a note from The 2019 Board Chair

Doug profile pic 1-14-20 (color)

doug edwards

January 2020

Dear Supporters and Friends,

The Refuge Center seeks to empower, educate, and support children, individuals, couples, and families. It does so in a unique fashion by pairing excellence with affordability, a rare combination in which The Refuge Center has embraced since its inception in 2005.

In 2019, The Refuge Center was privileged to serve a record 3,679 children, families, couples, and individuals. This represented a 19.5% increase in clients serviced from the prior year. We also experienced a 19% increase in therapeutic contact hours, up from 23,064 hours in 2018 to 27,441 in 2019. Our geographic reach also grew, having served clients in 17 counties throughout Middle TN. Achieving this growth was the result of hiring and retaining passionate and highly skilled therapists, creating a flourishing Master’s Internship Program and Post-Master’s Fellowship Program, leveraging our inhouse Advanced Nurse Practitioner, and nurturing a small but mighty support staff. We also realized the impact a full twelve months of newly expanded space, craftily maximized capacity and bandwidth, and continued to invest in the excellent culture of compassionate care – a hallmark of The Refuge Center.

Although many of our key metrics experienced impressive year over year growth, the demand for high-quality and affordable counseling services continued to outpace our capacity to serve. Throughout much of 2019, we experienced a waitlist for our services higher than expected, at times surpassing 100 clients awaiting support. To combat long wait-times, and to better serve our community, The Refuge Center has forged new ground on a quest to own land and build a permanent home – called “Growing Home.” A new home that will allow us to serve double the number of clients annually while expanding the breadth and depth of our healing capabilities. We proudly reached a major milestone in this quest by acquiring seven acres of land in August 2019. After vetting more than 40 properties over six years, The Refuge Center identified a diamond in the rough, a beautiful 7-acre tract in an ideal location, well suited for annexing and rezoning to support our Growing Home vision. Moreover, the land was well suited for our budget as we were blessed to acquire the property at a residential price and realizing the immediate increase in value after obtaining the rezoning of the property to commercial. As witnessed time and time again throughout my four years serving on the board, and throughout Refuge Center’s history, this was yet another example of God’s hands at work in and through this ministry.

As the 2019 Board Chair, I was honored to serve alongside an impressive team of board volunteers and staff members. We achieved retention growth of therapists, experienced 100% retention of board members, had a record year of new donors and donations to support our operating budget and capital campaign goals, and met our budgeted net income target for the fiscal year 2019. As we look to the future, we remain steadfast in our quest to raise the necessary awareness and funds to pay off the newly acquired land and begin the construction of the vision of an expanded Refuge Center.


Doug D. Edwards

Chief Administrative Officer, Narus Health