Soldiers and Families Embraced Inc. (SAFE)
510 College Street
Clarksville TN 37040
Soldiers returning from deployment were given help reconnecting with their children.
Mission Statement

SAFE’s mission is to serve as a resource for the community to ease the readjustment and reintegration of military members returning from our current wars and their families, as well as veterans from previous eras. We work towards peace and healing by providing free, confidential, professional counseling for individuals and couples, advocating for clients, assisting the community at large in finding these services through other agencies, or facilitating the creation of programs by individual organizations. In addition, we strive to help develop future mental healthcare professionals who work with our demographic by offering internships and other professional development opportunities. In this way we are able to directly address the constantly growing need for well-trained providers to our community.

Leadership
CEO/Executive Director Rev. Jodi McCullah
Board Chair Carol Clark
Board Chair Company Affiliation Austin Peay State University
History & Background
Year of Incorporation 2010
Former Names
The Lazarus Project / APSU Wesley Foundation, Inc.
Organization's type of tax exempt status 501-C3
Financial Summary
 
 
Projected Expenses $340,700.00
Projected Annual Revenue $342,500.00 (2017)
Statements
Mission

SAFE’s mission is to serve as a resource for the community to ease the readjustment and reintegration of military members returning from our current wars and their families, as well as veterans from previous eras. We work towards peace and healing by providing free, confidential, professional counseling for individuals and couples, advocating for clients, assisting the community at large in finding these services through other agencies, or facilitating the creation of programs by individual organizations. In addition, we strive to help develop future mental healthcare professionals who work with our demographic by offering internships and other professional development opportunities. In this way we are able to directly address the constantly growing need for well-trained providers to our community.

Background Soldiers And Families Embraced (SAFE) began as an outreach to military-connected students APSU in Clarksville, Tn, which is adjacent to Fort Campbell, KY, and home to more than 24% veterans, according to the 2010 US Census.  Originally called Lazarus Project, the program took on the name Soldiers And Families Embraced in 2011 when it became a 501.c.3. and began outreach into the community.   SAFE is one of the few, if not the only, program in the area that will serve veterans regardless of discharge status.  Too many of our Soldiers are being discharged with dishonorable or other than honorable status because of issues caused by undiagnosed Traumatic Brain Injuries.   
Impact

We have served more than 1500 combat veterans, service members and families (both individuals, couples and entire family units), providing masters’ level, professional counseling since 2011 at no cost to clients.

We have graduated more than a dozen undergraduate and graduate level interns trained in deployment psychology and given them one-on-one experience with this demographic as well as stipends to help them with costs.

We have helped more than a dozen masters’ level counselors complete licensure hours by providing paid supervision.

We have maintained an 3-year, ongoing support group for Soldiers living with TBI/PTSD and their caregivers.

There are many clear indicators that we are having a significant impact not only in the Clarksville/Montgomery County area, but on the adjoining community of Fort Campbell, KY as well.
- From the beginning, our client load as grown exponentially even though our main advertising is through word of mouth and referrals.  Our fastest growing demographic is children.  We pay 12 contracted, specially­ trained, professional counselors $50/hour to see our clients. Our services are FREE, however, to our clients and we will see all veterans, regardless of discharge. All of our counselors are at least graduate level and are either veterans or military family members & are trained in deployment psychology. We also have up to 3 Bachelors and Master-Level social work interns in our offices.
- We have had many client success stories, and our goals are being met as shown by our increasing client load. We do almost NO advertisement with the community or our demographic. 95% of our referrals are through word of mouth- current clients who are working with us and telling others that we are helping, we can be trusted, and that "We get it".
- Clients have shared statements such as " I wouldn't change anything at SAFE... I really appreciate everything you've done for us!", " I can't thank you enough for what you have done for me and my family", " SAFE is definitely a lifesaver!!", " I needed some serious help. I knew that I was going to lose everything that was important to me. SAFE is the avenue that brought me back and saved my family", " Ya'll are awesome and we love all the help you've given us", and " Just knowing we have SAFE in our corner for support and 'kicking ass' is a awesome thing. Keep it up, we wouldn't have made it without you!!".
Needs
We continue to offer ALL of our services FREE OF CHARGE. We’ve made huge strides in many areas, and our capability to complete our mission and meet the needs of our clients as well as bring awareness to veterans issues grows more and more everyday.
   Thus, our greatest need currently is for funds to pay for counselors and/or for counselors who will donate time on a regular basis. A single one-hour session typically costs us $50.   Our counselors work for significantly less than the going rate because they are mostly veterans or military family members themselves and believe in this mission.  
    
Other ways to donate, support, or volunteer
You can mail a check to SAFE at 510 College St., Clarksville, TN, 37040 or donate online at our website http://soldiersandfamiliesembraced.org. 
Service Categories
Primary Organization Category Mental Health & Crisis Intervention / Counseling
Secondary Organization Category Civil Rights, Social Action, Advocacy /
Tertiary Organization Category Education /
Areas of Service
Areas Served
TN - Montgomery
KY - Christian
We serve all military and ex-military and families in the Clarksville/Montgomery County area, including all of Fort Campbell.
 
Fort Campbell is one of the largest posts in the US Army, and consistently comprises large portions of combat troops in the most dangerous areas and the installation has one of the highest rates of suicides DoD-wide. In addition, Clarksville has the second-highest veterans population in the US at 24% and there are few other available services for counseling.
Board Chair Statement Our challenges remain being able to provide these services free of charge and with no paper trail; too many of our military families still will not seek help if there is a paper trail.  On paper, the rule is that seeking counseling will not hurt your career; in reality, it still does hurt a military career to have sought out counseling.  
CEO Statement
We continue to see signs that what we set out to do continues to grow and have a bigger and bigger impact on our demographic. We are contacted by other mental health and veterans service agencies in the Mid-Tennessee area on a consistent basis because of the positive impact we are having in our community. We are also starting to be seen as experts in our field on a national level as well- we have been contacted by civic organizations and communities from as far away as California, Montana, Texas and Washington, D.C. that have heard (again, by word of mouth) about our program and our approach asking how we are able to do what we do as well as seeking advice so that they may also start their own programs. In addition, recently a nationally-recognized foundation that works with wounded veterans expressed the difficulty with getting veterans to open up to them, leading them to ask us "How do you get them to TALK to you? What are you doing?"  We tell them we have built trust and work hard to keep that trust.  
Programs
Description We are in the process of rebuilding weekly support groups for combat veterans.  We also have the capability to offer groups for women veterans, TBI, and substance abuse, dependent on need/demand.
Category Mental Health, Substance Abuse Programs, General/other Specialized Counseling
Population Served Adults, At-Risk Populations,
Program Success Monitored By
  • dealing with the challenges that are deployment-related are often invisible and leave people feeling isolated or uncertain about whether anyone else faces the same problems. We hope to help people feel less alone. Group members find that their feelings, fears, fantasies, and hopes are shared by others.
  • to support and help members make positive changes to how they deal with issues and crises as individuals and as a family. Our groups also encourage members to find support from family and friends and to relate more effectively to professional caregivers.
  • group members learn from the insight and experience of others. This learning can be educational and behavioral as they learn about resources or new coping strategies from each other. 
 
Examples of Program Success
  • "Great program, informative without being invasive or overly glossy" -Anonymous Spouse
  • "I liked the presentation! :-) " - Anonymous Spouse
  • "It was the first time in a long time that I had been able to wake up and think maybe I can do this. Maybe I am not as alone as I thought before." – Karrin M.
  • "I struggled because we weren't communicating well, I had my struggles at home with our son and just with worrying about him and dealing with everything myself. Attending counseling and their support groups helped" -Joanne M.
Description We offer individual counseling services, which are conducted in a “safe place” where veterans and family members can feel free to discuss any issues or problems without fear of judgment. Our staff and counselors are experienced with the unique challenges faced by veterans and family members, and most are either veterans or family members of veterans themselves.
Category Human Services, General/Other Services for Specific Populations
Population Served Adults, Children and Youth (0 - 19 years), Other Named Groups
Description We offer advocacy for military members and their families who are navigating the military and/or Department of Veteran's Affairs system. We ensure that our clients have a "voice" to speak on their behalf as needed. When our clients are required to deal with the red tape and beaurocracy, especially if they are suffering from stress, TBI, PTSD, etc. they are often unable to deal with it emotionally or even physically and mentally. We walk the client through the process to ensure they are dealt with fairly and that they understand what is required of them and what their rights are. 
Category Civil Rights, Social Action & Advocacy, General/Other Disabled Persons' Rights
Population Served At-Risk Populations, Families,
Short Term Success
  • to guarantee that our clients are able to navigate a confusing and challenging system with as little stress and resistance as possible.
  • to continually reach out to workers and others within the healthcare and claims processing system to show them we are with our clients not to cause problems or animosity, but to simply help people, and to keep them from being "lost" within a potentially confusing and frustrating process.
Long term Success
  • to educate the general public as well as individuals within the military and veterans health care system, and to show that our clients are not just numbers or a faceless stack of papers in a file folder, but people who have made sacrifice after sacrifice and only want the treatment and benefits they have earned. 
Examples of Program Success
  • "We had contacted another organization that "helps veterans" but they never returned our calls or emails. Then we got in touch with The Lazarus Project, and we can't thank you enough for being there for us. We felt so alone for so long.  We hope some day we do something in return, that maybe we can help other families who might have to go through this kind of pain and stress."
Description We offer training and awareness programs to community and civic organizations such as churches, local schools and any other groups who seek to reach out to veterans in the local community. Through this training we hope to remove any of the stigmas or misconceptions attached to being a veteran, and to educate others about the unique challenges as well as the strengths that our veterans and families have. 
Category Community Development, General/Other Organizational Development & Training
Population Served General/Unspecified, ,
Short Term Success
  • to increase the dialogue between the general public and veterans & their families, thereby not only increasing understanding between the two groups, but fostering a trust and solid relationship where both parties can reach mutual goals and overcome shared challenges. 
Long term Success
  • to educate the community in order to show that as a group, veterans and their families can not only contribute and share unique individual strengths, but can use these strengths to shape and improve their organizations and the community at large.
  • to not only reduce, but completely remove the stigma, fears and misunderstandings with regards to veterans and their family members.
Program Success Monitored By
  • increased dialogue among the community and a shared sense of purpose when confronting challenges veterans face every day.
  • more programs and outreach started not by The Lazarus Project, but by local community groups and individuals. 
Examples of Program Success
  • "The training you guys gave was great! There is a desperate need for more of this type of training in the community" - Lynette T.
  • "Great Training and I want to help spread the word!" - Sally S.
  • "Very well organized. Helpful to hear different perspectives (Spouse of a Deployed Soldier, a Veteran, Clinical Psychologist and Clergy). - Anonymous
  • "Lots of information to absorb, but extremely thought-provoking. We need to be more helpful and speak out about these issues!!"        - Anonymous
CEO Comments We are in a unique situation here so close to Fort Campbell, home of the 101st Airborne Division, 5th Special Forces Group and 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment. Fort Campbell soldiers have seen multiple deployments. A typical soldier is deployed 2-5 times for a year at a time.  Children of these soldiers have not had one parent at home for as much as half of their young lives. While some children learn to adjust, all face a great deal of stress, especially since the casualty count has been high and as many or more soldiers have committed suicide as have died in combat. The children struggle with anger management issues, depression and stress-related symptoms and often the families cannot find or afford the help they need. We first encountered this when military-related students at APSU were struggling to stay in school because of family issues. We are constantly striving to find more practitioners and help to fill the growing need for counselors and groups for adults and children.  We are blessed to have great support in the community and national recognition that we are an important voice in the effort to help combat vets find healing after war.  
Foundation Comments
The Lazarus Project is a program of the Austin Peay State University branch of the Wesley Foundation, which is an affiliate of the United Methodist Church.
Board Chair
Board Chair Carol Clark
Company Affiliation Austin Peay State University
Term Jan 2016 to Jan 2017
Email clarkc@apsu.edu
Board Members
NameAffiliationStatus
Jill Ayers Esq.Batson Nolan, PLCVoting
Nelson Boehms Voting
Rev. B.J. Brack Community VolunteerVoting
Dr. Sherryl Byrd APSU VP for Student AffairsVoting
Elizabeth Carmichael CPAVoting
Carol Clark Community VolunteerVoting
John Clement Workforce EssentialsVoting
John Eiland US Army Nurse Corps, Ret. LTCVoting
Henry Moore AseraCareVoting
Dr. Jeff Rutter APSU Boyd Health CenterVoting
Jeff Truitt Montgomery County GovernmentVoting
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 1
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 10
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0 0
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 7
Female 4
Unspecified 0
Governance
Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits 3
Board Meeting Attendance % 95%
Does the organization have written Board Selection Criteria? Yes
Does the organization have a written Conflict of Interest Policy? Yes
Percentage of Board Members making Monetary Contributions 100%
Percentage of Board Members making In-Kind Contributions 100%
Does the Board include Client Representation? Yes
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 6
Board CoChair
Term Jan 2016 to Jan 2017
CEO Comments We are currently working with a consultant from the Center For NonProfit Management to prepare for the eventual succession of our leadership and to better align our practices with our longterm plans.  
Foundation Staff Comments
The Lazarus Project is a program of the Austin Peay State University branch of the Wesley Foundation, which is an affiliate of the United Methodist Church.
Executive Director/CEO
Executive Director Rev. Jodi McCullah
Term Start June 2010
Email jodi@safetn.org
Experience I am an ordained Minister in the United Methodist Church and US Army veteran. I have served churches since 1996 as lead pastor and was appointed to APSU Wesley Foundation as Campus Minister/Director in June 2007 after completing my M. Div. at Vanderbilt Divinity School.  SAFE Soldiers And Families Embraced started as the Lazarus Project in 2010. At the time, I split my time between that and the traditional campus ministry.  As of 2015, the United Methodist Church pays my salary to work fulltime for SAFE, an in-kind donation.  
Co-CEO
Experience Rev. Jodi McCullah is a US Army veteran, discharged honorably in 1979. Her salary as Executive Director is currently paid by the United Methodist Church as part of their campus outreach.  Many of our clients are Austin Peay State University students or their families.  
Staff
Full Time Staff 2
Part Time Staff 0
Volunteers 5
Contractors 12
Retention Rate 100%
Senior Staff
Title Programs Director
Experience/Biography
 
 
Fiscal Year
Fiscal Year Start Aug 01 2016
Fiscal Year End July 31 2017
Projected Revenue $342,500.00
Projected Expenses $340,700.00
Endowment Spending Policy Income Only
Detailed Financials
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201520142013
Program Expense$219,607$275,538$88,302
Administration Expense$41,194$0$15,210
Fundraising Expense$3,660$3,117$0
Payments to Affiliates$0$0$0
Total Revenue/Total Expenses1.231.010.60
Program Expense/Total Expenses83%99%85%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue1%1%0%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201520142013
Total Assets$241,437$181,051$27,464
Current Assets$241,437$181,051$27,464
Long-Term Liabilities$0$0$0
Current Liabilities$1,788$2,391$0
Total Net Assets$239,649$178,660$27,464
Short Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201520142013
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities135.0375.72--
Long Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201520142013
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets0%0%0%
Top Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201520142013
Top Funding Source & Dollar AmountContributions, Gifts & Grants $86,850Foundations and Corporations $199,695Contributions, Gifts, and Grants $61,314
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountInvestment Income $1,050Contributions, Gifts, and Grants $79,846Investment Income $512
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar Amount --Investment Income $1,591 --
Capital Campaign
Is the organization currently conducting a Capital Campaign for an endowment or the purchase of a major asset? No
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? No
State Charitable Solicitations Permit
TN Charitable Solicitations Registration Yes - Expires Dec 2017
Organizational Budgets and Other Documents
2016-17 Fiscal Year Budget2017
SAFE 2015 Projected Budget2015
SAFE 2014 Budget2014
SAFE Budget2013
Organization Comments

First, we have engaged independent CUP audit of all transactions for the past three years; our plan for January of 2017, however, is a full, independent audit.

In early 2015, we engaged the accounting firm of Stone, Rudolph & Henry in Clarksville. Prior to that time, our checks were written and taxes calculated and paid by a series of three self-employed accountants. When our funding jumped from less than $50,000 to more than $200,000 in one year, we quickly needed more help. When Stone, Rudolph & Henry came aboard, they immediately dealt with some mistakes and discrepancies regarding taxes and 1099's to place SAFE in good standing with the IRS.

After our 2014 calendar year audit report was received in May 2015, we implemented those changes immediately, based upon recommendations from the report.

In 2016, in order to become a grant recipient from Healing Trust and in order to be accepted into United Way, we underwent an Internal Security Review and both entities applauded our efforts and accepted us into their programs as fiscally responsible and transparent.  While the process was rigorous, we were grateful for the steep learning curve and a chance to prove our desire to serve our clients faithfully with donations and grants we receive.  
 
In addition, in order to be fully eligible for United Way funding in 2017, we changed our fiscal year to reflect our grant cycle and allow for a more timely audit of 2015-16 finances.  The new fiscal year started August 1 and was duly registered with necessary entities.  A full audit is set for early 2017.  


GivingMatters.com Financial Comments
 *** This organization changed its fiscal year in 2013.  The organization now operates on a calendar year for its fiscal year.  Please take note of the dates demarcating 2013 financial periods in the breakdown of the financials.***
 
2013 and 2014 financials are taken from the 990.
990 was prepared by Stone, Rudolph, and Henry, PLC.
Comments provided by Kathryn Bennett 4/6/16.
 
Nonprofit Soldiers and Families Embraced Inc. (SAFE)
Address 510 College Street
Clarksville, TN 37040
Primary Phone (931) 591-3241
Contact Email info@safetn.org
CEO/Executive Director Rev. Jodi McCullah
Board Chair Carol Clark
Board Chair Company Affiliation Austin Peay State University
Year of Incorporation 2010
Former Names
The Lazarus Project / APSU Wesley Foundation, Inc.

Related Information

Mental Health and Mental Illness

“I’ve never shared my story with anybody.” -- The first step toward recovery can be the most difficult. The ability to engage in productive activities, to find relationships with other people fulfilling, and to adapt to change and cope with adversity are each vital to enjoying a happy and healthy life. But each of these facilities can be significantly impaired by mental health disorders. A mental health diagnosis should not define who a person is, or what a person can achieve through treatment and support. Middle Tennessee nonprofit organizations are ready to help make that first step toward good health a little easier.