Sharps taught GED and computer classes to adults and provided childcare for their children. They also offered crafts and cooking classes and transportation to shopping centers, and built relationships of trust and support with the residents.
At Franklin Heights, the Sharps noticed a gap in services to single moms and the working poor. These groups struggled to meet the basic daily needs of their families but worked full-time and made too much money to qualify for any assistance from government programs. The Sharps started Greenhouse Ministries to serve those who were being overlooked and underserved.
Greenhouse Ministries serves everyone without qualification. The nonprofit does not ask income questions, nor does it base benefits on employment. The goal is to serve whoever walks through the doors with love and respect. Starting with meeting the physical needs of clients, the Greenhouse staff and volunteers serve food from a food pantry, give clothing vouchers for use at the Garden Patch Thrift Store, provide gas vouchers to help people look for work or go to the doctor, and donate furniture to make their house a home. Then, Greenhouse helps people meet their own career and life goals through a variety of adult educational opportunities including computer, GED, budgeting, and literacy classes. A variety of other classes are also available.
Although Greenhouse Ministries is a faith-based organization, its services are not dependent on the religious views of clients, nor does Greenhouse impose its own views on clients. Services are open to anyone regardless of race, color, sex, gender, sexual orientation, disability, age, veteran status, or national or ethnic origin. A wide variety of people use the services of Greenhouse, but the primary focus is helping the working poor and single moms.
During 2010, Greenhouse Ministries served over 18,000 people. In early 2010, Greenhouse Ministries moved from a facility of 5,000 square feet to a facility of over 11,000 square feet. In order to meet a variety of needs, Greenhouse has added new adult education classes including a parenting class, marriage class, and guitar lessons. These classes help people achieve their life goals, help them learn a new skill, and/or draw their families closer together. Programs are thoughtfully planned to best accomplish the goal of helping clients become self-sufficient.