Chosen from more than 136 applicants, Retrieving Independence and Safe Haven each received a $21,500 grant.

In its second year, Impact Nashville focused their grant process in two categories: nonprofit organizations in the startup phase and organizations focused on helping Middle Tennesseans end the cycle of debilitating conditions like homelessness, poverty, addiction, abuse, etc. Member committees reviewed and evaluated grant applications, conducted site visits and selected finalists for consideration by the general membership.

Five finalists presented to the Impact Nashville membership at the annual meeting – Conexion Americas, Project Return, Retrieving Independence, Safe Haven and Tennessee CASA.

“Our membership grew by 65 percent this year allowing us to expand our program to two large-dollar grants,” said Jolene Skinner, executive director of Impact Nashville. “We had many worthy organizations apply and our members generously donated their time to review and select these outstanding community partners.”

About Retrieving Independence

Retrieving Independance LogoRetrieving Independence was founded in July 2012 and received a grant designed for organizations who operate with less than $250,000 annually and have limited resources or access to funding. Retrieving Independence breeds, trains and places service dogs for children and adults living with physical and mental disabilities. The program utilizes inmates in the correction system as well as volunteers to raise and train dogs.

“This grant will provide much needed capital to support our growth,” said Shelly Steel, Board Chair for Retrieving Independence. “The collaboration with the Turney Center allows us to offer service dogs to those in need while providing an opportunity for prison inmates to learn job skills and give back to their community. The Impact Nashville grant will allow us to more safely transport the service animals between their primary trainer at the Turney Center and our weekend volunteers.”  Visit Website

About Safe Haven Family Shelter

Safe Haven LogoSafe Haven, Middle Tennessee’s only homeless shelter for entire families, empowers Middle Tennessee homeless families with children to achieve lasting self-sufficiency. The organization received Impact Nashville’s grant focused on transitioning members of our community out of a cyclical lifestyle.

“Our goal is to continue to serve more families and increase our education, training and therapy services,” executive director Joyce Lavery said. “The Impact Nashville grant will allow us to continue to expand our Workforce Development program to assist families with childcare costs, transportation, job skills, work attire and job-specific equipment.”  Visit Website