About the Mission
Corner to Corner is a Christian nonprofit that exists to extend hope to every corner of our community. We do this by attacking the cycle of despair often caused by high-rates of incarceration, in a model we call “Connect, Invest, Grow.”
Love your nieghbor and your community through the ministry of consistency. At Corner to Corner we invite new and old friends to become part of the fabric of the neighborhood and connect with each other. Over the past 10 years our house has become a safe haven for kids and teens to come grab a snack, a book, or someone to listen. As a neighbour we share in the burdens and struggles affecting our area.
We partner with the cornerstone of our community, a local recreational center called McFerrin Park. Five years ago, we began meeting there to teach free job readiness classes for former offenders, led by Tiffany, a certified Offender Workforce Development Specialist. Studies show that incarceration reduces the likelihood of employment by up to 50%, and that unemployment is one of the top two predictors of Recidivism. We have witnessed redemption and rehabilitation experienced through getting meaningful employment, with over 100 people having come through our jobs classes.
We then partnered with the Rec Center staff on a reading tutoring program for elementary age kids. Over 55% of the students in our district are less than proficient in Reading skills, a problem compounded by the poverty that affects over 78% of our high school students. Literacy is the biggest common predictor of whether a youth will graduate High School. Since studies have also shown a higher rate of imprisonment among dropouts, this tutoring became a critical part of our ‘Invest’ strategy. We now average 20 kids per week in our reading tutoring.
In 2016 we launched the Business Entrepreneurship Academy with the help of our good friends Launch in Chattanooga. After graduating the first class of 12 entrepreneurs, the program expanded to North Nashville with the help of the McGruder Family Resource Center.
With the relationships built through the Connect and Invest approach, we began community group Bible studies in 2012. These groups create networks of support for individuals and families. Community groups recognize that we are All in need, and together, we move forward in Hope. We are excited to share that our leadership team also includes friends that first began a relationship with Corner To Corner as students of our Jobs Class and community Bible studies. This model of discipleship is the vision that we have for the future of this ministry.
About the Acuffs
Will and Tiffany met in Chapel Hill, NC, and were married in August of 2004. After a short stint in Charleston, SC, they moved to East Nashville, TN in early 2007. With a core belief that if you take Jesus seriously you need to take justice seriously, Will and Tiffany quickly began to seek volunteer opportunities where they could best serve their neighborhood.
Within a few years, they felt a calling to specifically focus on the cause and effects of the high-incarceration rates deeply affecting their neighborhood. This calling was developed and affirmed at City Church of East Nashville, whose generosity helped start Corner To Corner. From the beginning, Corner To Corner existed to demonstrate Gospel love to and for the neighborhood through word and deed.
Blending together Tiffany’s vocational skills as a certified Offender Workforce Development Specialist (both at Charles Bass Men’s Correctional Facility, and the TN Prison for Women), and Will’s passion for teaching the gospel (sharpened by seminary studies), and his years of business experience in the tech industry, Corner to Corner was founded in the Fall of 2011.
Since then the Corner to Corner team has led weekly Bible studies, taught over 125 neighbors Job Readiness skills, tutored an average of 22 reading students per week, launched a baking class, and most recently started the Business Entrepreneurship Academy.
Will and Tiffany have a beautiful son named Raylan who loves the Boston Red Sox and the Disney musical Newsies. They also have a one year old daughter Penelope who exudes joy. Together they love Jesus and the city of Nashville.