Soldiers and Families Embraced Inc. (SAFE)
1812 Haynes St
Clarksville TN 37043
Combat veterans pair up with professionals to write songs
Mission Statement

SAFE’s mission is to strengthen the emotional health of our nation's heroes by delivering Mental Health Services to those who serve, those who served, and the families that continue to support them.  SAFE serves 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. By providing free, confidential, professional counseling for individuals and couples, we work to decrease barriers in accessibility for mental health services. 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.

CEO/Executive Director Mr. Lantz Smith
Board Chair John Eiland
Board Chair Company Affiliation
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
Graph: Expense Breakdown Graph - All Years
Projected Expenses $391,990.00
Projected Annual Revenue 394500 (2018)

SAFE’s mission is to strengthen the emotional health of our nation's heroes by delivering Mental Health Services to those who serve, those who served, and the families that continue to support them.  SAFE serves 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. By providing free, confidential, professional counseling for individuals and couples, we work to decrease barriers in accessibility for mental health services. 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 at 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 programs in the area that will serve veterans regardless of discharge status. In 2016, a supporter offered the use of a 5,000 square-foot building at a nominal cost and we gratefully moved in the beginning of 2017 to 1812 Haynes Street because we were outgrowing the use of the Wesley Foundation building.  

SAFE has served more than 4,000 Active Duty Service Members, Veterans, and their families since our inception in 2011. Over the last year, we have assisted 5 graduate interns in professional development through exposure to the intricacies related to working with military demographics and culture. This experience satisfied graduation requirements and also developed ambassadors in the counseling field with working knowledge of military life and culture. SAFE also continues to assist professional intermediate license level counselors obtain full unrestricted license. The client load continues to grow exponentially through word of mouth and referral process. We continue to provide transparency and consistency to our clients and funders. This has developed trust and confidence, forging SAFE as a staple in our community for counseling services.

SAFE will continue to focus on success in 2018 by providing counseling services to satisfy the increased need of the community. SAFE is now doing more with less by streamlining intake process and increasing efficiency of services delivered. This enables SAFE to reach more individuals and couples within the community who need help, but using less resources.
The measurement of our success has been established through complex outcome rating scales that we have incorporated to demonstrate positive growth therapeutically. These ratings demonstrate positive growth, but it is the direct feedback that truly illustrates the impact SAFE is having on individuals, couples, and the military community we serve.
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!!". “We get it.”
SAFE will continue to train up to 5 graduate interns in 2018 to increase the knowledge and competence of the growing network of providers familiar with working with the military population. SAFE works with providers that have not only been trained in military culture, demographics and population, but have also served in the military. They bring first hand knowledge of experiences that our clients are going though.
So, yes, we do "get it."
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.  
Because we recently moved into a new facility which we are able to us at a low cost, we need all kinds of supplies, both larger and everyday needs.  We need a copier, for example, but we also need paper towels, trash bags and office supplies.   
Other ways to donate, support, or volunteer
You can mail a check to SAFE at 1812 Haynes St., Clarksville, TN, 37043 or donate online at our website 
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.  In addition, many military families would like their children to receive services but worry that the children will never be allowed into the military if they have seen a counselor.  The rules are changing in the military but the fear and the perception that there will be repercussions is still real.  
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.  
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
Description We offer an annual songwriting retreat for up to 12 combat veterans or their family members who are each paired two professional songwriters at a retreat setting.  Over the weekend, the songwriters and participants work on both relationship building and creative ways to tell stories and find healing through music.  At the end of the weekend, the songs are first shared among the participants and then, at a later date, at a public concert.  There is no cost to the participants for this retreat.  We rely solely on private donors to provide this much-loved event.  
Budget $15,000
Population Served , ,
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 John Eiland
Term Jan 2018 to Jan 2019
Board Members
Nelson Boehms Voting
Dr. Sherryl Byrd APSU VP for Student AffairsVoting
John Eiland US Army Nurse Corps, Ret. LTCVoting
Tyrell Gaasch CPA, Stone Rudolph & HenryVoting
Rev. Meghan Holland Rector, Trinity Episcopal ChurchVoting
Eric Horton community volunteerVoting
Henry Moore AseraCareVoting
Dr. Jeff Rutter APSU Boyd Health CenterVoting
Stewart Sykes Sykes Funeral HomeVoting
Jeff Truitt Montgomery County GovernmentVoting
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 1
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 9
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0 0
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 8
Female 2
Unspecified 0
Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits 1
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? No
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 6
Standing Committees
Advisory Board / Advisory Council
CEO Comments In August of 2017, we retired our Executive Director, Rev. Jodi McCullah, and welcomed a new Executive Director, Lantz A. Smith, LMSW.  
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 Mr. Lantz Smith
Term Start Aug 2017
Experience Lantz honorably served in the United States Army for 13 years from 2000-2013. Service included, but not limited to Field Artillery, Medical Research at the Institute of Surgical Research, and in Medical Corps. He was associated with Veterans Affairs Healthcare in 2014. He also held a position for Department of Defense in the Warrior Transition Battalion 2015-2016. Lantz has over 18 years of working in and with the Military community. Lantz earned a Master's of Science in Social Work, with a Military Specialization from the University of Louisville in 2013. Bachelor of Science from Thomas Edison State University in 2009.
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.  
Full Time Staff 1
Part Time Staff 1
Volunteers 5
Contractors 12
Retention Rate 100%
Plans & Policies
Does the organization have a documented Fundraising Plan? Under Development
Does the organization have an approved Strategic Plan? Under Development
In case of a change in leadership, is a Management Succession plan in place? Yes
Does the organization have a Policies and Procedures Plan? Yes
Does the organization have a Nondiscrimination Policy? Yes
Senior Staff
Title Programs Director
Fiscal Year
Fiscal Year Start Aug 01 2017
Fiscal Year End July 31 2018
Projected Revenue $394,500.00
Projected Expenses $391,990.00
Endowment Spending Policy N/A
Detailed Financials
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201720162015
Program Expense$272,426$114,081$219,607
Administration Expense$154,313$36,173$41,194
Fundraising Expense$4,418$251$3,660
Payments to Affiliates--$0$0
Total Revenue/Total Expenses1.260.101.23
Program Expense/Total Expenses63%76%83%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue1%2%1%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201720162015
Total Assets$293,528$373,006$241,437
Current Assets$290,432$373,006$241,437
Long-Term Liabilities$0$0$0
Current Liabilities$18,726$269,047$1,788
Total Net Assets$274,802$103,959$239,649
Short Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201720162015
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities15.511.39135.03
Long Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201720162015
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets0%0%0%
Top Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201720162015
Top Funding Source & Dollar AmountContributions, Gifts and Grants $541,373Contributions, Gifts and Grants $13,826Contributions, Gifts & Grants $86,850
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountInvestment Income $592Program Revenue $989Investment Income $1,050
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar Amount -- -- --
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 Jan 2019
Solicitations Permit
2019 Permit
Organization Comments

In early 2017, SAFE completed its first, full, independent audit.  Before that, we had engaged in annual independent CUP audits of all transactions.  The results of the audit are on this site for public consumption.  Because of our grant cycle, last year, our board elected to change our fiscal year to one that begins on 8/1.  That resulted in the need for a short 990 for 2016.  Our audit covers the entire fiscal year of 8/1/15 to 7/31/16.  We apologize for any confusion.  In December of 2017, we are waiting for the results of our second full audit and will upload that along with our 990 once it is complete.  

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.  We filed a short year 990 to reflect our fiscal year change.  The next 990 will be for Aug 1, 2016 to July 31, 2017.  The new fiscal year started August 1 and was duly registered with necessary entities.  A full audit was completed in March 2017. Financial Comments Financials are taken from the 990.
990 was prepared by Thurman Campbell Group, PLC.
Comments provided by Kathryn Bennett 2/9/18.
Nonprofit Soldiers and Families Embraced Inc. (SAFE)
Address 1812 Haynes St
Clarksville, TN 37043
Primary Phone (931) 591-3241
Contact Email
CEO/Executive Director Mr. Lantz Smith
Board Chair John Eiland
Year of Incorporation 2010
Former Names
The Lazarus Project / APSU Wesley Foundation, Inc.

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