Predators Foundation highlights these featured charities
The Predators Foundation's Board of Directors selects four charities each year to be highlighted throughout the season. These "featured charities" are provided game tickets for youth, GNASH and player visits, and recognition in team publications. as well as other unique opportunities for enhanced publicity.
The featured charities for the 2007-2008 season are:
WEB SITE: www.safehaven.org
MISSION STATEMENT: Our mission is to empower homeless families with children to live independently through spiritual, financial, and social guidance.
COUNTIES WE SERVE: Davidson, Rutherford, Wilson, Sumner, Robertson, Williamson. We service all of Middle Tennessee.
ABOUT SAFE HAVEN FAMILY SHELTER: Safe Haven Family Shelter has served the community for over 20 years. Safe Haven is the only shelter program in Middle Tennessee that houses homeless families as an entire unit. SHFS accepts married couples with children and single parents with children, serving 15 families at a time between 2 emergency shelters and 6 transitional homes.
Many families at Safe Haven are experiencing homelessness for the first time, due to a loss of a job or spouse, eviction, high medical bills, or poor budgeting skills. The overall goal of the program is to enable families to return to mainstream living by giving them the tools necessary to make a permanent and positive transition. The typical length of stay for a family is 30 to 45 days.
Upon entering the program, the resident(s) must be employed or in pursuit of a job. 75 percent of their earned income is put into a savings account so when they graduate the program, they have a substantial amount of income to make a fresh start. .
Safe Haven's residents receive Life Skills, Budgeting courses, and Parental counseling. They are also required to adhere to program rules, complete chores, and meet weekly with the Program Manager to receive counseling and goal monitoring. The program is designed to encourage proactive behavior by requiring residents to be responsible and accountable for their actions while at Safe Haven.
Graduates of the shelter program may be recommended for transitional housing. Transitional housing is a great benefit of the Safe Haven program, and is privilege to deserving families. The 6 transitional homes are located throughout Nashville, and residents may live in the homes for an extended period of time paying minimal rent, while still receiving guidance from a Program Manager.
DID YOU KNOW? Organizational statistics for the last fiscal year reveal that there is an ongoing need to aid homeless families in Middle Tennessee. In 2005, Safe Haven provided services to 327 homeless men, women, and children, and 65 percent of the families have children under the age of 8. Out of the 327 people served, 220 were minor children. 85 percent of all residents entering the program were unemployed, and 93 percent of those residents left the program with secured employment.
HOW THE PREDATORS FOUNDATION'S GRANT MONEY WILL BE USED: Funding will be used to support our "Mended Hearts Program" which provides comprehensive training that allow our families to achieve and sustain long-term success. Each family must reach certain milestones before graduating from this program. When a family enters the program, they meet with a program manager to come up with a plan of action. The children are immediately enrolled in either daycare or school, and if needed, tutoring is provided for the children. Parents are required to gain employment and must save 75% of their income to be used when they graduate from the program to start their life anew. Parents also receive training and guidance in areas such as: job readiness, basic life skills, budgeting, parenting, personal accountability, and social interaction.
Safe Haven Family Shelter is the only 24 hour shelter program in Middle Tennessee that can serve an entire family unit. Safe Haven anticipates that it will provide programmatic support and transitional assistance to approximately 110 families, consisting of roughly 429 men, women and children in 2006. Our specific objective is to provide families with the tools they need to achieve long-term sustainability once they are returned to an independent lifestyle.
WEB SITE: www.dsamt.org
MISSION STATEMENT: The Down Syndrome Association of Middle Tennessee is a non-profit organization of whose mission is to enhance the quality of life throughout the lifespan of individuals with Down syndrome by providing support, information and education to those individuals, their families and the communities that make up the Middle Tennessee region.
COUNTIES SERVED: All of the counties that make up Middle Tennessee.
ABOUT THE DOWN SYNDROME ASSOCIATION OF MIDDLE TENNESSEE: DSAMT was formed in 1995 by a group of parents with children with Down syndrome. DSAMT began as a volunteer supported organization to provide accurate information about Down syndrome and peer support to families in the Middle Tennessee region. In 1998, DSAMT opened an office and hired an Executive Director, Sheila Moore who is still in her position. DSAMT is a non-profit 501(c)3 tax exempt organization. DSAMT's leadership consists of eleven Board of Directors and the Executive Director. Today, DSAMT works with more than 500 families in the Middle Tennessee region. DSAMT is affiliated with the National Down Syndrome Society and the National Down Syndrome Congress. Both national organizations provide DSAMT with current up-to-date information on research and advocacy concerning individuals with Down syndrome. DSAMT works closely with other disability organizations locally and throughout the state to provide support for individuals with Down syndrome. DSAMT has become the leading resource for parents in Middle Tennessee for accurate and useable information on Down syndrome issues. We take the time to speak with mothers, father and guardians about concerns and needs for the family. We help with school meetings, behavior issues, financial planning and future planning. We collaborate to bring in speakers and hold workshops for the community to participate in. We also provide many social and recreational opportunities for the youngsters and young adults we serve. Through varied educational programs ranging from tutoring, computer training, sports education, homework help, and mentoring, the Club seeks to provide self-esteem, courage, and positive values.
DID YOU KNOW? The Down Syndrome Association of Middle Tennessee is unique. We are available at any time to speak with educators, parents and families to discuss life issues and find resolve. Down syndrome is considered a disability by most but we focus on the abilities of all people. We know that everyone is more similar than different. DSAMT continues to further the faith and confidence in our families and members by offering creative opportunities and programs for them to explore.
HOW THE PREDATORS FOUNDATION'S GRANT MONEY WILL BE USED: Incepted in 2005, My Life, My Choice. My Plan is a two week camp whose focus is on the physical and emotional health of youth with Down syndrome. Campers arrive at 8am and leave at 4pm Monday thru Friday. During each day a healthy life skill is reviewed and reinforced such as learning the Franklin Trolley, using the Williamson Rec. center, retaining preliminary job skills, providing thorough hygienic self care, exercising, playing sports, eating healthy, and fostering long lasting relationships. MMM provides essential, intensive, constructive skills not available on a daily basis when school is not in session.
WEB SITE: www.bcnash.org
MISSION STATEMENT: Bethlehem Centers of Nashville promotes self-reliance and positive life choices for children, teens, adults, and families in Middle Tennessee by delivering and advocating quality programs and services.
COUNTIES WE SERVE: Davidson County
ABOUT BETHLEHEM CENTERS OF NASHVILLE: Founded in 1894 as a rescue mission and playschool, in the past 112 years, Wesley House, Centenary Center, and Bethlehem Center have evolved into one multi-service agency now known as Bethlehem Centers of Nashville (BCN) with facilities in North, South, downtown Nashville, and Camp Dogwood in Cheatham County.
Most of the people and families we serve reside in the two poorest census tracts in Davidson County (United Way and Tennessee State University needs assessment study, 2003). Ninety-seven percent of the children, youth, families and elderly served by Bethlehem live at or below 90% of the Health and Human Services federal poverty guidelines. Approximately 90% of the children and youth in our programs live in single parent households. One-hundred percent of the elderly we serve through our hot lunch and seniors' club programs are eligible for and receive needs-based public assistance through subsidized housing, TANF, SSI, food stamps and TennCare or Medicaid.
WEB SITE: www.projectreflect.org
MISSION STATEMENT: "Bringing good news to the poor."
COUNTIES SERVED: The children's programs serve Davidson County.
ABOUT PROJECT REFLECT: Project Reflect was chartered in 1992 by Sister Sandra Smithson, a Roman Catholic Franciscan nun, as an organization to empower poor people. The first division to emerge was Smithson Berry Publications, whose early publishing projects were distributed in-house and locally in the Nashville, Tennessee, area. The second division, Project Reflect Education Programs (PREP), emerged in 1994 with a six-week summer school for at-risk children. It was located at Moses McKissack Elementary School across the street from a public housing complex. The 48 children in attendance that first summer learned to read and to behave appropriately for a public school setting. In 1997, Metro Nashville Public Schools awarded Project Reflect the use of historic Cockrill School in which to house offices and programs for at-risk children. In 2000, the Reflect Mission Community division emerged. And in August 2003, Project Reflect opened a chartered public school for at-risk students in kindergarten through grade four. The school, Smithson Craighead Academy, is named after Mary Smithson Craighead, distinguished educator and first PREP Director. The children's programs operate at the Smithson Craighead Campus located in Northeast Nashville, an 11-3/4 acre facility purchased in 2003 for Project Reflect by a donor. Our long-term goal is for Project Reflect's central administration office and the four divisional offices--Smithson Berry Publications, PREP, Reflect Mission Community, and Charter Schools--to be consolidated at the Smithson Craighead Campus.
DID YOU KNOW? Project Reflect, chartered in 1992 for educational purposes, has four divisions. The two children's divisions-PREP and Charter Schools-serve children at risk of failing school ("at-risk" children). These children predominantly come from families that are economically poor and reflect a culture of poverty. Programs include Smithson Craighead Academy charter school for at-risk children in kindergarten through grade four, PREP After-School, PREP Summer School, PREP Pre-school, and Young Emerging Scholars (at-risk teenagers). These programs focus on teaching basic skills of reading, math, computer, and positive behavior that includes values training and spiritual education. The overall goal is to transform the children internally so they will have the resiliency to meet the multiple challenges in their lives; fully develop their gifts and talents; and become caring, informed, and productive citizens. Our two smaller and less visible divisions are Smithson Berry Publications and Reflect Mission Community. Smithson Berry markets Project Reflect's literacy program, Reading Success (www.ittybittycity.com). Reflect Mission Community works with volunteers to deepen their spirituality and commitment to working on behalf of the poor. Our main location is the Smithson Craighead Campus located in Northeast Nashville on 11-3/4 acres.
HOW THE PREDATORS FOUNDATION'S GRANT MONEY WILL BE USED: Our award will be used toward the purchase of children's outdoor recreational equipment, specifically, climbing gym equipment. This is one phase of developing outdoor facilities as we work toward opening up our campus as a recreational center for neighborhood children.