The mission of The HELP Center is to provide ex-offenders, offenders, and low income individuals support to restructure their lives and achieve success with counseling, educational, employment, and supportive services.
The HELP Center was founded December 16, 2014 by Tamika Braden in Nashville Tennessee. Tamika Braden is the founding incorporator, serves at CEO/Executive Director for The HELP Center. Braden has over ten years’ experience in Quality Control and Case Management with a track record of producing extraordinary results in both areas and a commitment to human development and community service; With considerable years’ experience in workforce experience including Operations Supervisor for ResCare, Case Manager for MAXIMUS, Child Support and other contracts for the State of Tennessee.
Previously working for the State of Tennessee through various contracts, Braden set out to serve the community in which she lived, as a result of a contract ending at the close of 2014. Understanding that she had a long road ahead of her and aspiring to open her center, she sought out the assistance of Ramon Johnson. It was in a dream that Braden had, while in search of the name for the center, that The HELP Center was conceived. Braden dreamt of The Jefferson’s, an American sitcom that was broadcast on CBS. Characters Thelma and Louise both volunteered at the Help Center in the sitcom. Instantly Braden knew what she would name the center and the branding began. The two hit the ground running to establish the center. With the original goal of opening mid-March, a one suite location was leased for the pair to execute the launching of the center. Computers, office equipment and other necessities were purchased.
On February 9, 2015 the center open for business and was covered by the media and press as a new non-profit organization in the North Nashville area. Quickly outgrowing and the suite the center expanded to two additional suites with a staff of 8, receiving interns from Tennessee State University, Belmont University and Western Kentucky University; also partnering with the National Council of Aging to provide training for low-income persons age 55 and older that have poor employment prospects.
On July 3, 2015, The HELP Center became 501(c)3 certified through the Internal Revenue Services.
To date, The HELP Center has developed partnerships with TDOC, TRICOR, Probation/Parole state and federal, Maximus Tennessee Works (state contractor), Project Return, Goodwill, H.U.G.G.S., and YWCA just to name a few. Having a long lasting effect on inmate outcomes and transitioning offenders requires more than good intentions. To be truly effective, workforce development professionals must have a deep, rigorous knowledge of the skills and processes related to their field. The HELP Center has also partnered with the Offender Workforce Development Specialist Partnership Training Program (OWDS) provided by the National Institute of Corrections, United States Department of Justice.
Giving back to the community is very important. I founded The Help Center because everyone deserves a second chance at life. A person who has paid their debt to society should be able to live as a law abiding citizen. That's challenging in 2017, therefore I am dedicated to the advancement of my community"
Tamika Braden, Executive Director