Sumner County families that are struggling financially, as well as individuals with special needs, will soon have a new place to get assistance.

A grand opening for the Sumner Center at NorthField Church will be held on Sunday, Nov. 7 at noon. It is located on the church’s campus at 2100 Nashville Pike in Gallatin.

The facility, which has been a long-term goal for members of the church, will offer a variety of programs and services aimed at bringing long-term stability to area residents and their families, according to Tom Haddon, pastor of NorthField Church.

“We want to be a church not just in name, but of our community, in our community and serving our community,” Haddon said about the center. “You don’t have to believe what we believe or even come here. If we can help you, we want to be that resource for you.”

The Sumner Center will offer community dental clinic days, a food pantry and space for one-on-one assistance with job skills, family budgeting and legal advice along with programming specifically designed for families of those with special needs, according to church officials.

All ministries and services offered at the facility will be free and available for anyone to use.

“We have found that there are people who had access to a whole lot of (assistance programs), but once they reached a certain income level, they lost that access,” Haddon said about center’s focus. “I don’t know if we can change the system, but maybe we can help people that get caught in that gap.”

According to the most recent study from the United Way in 2018, 33 percent of Sumner County households were listed as being above the federal poverty level but unable to afford a budget that covered all basic needs such as housing, food, transportation, childcare, healthcare and necessary technology.

The number of local individuals and families seeking assistance continues to grow “rapidly” due to inflation, according to Bill Jacoby, executive director at NorthField Church and committee chairman for the development of the Sumner Center.

“It’s bad enough where our housing costs are and then you’ve got gas and grocery prices rising,” Jacoby said. “Those costs are through the roof and those are basic needs for families.”

In addition to tours of the Sumner Center, representatives from some of NorthField Church’s partner nonprofit agencies – Habitat for Humanity of Sumner County, GiGi’s Playhouse, Stay Warm Shelter, Special Needs Sports Foundation and Compassionate Council – will be available during the grand opening on Sunday to share information about their programs with the community, according to church officials.

The center is also scheduled to host its first free dental day on Saturday, Dec. 4 beginning at 7 a.m. Organizers anticipate as many as 250 people will been seen by a group of local dentists who will be performing cleanings and extractions during the event.

“Our volunteers have worked to make this dream a reality,” Sumner Center Director MacKenzie Mailander said. “The mission of NorthField Church is to love God, love people and make Jesus known. The Sumner Center represents a tangible force for good in our community to live out this mission by loving God, serving people and bringing hope to all.”

As for future assistance efforts, NorthField officials say they hope to start construction within the next two years on a new 32-unit multi-family residential housing development that will be located near the back of the church’s 20-acre campus. The project, called The Villages, will be used to provide temporary housing for qualifying working poor families along with permanent housing for young adults with special needs.

For more information about the Sumner Center email MacKenzie Mailander at mackenzie@thesumnercenter.com or call 615-989-3537.