NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — A Middle Tennessee nonprofit is raising funds to help rehabilitate people experiencing homelessness by training them how to care for horses.
It’s tucked back on an unassuming road in rural Cheatham County. One that’s easy to miss if you’re not looking closely.
Colby’s Army has a barn there. It’s full of all kinds of donations that will be up for sale Oct. 15 & 16.
“Right now we’re helping about 85 people living in homelessness,” said Lisa Wysocky, founder of the homeless help group, Colby’s Army.
It’s named after Wysocky’s late son.
“Colby’s Army was founded in 2009. My son was named Colby and he passed away from a drug overdose,” she said. “He had schizophrenia, could not be in a building. The walls kept closing in on him.”
She says he was homeless as a result of his condition.
“He was the kind of kid that would come home without his shirt or his shoes when he was 9, 10, 12 years old because he met somebody who needed them more,” said Wysocky.
This nonprofit was founded in response. It’s a way to help others.
Some might wonder, how does a horse barn help the homeless?
“So, we’re serving a lot of homeless in Nashville, some here in Cheatham County. We have an active volunteer base of 45 and it just keeps growing. It’s been absolutely amazing the lives that we touch,” said Wysocky.
On the saddle, Wysocky is showing people how to care, how to learn new skills and the precision of riding.
Today, Liz Mallard is riding.
She’s formerly homeless and recently got permanent housing.
“I remember Lisa offered this opportunity to me and I was so nervous,” said Mallard. “Not only like, this is my first time taking horse lessons, but shy, can I do this?”
It’s difficult to explain how a horse can help make someone feel better. But Mallard said it’s therapeutic to work with them.
As Mallard can explain, no one tells you how hard it can be to leave the streets behind.
“This is the only thing that I look forward to,” said Mallard. “With life on my terms, everything has changed everything is good. When you get stressed out about learning to live a new life, you come out here and just forget everything.”
The items in this barn were all donated to help keep this mission alive. Clothes, antiques, you name it.
Because while Wysocky’s son may be gone, as long as this mission moves forward, others will be honored through his memory.
Colby’s Army is hosting a yard sale extravaganza this weekend to raise money for the nonprofit. Anyone who wants to go to the yard sale can find information about it’s location through this link.