Nashville CARES began at a meeting held in August 1985 at the Life Styles Health Clinic. At that meeting, a group of men and women came together to discuss the appearance of AIDS in the Nashville gay community. Many of the participants had family and friends who were living with AIDS. Following the example of cities nationwide, they decided to form a group committed to providing education about the disease and support to those living with it. In October 1985, the group adopted the name “Council on AIDS, Resources, Education and Support” (CARES). That same month, Nashville CARES was incorporated as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. AIDS has remained the exclusive focus of the organization since that time. In 2004, the board of directors formally changed CARES to mean “Community AIDS Resources, Education and Services” to recognize its origins and confirm its grassroots commitment.
CARES now serves 17 counties of northern middle Tennessee, which account for about 90% of the reported prevalence of HIV/AIDS in the Middle Tennessee region. Staff are deployed throughout the region to bring services to individuals and families. Individuals with HIV/AIDS may receive services at the CARES office, through HIV medical clinics in Nashville or Springfield, or from the case managers assigned to work in specific counties (often in partnership with churches in those counties). By contract with the Tennessee Department of Health, CARES also manages a statewide program that provides assistance for health insurance continuation to more than 5,000 people with HIV/AIDS and their families.
For more information about the agency (including financial information), visit our listing at www.givingmatters.com.