The Kataluma Project was established to provide temporary housing for families traveling to Nashville, Tennessee to care for a family member in the midst of a mental health crisis, and to offer other support to families of those suffering from addiction or mental illness. The fund’s goal is to relieve some of the immediate financial stress of the crisis, and to encourage family members that they are not alone. Similar to other medical traumas, families of those with mental illness are often taken by surprise by a hospitalization and the subsequent need to make emergency travel plans to be near their loved ones. For families whose crises bring them to Nashville, hotel rooms or other lodging will be made available through connections with local hotels and hospital personnel, and The Kataluma Project will work in tandem with Helping Hands to help cover lodging costs.
It has been said that mental illness is not a “casserole” disease. Families of mentally ill patients often do not experience the same level of family and community support as those dealing with other life-changing illnesses. Instead, they often suffer alone. The stigma surrounding mental illness in our country and in the church often adds a sense of shame and isolation to the overwhelming burden carried by these families. The Kataluma Project is dedicated to combating the stigma surrounding mental illness while simultaneously offering support and encouragement to families who are impacted by the mental illness of a loved one.
The Kataluma Project takes its name from the Greek word “kataluma,” which is translated as inn, bed chamber, or guest house. The word "kataluma" is found several times in scripture. In Bethlehem, Joseph and Mary were greeted by the innkeeper with the message that there was no room for them in the kataluma. Conversely, when the Good Samaritan cared for a stranger, he bound up his wounds and transported him to a kataluma, where he could rest and regain his strength. The establishment of The Kataluma Project is a way to live out the admonition to welcome the stranger and to offer hospitality for those in crisis.