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2012 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Monroe Harding

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Education, Educational Services, Homeless & Housing, Housing & Shelter, Job Training, Mental Health, Residential Mental Health Treatment, Vocational Counseling

Mission: Monroe Harding continues to change young people’s lives every day. Founded in 1893 as an orphanage, Monroe Harding now serves children and youth who are in state’s custody. We believe every child deserves the chance for a better life. Our programs include Foster Care, Cooperative and Independent Living, and a Resource Center for older youth. Our range of services includes education, vocational skills, relationship building, spiritual formation, health & wellness, and - most importantly - the guidance and support of a caring adult in a safe and stable home. For more information on how you can help change the life of a young person, please visit our website at www.monroeharding.org or call us at (615) 298-5573.

Target demographics: We serve children and youth in state's custody

Programs: Monroe harding does for children and youth in state's custody what a family would do - love, support, and a chance for success. We have been doing this since 1893 and today accomplish our mission through five programs:middle tennessee collaborative: monroe harding, inc. Is the lead agency and a member of the middle tennessee collaborative, which contracts with the state of tennessee to provide a wide range of services through it's member agencies. The collaborative administers member billings to the state, payments from the state and monitors the member agencies performance. The collaborative provides member agencies with the expertise and support to help members achieve their service obligations. In 2014, the collaborative members provided services for one hundred ten (110) foster family youth, one hundred fifty (150) residential youth and twenty three (23) independent living residential youth. The youth served by the collaborative include boys and girls ranging in age from birth to twenty-one.

foster care: in partnership with the tn department of children services (dcs), we work with children's birth families to achieve, if possible, a permanent, safe, and nurturing home. When reunification is not possible, we strive for permanency for these children through adoption or independence. During 2014, mhi provided safe families for one hundred thirteen (113) children; one hundred eight (108) became part of new foster families or private foster homes, five (5) were adopted, and twenty nine (29) were reunified with their birth families. Since 2009, this program has more than tripled. From recruitment to initial and ongoing training, to 24/7 support, therapeutic services, respite care and enrichment activities, we implement best practices to ensure each placement is as successful as possible.

cooperative living (cl): provides 24-hr care for boys from states' custody, ages 16 - 18, living in three cottages on the monroe harding (mh) campus. All have experienced trauma, abuse or neglect, and live in poverty. We serve twenty four (24) youth at a time, with an average length of stay of about six months. In 2014 we cared for seventy seven (77) young men, with 62% returning to their families. These residents were 44% white, 39% african-american, 10% hispanic, and 7% biracial. Youth receive educational support, mentoring, tutoring, post-secondary ed. Planning, life skills/job training, participate in cultural, wellness, and service learning; occurring after school and on weekends. Outcomes include educational gains; improved emotional health; improved physical health; all contributing to each youth's path toward independent living, academic success, gainful employment and overall health.

Community Stories

3 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters


Board Member

Rating: 5

I was introduced to Monroe Harding more than 15 years ago and have supported them in different roles since that time. Many in the community may not understand the desperate lives of the youth that are served by MH. If they did, they would do everything in their power "change the system." I've read letters from teens who have move from hopeless (in their minds) to viable citizens who have learned the value of work, the importance of integrity, and (occasionally) the purpose that God has for their lives. I'll never forget the words of a former MH participant as he encouraged those in the MH program to cut the ties that connect them to a life that will probably lead to jail or death. He shared how satisfying it has been to be enrolled in college, have an apartment and own a car. Independence and self-worth are two consistent themes that run through the halls and programs of Monroe Harding. Everybody deserves a chance . . .


Board Member

Rating: 5

I joined Monroe Harding's BOD three years ago and have been fully engaged with the mission of Changing Young People's Lives ever since. This organization works with a small budget to bring great value to the community. The staff works minor miracles in turning young people's attitudes and aspirations in a positive direction and in a short time frame. Monroe Harding has big dreams for the youth of middle Tennessee who need their services and the staff, BOD and our many supporters are working hard to make sure those dreams come true.

Darryl C.

Board Member

Rating: 4

I have been involved with Monroe Harding for over 4 years as a volunteer and Board member. During that time I have seen how this organization has touched the lives of numerous young men and given them hope and direction. Monroe Harding has been serving youth for over a hundred years and continues to provide much needed assistance to children and youth.