2023 Year End Updates

Here are just a couple of our 2023 highlights

100 Day Challenge: Exceeded Our Goal

On August 28, we joined The Family Collective of the United Way of Greater Nashville along with more than 30 community organizations and government offices to launch the 100 Day Challenge. The main goal of the Challenge was to house 100 Nashville-area families experiencing homelessness in 100 days. As of November 30, we have housed 111 families. Though we have exceeded the goal, we are not slowing down. The Challenge is just the beginning. Our coalition of community and government partners are all working in close coordination to share best practices, continue to test new ways of working together and find faster solutions for helping families. We will use data and best practices uncovered to implement an ongoing strategy to more efficiently house families in our community. All of the groups involved in the Challenge believe family homelessness is solvable. Our collective vision is a Nashville where family homelessness is rare, brief and nonrecurring, a concept known as “functional zero.” There will likely always be isolated instances of family homelessness in Nashville, but our goal is that when this does happen, our community will be able to respond decisively and quickly so that every family facing homelessness will immediately be connected with resources and housing. We know this vision is possible, and we have the will, energy and expertise to move towards functional zero. That being said, we cannot do it without the help of donors and housing partners. Please visit 100DayNashville.org for more information on how to get involved. Together, we will do all in our power to continue this important work and make family homelessness a rare occurrence in our community.


Dancing for Safe Haven: A Record Breaking Fundraising Year

The 14th Annual Dancing for Safe Haven held on April 28 was a record-breaking event raising nearly $1.3 million. The funds raised will help us serve more families experiencing homelessness in 2023. Sandi Borchetta took home the Fundraising Favorite award, setting a new record for securing six presenting sponsorships—the most ever obtained by one dancer in event history. She also set a new record for the most funds raised by a dancer–$500,000 for Safe Haven’s mission. Dancer Paul Novak received recognition as well for raising over $220,000 for families experiencing homelessness. Gerell Webb dazzled the crowd with a Miami inspired Latin number, taking home the Audience Favorite award. Sandi Borchetta took the dance floor to close the show and secured a second title, Judges’ Favorite award, with a high energy and creative performance with surprises at every turn. View the highlights video by clicking here. SAVE THE DATE FOR 15th ANNUAL DANCING FOR SAFE HAVEN ON MAY 4, 2023.

2023 STAR DANCERS: Sandi Borchetta, Big Machine Label Group (Judges’ Favorite and Fundraising Favorite); Hal Cato, The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee; Tonya Mitchem Grindon, Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz, PC; Shannan Hatch, SESAC; Paul Novak, Community Health Systems; and Gerell Webb, itrain365 Fitness (Audience Favorite)

2023 CO-CHAIRS: Harry L. Allen, Kearstin Patterson, Candice Reed and Shane Tarleton

2023 PRESENTING SPONSORS: Starkey, AHEAD, Johnathon & Newman Arndt, Baker Donelson, Community Health Systems (CHS), Michael Fux Foundation, Music Has Value, PonTiki (Ray & DeDe Pronto), and Sam Mayer Racing

2023 JUDGES: Heather Byrd, Joshua Mundy and Shabaz Ujima

2023 EMCEES: Danielle Breezy and Shawn Parr


Received funding to help more families experiencing domestic violence

We have served 94 families experiencing domestic or intimate partner violence as of 11/20/23. Domestic violence is a common factor for families experiencing homelessness. Our program recently expanded to include specific housing and case management services for families experiencing homelessness due to domestic violence. We have always done this work, of course, with about one third of our referrals being families who were fleeing or experiencing domestic violence. With that number of referrals, we realized that there was a need for more specific case management and resources. We secured a grant from the Continuum of Care (CoC) Program, through HUD, which allows us to better serve these families. We are grateful to have received grant money that allows us to make sure we have the specialized knowledge and resources to better serve these families who have experienced domestic violence.


Launched HiSET adult education program

For the families we serve, the lack of a completed high school education can limit opportunities in the workforce. Many of our families wanted to take HiSET classes, but it was often difficult to find availability with the teacher shortage in Davidson County. Removing this significant challenge would open doors for our families, so last year, Senior Employment Navigator Jennifer Jones decided to earn her Teacher Certification to provide these much-needed classes. ‘Step Up with Safe Haven’ is our adult education program that provides HiSET classes in addition to job training opportunities and career exploration. Our weekly programs also include dinner and childcare. In addition to educational opportunities, the Step Up program also provides ways for the families to bond and have fun through dinners and holiday celebrations.


Provided Access to Educational Resources

This year, as of November 20, we have served 712 children. We work to lessen the effects of childhood trauma by providing basic needs, resources, and referrals along with family enrichment activities and educational support. One prof the ways we provide educational resources is in our Back to School Supply Drive. Prior to the start of this year’s school term, we collected 5,177 school supplies! Thank you to everyone who donates and supports this effort. These supplies make sure students at Safe Haven have the supplies they need to start the school year and to provide supplies throughout the school year.


Family Literacy

Having books in the home is proven to positively benefit children in a myriad of ways. A two-decade long study found that the mere presence of a home library increases children’s academic success, vocabulary development, attention and job attainment. Safe Haven aids family literacy by providing book baskets to families moving into their own housing. This year, delivered 192 book baskets to families.