Who We Serve

Begin Anew serves men and women of Middle Tennessee living in poverty. Working minimum wage jobs, they face impossible choices between food and medicine, getting to work or paying the heating bill, repairing the car or paying for rent. They feel hopeless and lack the resources, training, or support to change their circumstances.

Begin Anew serves persons in poverty in Middle Tennessee ages 18 and above who are undereducated and underemployed with unique circumstance and multiple life challenges.  They are hard workers who work long hours at one or two minimum wage jobs and receive salaries below a living wage.  Their employment does not provide sick leave, vacation days, health benefits, education, training opportunities, or increased income.  When they miss work, for any reason, they do not receive a salary. If the car breaks or a child is sick, a downward financial spiral may begin which can lead to a desperate situation for their families.

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In Davidson County, sixty percent of those in poverty are female, and one-third have less than a high school diploma. In Davidson Co 19% of the population live in poverty. Our students are part of the 19.9% of individuals and families in Davidson County and the 5.7% in Williamson County who are living below the poverty line. The map of Davidson Co shows communities within the county in which the % of poverty is higher than the counties average.

The 2015 poverty rate in the county reflects the highest poverty rate since World War I. The racial composition of person living in poverty Davidson is 62.8% white, 27.6% Black or African American, and 9.5% other.  Single mothers with children younger than five and single mother households rank as the largest percentage of this population group. Despite the economic growth in Middle Tennessee, these individuals are not receiving the benefits as the poverty rate remains unchanged.

Click here for additional information from Nashville Metropolitan Social Services 2015 Executive Summary PDF

Kina's Story: Student and Mentor Profile
Begin Anew student Kina and her mentor share Kina's heart-warming story of successfully working to achieve her goal of earning her GED at 50 and breaking the chain as her children also graduated.

Gama's Story: Student and Mentor Profile
Begin Anew student Gama and his mentor share his heart-warming story of successfully working to achieve his dream of earning his GED. He is especially proud to prove to his kids that if you have a dream, and you work for it, you can get it done.