Nashville minister wants to build community center to combat youth violence

Rev. jeff carr

Rev. Jeff Obafemi Carr

A local minister is taking a different approach to building a community center by crowd funding.

Rev. Jeff Obafemi Carr is trying to raise $250,000 to build a community center to combat youth violence in Nashville.

“We envision the kinds of activities you can readily find in upscale neighborhoods like Brentwood, Green Hills or Belle Meade,” Carr said. “Only at the crossroads of the inner city and several middle-class neighborhoods.”

As of Tuesday afternoon, the GoFundMe page had raised more than $111,000 toward the proposal.

The plan involves renovating an existing space in the area of Trinity Lane in Nashville.

Carr said programming of the holistic community center would include youth outreach, a community garden and a playground to engage young people in the neighborhood. It also will offer teachings on subjects such as holistic health, yoga and meditation, conflict resolution, healthy eating, and diet and exercise.

“This is going to be the first grass-roots-focused, crowd-funded community center in Nashville,” Carr said.

Without much marketing, Carr said $111,364 has been raised to date under Infinity Fellowship’s GoFundMe campaign for renovations during the initial year of programming for the holistic community center. The fundraising goal is $250,000.

Some of the earlier donations have come from people who became familiar with Infinity Fellowship from the church’s GoFundMe campaign that last year raised just over $62,000 for a community of six tiny homes permanently installed at Green Street Church near downtown to shelter some of Nashville’s homeless.

Carr lived in one of the tiny homes until the $50,000 was raised. In 2009, Carr pitched a tent atop of the Amun Ra Theatre on Clifton Street (an organization he founded and one of Nashville’s few African American-run theatre companies). He slept there, dropping a bucket down from the roof for supplies and donations, until he raised enough money to fund program operations for a season. He was up there for nine days and eight nights.

On Oct. 6, the Metro Board of Zoning Appeals will consider The Infinity Fellowship’s quest for a special exception that is required because the property at 641 W. Nocturne Drive has residential zoning.