Member Spotlight - Nashville IDD Housing Group

Q: What is the mission of Nashville IDD Housing Group?
A: The crisis of affordable housing, especially within metropolitan areas, is heightened for persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities (“friends”), a fragile population that is growing here and across the country. The Nashville IDD Housing Group facilitates affordable housing in an interdependent setting where friends are provided with a built-in community comprised of graduate students. In this environment, collaboration brings possibility: the friends teach future leaders about disability, and the students provide friendship and support. Because our friends are employed, they become an active part of the community, allowing the rest of us to celebrate the many gifts they have to offer. In addition to partnering with small businesses, we partner with families, faith communities, city officials and other organizations to create new and innovative housing options, opportunities which otherwise would not exist.

Q: How can Nashville-area businesses help your nonprofit?
A: Businesses can help our work in a variety of ways:

  1. by becoming one of our donors, or by championing our cause by making us the beneficiary of a fundraising event;
  2. by providing training and/or internships and/or paid employment for the young adults with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities who are preparing for independent living or who are living in one of our Friendship Houses; and
  3. having your staff/employees volunteer their time with us by volunteering to provide some life skills coaching one-on-one (e.g., showing someone how to prepare an inexpensive, nutritious meal, helping tutor someone for a GED, or working with someone to become more familiar with a computer program).

Additionally, there's one thing everyone can do that costs nothing extra. For anyone who does some or all of their holiday shopping on Amazon, if you haven’t already designated a favorite charity, please select the Nashville IDD Housing Group as your charity and shop via AmazonSmile (, and Amazon will donate .5 percent of your purchases to us.

Q: What has been the most valuable aspect of your Chamber membership?

A: Because we’re such a fledgling nonprofit, expanding our footprint and reputation is extremely valuable, and hopefully, by getting the word out more, we’ll reach families who might not otherwise know about us -- families with a loved one with autism or Down syndrome or another IDD who would benefit from transitioning into interdependent housing.

Q: What impact does your work have on the Nashville area?
A: At the member orientation I attended on Oct. 14, Ralph Schulz said Nashville was for the first time losing its favorables when it came to housing, making it a less desirable place for companies to move their businesses. Similarly, families with a loved one with intellectual and developmental disabilities are leaving Nashville because of the lack of affordable housing for their family members. We aim to turn that around. By working together, we can create new possibilities, allowing individuals with IDDs to flourish while Nashville becomes the country’s best-practice city regarding housing for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.





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