Retrieving Independence, Inc.

Love.Dignity.Change

Franklin, TN   |  www.retrievingindependence.org

Mission

Working to change lives every day

Ruling year info

2014

CEO

Dr. Jessica Petty

Main address

256 Seaboard Lane Suite C101

Franklin, TN 37067 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

46-0648411

NTEE code info

Services to Promote the Independence of Specific Populations (P80)

Rehabilitation Services for Offenders (W40)

Other Services (D60)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Through the tremendous foundation that has been established with the Tennessee Department of Corrections, Retrieving Independence (RI) has built a service dog training program focused on positivity and giving inmate trainers greater dignity through the skills they learn and the people they are ultimately able to help. In 2019, the Tennessee Department of Corrections (TDOC) asked RI to expand our reach and the Tennessee Prison for Women (TPFW), now renamed the Debra K. Johnson Rehabilitation Center (DJRC), was identified as the location of RI’s second program. With counselors on staff, RI offers therapy and rehabilitation to inmates in the program. When a dog is ultimately placed with a person living with a disability, the inmate also feels the dignity of work and giving back to another person.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Raise Them Right-Doggy Development for Success

The program's focus is continuing to provide the best care for our service dogs while making the dogs more affordable for those with disabilities. The beneficiaries will be potential recipients and indirectly, volunteers, inmates-trainers as well as all persons interacting with our dogs. Presently, we are providing the best veterinarian and nutritional care but by doing this, the cost of the dog continues to be elevated at a level which is financially out of reach for many whom are in desperate need for a service dog to improve the quality of their day-to-day lives. The current cost is $12,500 with the majority of our recipients having to do personal fundraising to acquire a dog. Also, about 97% of potential recipients state they cannot afford the dog and insurance does not offer any relief from the cost. RI plans to utilize grants, fundraising and corporate sponsorships to aid in the costs and expenses so that the savings can be passed along to the recipients.

Population(s) Served
People with disabilities
People with diseases and illnesses

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of trained volunteer dog-and-handler teams

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Health

Related Program

Raise Them Right-Doggy Development for Success

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Total number of counseling sessions performed

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Work status and occupations

Related Program

Raise Them Right-Doggy Development for Success

Type of Metric

Context - describing the issue we work on

Direction of Success

Increasing

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

The RI inmate training expansion allowed the program to grow and serve more individuals living with disabilities. With recipient needs such as, seizure/diabetic alert, mobility assistance, and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) due to war, assault, or other violent events, these trained service dogs offer people greater independence and freedom.

RI believes that every person deserves to feel love and dignity. We also believe in the capacity for change. Our circumstances are not finite and the assistance of a service animal is a great example of a thoughtful and caring partner to show us that we are ultimately capable of so much more than we know!

We accomplish this through our service dog training program focused on positive reinforcement, the engagement in active weekly counseling with the inmate trainers, dedicated volunteers who socialize the dogs outside of the prison environment, and the ultimate placement of the dogs with a person living with a disability.

Our presence at a new facility, the Honey Alexander Center, means our programing is expanding and we are launching RI’s Training Academy (RITA). This will not only allow us to offer more training and support to our recipients and volunteers, but it ensures the program can maintain optimal efficiency if there are future events that hinder our access to the prison inmate trainers. The main tenant of the Honey Alexander building, Family and Children Services also offers RI the opportunity to enhance our counseling services for the inmates and our recipients.

In 2020, the impact of a global pandemic and the presence (and even just the potential presence) of COVID-19 hindered our ability to work with the impact trainers. When entry to the prisons was restricted, the organization faced a challenge we had never encountered. While we were able to send training journals back and forth to the inmates, there is no substitute for physical demonstration and the visual feedback our team receives to offer additional coaching and training.

We have increased our training for volunteers outside of the prison program to diversify the program. Investing in technology, as well as working with the TN Department of Corrections, has allowed us to use video capabilities to continue teaching the inmate trainers.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We demonstrated a willingness to learn more by reviewing resources about feedback practice.
done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Community meetings/Town halls, Constituent (client or resident, etc.) advisory committees, Suggestion box/email,

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve,

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    Our staff, Our board,

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback,

Financials

Retrieving Independence, Inc.
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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lock

Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

Retrieving Independence, Inc.

Board of directors
as of 2/25/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Mr. Andrew Charron

Vicki Diestelcamp

The Farm at Natchez Trace

Anna Hollingsworth

Vice-Chair

Katie Regan

Secretary

Hank Edwards

Andy Charron

Board Chair

Bill Plantz

Retired

Kim Johnson

Oncology Veterinarian

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 02/09/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

Disability

Equity strategies

Last updated: 02/09/2021

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
Policies and processes
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.