The Village Nac was formed when two hurting mothers came together to find a meaningful solution to the mental health crisis that had deeply affected both of their families. Pain often paves the way for purpose – and for Constance Engelking and Laura Culpepper, the heartache shared from firsthand exposure to ongoing mental health conditions and suicide brought forth a calling and a resolve to find a lasting solution.
Throughout their experience navigating through the mental health system, they quickly discovered that the biggest missing ingredient was “time”. Insurance companies seemed to have the ultimate control, resulting in treatments and hospital stays being cut short before healing had a chance to take root. Using “Community First Village” in Austin, Texas as their model, the determined mothers fine-tuned their mission to emphasize mental health, and set out to create an affordable healing environment that was not limited by the constraints of time.
After gathering ideas and inspiration at a 3-day CFV symposium in August of 2019, The Village Nac progressed from dream to reality in the space of just one year as their first residents moved in during August of 2020. The local community support for this much-needed mission has been overwhelming, with timing and “coincidences” being nothing short of miraculous.
The Village Nac will be eternally grateful to the Charles & Lois Marie Bright Foundation for the amazing gift of our 21 acre property (formerly a church camp) and to Jeff & Jackie Badders for our Phase I funding. We are also grateful beyond words to the dedicated group of volunteers who worked tirelessly every day during the hot summer months of 2020 to get the existing buildings ready for occupancy, and to the compassionate local churches, community organizations and individuals who generously gave gifts of time, talents and finances. Many thanks a well to “Community First Village” in Austin for their guidance and encouragement.
The groundwork has been established for what we pray will be a beautiful journey of transformation for all involved. The Village Nac is a place that promotes honesty and acceptance, that brings struggling people out of isolation and into community – a healing community empowered by God’s unconditional love, where broken people become whole.