Upper Cumberland Human Resource Agency

Transforming one client, one family, one community at a time.

aka UCHRA   |   Cookeville, TN   |


UCHRA's mission is to help the Upper Cumberland region cultivate self-sufficiency and build true wealth through innovation, collaboration, and leadership.

Ruling year info


Executive Director

Mr. Mark Farley

Main address

580 S. Jefferson Avenue Suite B

Cookeville, TN 38501 USA

Show more contact info



NTEE code info

Emergency Assistance (Food, Clothing, Cash) (P60)

Child Abuse, Prevention of (I72)

Employment Training (J22)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is not required to file an annual return with the IRS because it is an arm of a state or local government.



Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Core Principle #1: People should be able to easily travel within the region. Core Principle #2: Safe, affordable housing should be available to all those who desire it. Core Principle #3: Programs must exist to break the cycle of poverty and provide a safety net for those going through a difficult period in their life. Core Principle #4: The economy must add new jobs each year to meet the growth of the region and provide opportunities for income improvement. Core Principle #5: Education must be available and encouraged at all stages of life. Core Principle #6: To retain our population base we must ensure that our communities have adequate support services. Core Principle #7: The natural beauty of the region must be protected.

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?

CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates)

CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) seek to improve the lives of abused and neglected children in the community. Our primary mission is to represent the best interests of abused and neglected children birth to 18 years in court proceedings. By matching trained community volunteers (Advocates) with dependent children, we can ensure that the needs and best interests of the foster children in our program are met and can improve the decision-making ability of judges in the Juvenile Court system.  Our volunteers are appointed to cases by the juvenile court judge. By using a volunteer, the court system and the children we serve are not subjected to a fee. Our objectives are to help move children who are placed in state custody through the foster care system as quickly as possible and into safe, permanent placements as soon as possible.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

Chance Home for Girls at Bloomington Springs (Putnam County) provides a safe, highly structured therapeutic environment for girls ages 12-18. The programs serve the 14-county region, plus another nine contiguous counties. The capacity is 24 beds for the girls' home. The children get around-the-clock counseling and academic instruction in a traditional school setting.

Population(s) Served

UC Recovery works with individuals from entry into the program to stability in life; working with an individual for up to two years while in the program to help them get back what substance abuse stole from them.

Our goal is to be able to give someone hope, encouragement, direction, and a sense of belonging and acceptance. When enrolled, individuals will obtain a Peer Recovery Coordinator to guide them through the process and get them back on their feet so they can get out of the grasp of substance abuse.

In mid-2020, our agency entered into a partnership with the City of Cookeville to provide resources to individuals in need. This pilot program provides on-call service for Cookeville police officers 24/7 and assists individuals with housing, mental health services, substance use disorders, and other needs.

Since the program’s official launch in June 2020, our team has worked with hundreds of individuals; connecting several individuals with a group home/halfway house program and ass

Population(s) Served
Substance abusers
Economically disadvantaged people

Upper Cumberland Human Resource Agency’s Public Transportation strives to maintain a professional, customer-friendly, low-cost transit system that provides transportation to rural residents of all ages. We pride ourselves on helping individuals by providing a safe, quality, and dependable service. It is funded by the Federal Transit Administration, TN Dept. of Transportation, local human service contracts, fares, local revenues, and in-kind contributions.

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people
Economically disadvantaged people
Children and youth
People with disabilities

Based on the region-wide mission to lift 1,600 children and their families out of poverty by 2025, Empower Upper Cumberland (Empower UC) is comprised of key regional partners, including Cookeville Regional Charitable Foundation, Highlands Economic Partnership, Tennessee Tech University, Upper Cumberland Development District, Upper Cumberland Human Resource Agency, Upper Cumberland Local Workforce Development Board, and WCTE Central TN PBS. Empower UC works to streamline services that are already available, as well as provide new resources, such as milestone payments for meeting goals, financial support to overcome obstacles, and access to resources in the community. Circles USA focuses on creating opportunities for families to form peer relationships as well as linking them to “allies” in the community that provide connections to help them overcome barriers to success.

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people
Adolescent parents
Single parents

Where we work


Council on Accreditation (Chance Girl's Home) 2023


Gordon Acuff Award (For UCHRA Public Transportation's PickUp transit service) 2022

Tennessee Association of Human Resource Agencies

Affiliations & memberships

National CASA 2000

Tennessee CASA Association 2000

Tennessee Association of Human Resource Agencies 1973

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 website pageviews

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success


Context Notes

The number of visits in a given month is the sum of the unique IP addresses seen each 24-hour period as recorded in the logs.

Number of Facebook followers

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success


Context Notes

The number of Followers of your Facebook Page.

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

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

Charting impact

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

We commit to making ourselves and the Upper Cumberland region the best it can possibly be, working closely with our citizens, communities, and elected officials to provide a unique service that advances the quality of life for our residents, being transparent and efficient in the way we conduct our work, hiring and training passionate, caring staff that will dedicate their time to serving our region and maximizing the amount of our funding that is spent on citizens of our area.

We will have aligned various state and federal programs to create a poverty alleviation ecosystem that strengthens families, communities, and the Upper Cumberland region as well as various state and federal programs to create a regional recovery ecosystem to support those individuals recovering from substance abuse issues.

Our Agency uses the SMART goals method (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and
Time-Bound) for identifying key goals and objectives during the strategic planning process.
○ Are our goals focused and do they identify a tangible outcome?
○ How will our success be measured?
○ Are our goals challenging but also reasonable to achieve?
○ Are the goals worthwhile and relevant?
○ When will each goal be met and are targeted timelines and completion dates

The “Closing the Gap” initiative is designed to implement the strategic plan across all
departments. Moving forward, all aspects of the organization will be working on improving the
agency by becoming better employees, adding programs and services, as well as, growing our
relationships with other groups.

Empower UC, UCHRA's newest program, will serve as a model to all programs on new techniques and best practices to address systemic poverty in our region. We will coordinate and assist the Empower UC collective impact group in developing supplementary programs to address the barriers and issues identified in the current program that cannot be addressed with existing funding regulations.

We will develop a cross-department collaboration with the goal of creating funding opportunities that involve multiple departments with the goal of creating a regional substance abuse plan and convene individuals, groups, and organizations to form a collective impact group to serve the region.

In May 2022, the Upper Cumberland collaborative aimed at alleviating poverty in the region - Empower Upper Cumberland - was selected to receive $25 million in TANF Opportunity Act funds to implement its plan.

In December 2021, the Upper Cumberland Human Resource Agency (UCHRA) received a $445,000 TANF, or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, planning grant to work with state leadership, the Families First Community Advisory Board, the Tennessee Department of Human Services, research partners, and professionals, and collaborations of community partners that see firsthand the challenges that vulnerable Tennesseeans face.
During the planning phase, the Empower UC collaboration was formed with key community and regional partners including Highlands Economic Partnership (HEP), Upper Cumberland Labor and Workforce Development Board (UCLWDB), Tennessee Tech University (TTU), Cookeville Regional Charitable Foundation (CRCF), Upper Cumberland Development District (UCDD), WCTE Central TN PBS, as well as community members.

Interagency coordination is the focus of Empower UC. This means families will have better-aligned services and the staff who administer the program will have a clearer understanding of the system. Universal onboarding will supply new members of the collaborative with information about the resources available, the continuum of care, and the poverty alleviation system.

In addition to focusing on bringing families out of poverty, the initiative works to better connect employers, faith-based communities, and stakeholders to one another. Empower UC has developed a dynamic relationship-based approach designed to move families away from the traditional poverty management model and toward poverty alleviation; seeking to lift children and their families out of poverty rather than treating the symptoms of poverty in the current poverty management system.

Led by UCHRA, the designated backbone organization, Empower UC will serve the most vulnerable populations of the 14-county Upper Cumberland region which includes the counties of Cannon, Clay, Cumberland, DeKalb, Fentress, Jackson, Macon, Overton, Pickett, Putnam, Smith, Van Buren, Warren, and White with a core objective of lifting 1,600 children and their families out of generational poverty by 2025.

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 shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • 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, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive, We share the feedback we received with the people we serve, We tell the people who gave us feedback how we acted on their feedback, We ask the people who gave us feedback how well they think we responded

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

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


Upper Cumberland Human Resource Agency

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


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Connect with nonprofit leaders


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

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Upper Cumberland Human Resource Agency

Board of directors
as of 06/08/2023
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

Mr. Randy Heady

Mayor - Jackson County

Term: 2022 - 2023

Board co-chair

Mr. Jeff Mason

Mayor - Smith County

Term: 2022 - 2023

Stephen Bilbrey

Pickett County Executive

Randy Porter

Putnam County Executive

John Potts

Mayor - Gordonsville

Steven Barlow

Overton County Executive

David Sullivan

Van Buren County Executive

Paul Bailey


Matt Adcock

Mayor - Dekalb County

Lloyd Williams

Mayor - Gainesboro

Greg Mitchell

County Executive - Cannon County

Curtis Hayes

Mayor - Livingston

Josh Miller

Mayor - Smithville

Allen Foster

Mayor - Cumberland County

Randy Heady

Mayor - Jackson County

Stephen Jones

Mayor - Macon County

Jimmy Johnson

County Executive - Fentress

Jeff Mason

Mayor - Smith County

Jerry Lowery

Mayor - Sparta

Terry Bell

County Executive - Warren County

Dale Reagan

Mayor - Clay County

Sam Gibson

Mayor - Byrdstown

Laurin Wheaton

Mayor - Cookeville

Denny Robinson

County Executive - White County

Johnnie Wheeler

Consumer Rep. - Putnam County

Ryle Chastain

Mayor - McMinnville

Cameron Sexton

State Representative

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

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 6/8/2023

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.


The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

Transgender Identity

Sexual orientation

No data


No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 06/08/2023

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

Policies and processes
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.