Reverend Nancy Yancey

Nancy IMG_0536Written by Colleen Ann McNally | Photo by Derek Wintermute

To each person, “home” means something different, yet something incredibly close to the heart. Reverend Nancy Yancey understands this in a unique way. In 1993, she was comfortable in her career as an interior designer, although she knew the greatest connection she had with clients was a spiritual one.

“When you’re designing someone’s home, you are really in their environment and you get to know who they are,” Yancey said.

Yet, when her pastor at Christ Church Episcopal in Norcross asked her to serve as interim director of the Rainbow House, a transitional housing program serving two families, Yancey didn’t know the vocational redesign in store for her. She traded designer homes for a close-knit community of safety and healing for homeless families, and was instrumental in growing Rainbow House to Rainbow Village, Inc., a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation.

“I call it a live, work, play community,” Yancey, now CEO, said with a smile. Located in Duluth, the all-in-one campus currently serves 18 families, with plans for expanded facilities and housing for 30 families by the end of 2016. Because breaking the cycles of homelessness and domestic violence has no quick fix, they offer a long-term solution through support services for the whole family.

“I go home everyday knowing that I am the richest woman alive because I’m so abundantly blessed, so I want to pass that blessing along,” Yancey said.

Her newfound profession at Rainbow Village furthered her spiritual calling, and she also served on the clergy staff at Christ Church between 1998 and 2008, passing along those blessings to children, in particular.

“I love to watch them blossom,” Yancey said. “One of the greatest joys of being there for 22 years is now I’m seeing that next generation come back as successful adults.”

Ultimately her goal would be to replicate the model of Rainbow Village throughout the country. Now, if only we could replicate women like Yancey.

Hair and makeup by Studio NV Salon | Shark bite tunic with long cardigan from Bohemia | Shane Co. red garnet diamond pendant and ring; red garnet earrings; sterling silver freshwater pearl and garnet necklace; sterling silver amethyst garnet smoky quartz and sea blue agate necklace and bracelet

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  1. Charles Yancey11-05-2014

    Nancy, you are a saint!