The story goes that the idea for Crossroads was sparked while a group of Nashville community leaders, which included the beloved Father Charles Strobel, Founding Director of Room In The Inn, and 13 time Grammy award winner Emmylou Harris were sitting around her kitchen table discussing the issues of youth homelessness. While continuing to look for ways to combine their passion for helping homeless animals and at-risk youth, Harris and Lisa Stetar started Crossroads Campus in Nashville’s Germantown neighborhood.
Crossroads works with young people, many who are homeless or have aged out of foster care, and employs them to take care of rescue animals at the Germantown neighborhood in Nashville. Since Crossroads’ opening in spring 2013, they have helped nearly 700 pets find their forever homes.
The at-risk young adults also work at Crossroads Pet Shop and Adopt where they receive on the job training. Harris says, “The young people are getting incredible job skills and working with animals is so healing because they can see the impact almost immediately that they are having on the lives of these animals.” She concludes, “You just walk into that store and you can feel it. You just feel that there is something really positive happening.”
In March 2016, Crossroads launched a pilot-scale residential program that provides safe and affordable housing for young adults. Over the next three years, Crossroads will expand to provide more housing and job training for young people. Stetar shares, “We’re on a mission to bring hope and promote positive change. Our goals are to help young people move toward better futures while helping abandoned animals. We’re doing it!”
For more information, visit: crossroadscampus.org.