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History of Park Center

PARK CENTER opened in 1984 as a 501c3, non-profit agency for adults with severe and persistent mental illness. Park Center is licensed by the Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services.

1981: The Mental Health Association (MHA) began looking for gaps in the services for individuals diagnosed with mental illness in the Nashville area.

1983: Park Center received funding from MHA and the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation to offer vocational services to adults with mental illness. Jack Hollis was hired as Park Center's first Executive Director.

1984: In February, Park Center opened its doors to seven staff members and eight members. In August, the first transitional job placement was made—a dishwashing job at the Ramada Inn.

1986: In January, Park Center became a United Way partner agency.

1987: The House of Friendship and Park Center merged.

1988: Park Center started its Residential Services program by renting one house for three of its members who needed a place to live. By the end of the year, Park Center purchased two duplexes, two houses and hired a Housing Coordinator.

1990: Park Center began 12-step sessions called "The Circle of Hope" for individuals with mental illness and substance use disorders. By the end of the first year, 113 members had participated in the program.

1991: A capital campaign was launched to raise money for a new building at the 12th Avenue South location.

1994: The building is completed and named the Katzman-Garrison Building in honor of Board members Louise Katzman and Frances Garrison. Park Center won the HCA Achievement Award for completing the building.

1996: Two homeless shelters funded through HUD's Safe Haven program were added to Park Center's housing.

1997: Tipper Gore served as honorary chair of Park Center's first annual fundraising event "How About Dinner and A Movie?"

1998: Housing Support Center opened in East Nashville. Jack Hollis retired and Barbara Quinn became new Executive Director.

2000: Second capital campaign launched to purchase additional building in East Nashville (Park Center East).

2001: Park Center East opened its doors.

2003: NAMI recognized Park Center with the Community Partner of the Year award.

2005: HUD funding provided for the construction of a new Park Center apartment complex - Haley's Park.

2006: Park Center added  Homeless Outreach Services and received the NAMI Program of the Year Award. 

2007: Homeless Outreach Services is awarded the Tennessee Ending Homeless Outstanding Community Service Award. Haley's Park opens.

2008: Park Center expanded its programs by offering services to young adults, ages 18 - 24, through the Emerging Adults Program.

2009:  Park Center celebrated its 25th anniversary. 

2011:  Park Center began training staff for the national Certified Psychiatric Rehabilitation Practitioner (CPRP) exam.  As a result, Park Center has 18 CPRPs on staff, more than any other mental health provider in the state of Tennessee.   

2012:  Park Center achieved a three year CARF accreditation. 

2014: Park Center celebrated its 30th anniversary.

Park Center empowers people who have mental illness and substance use disorders to live and work in their communities.


We believe individuals can be active and contributing members of their community by defining their lives apart from their mental illness


We believe that individual recovery is possible through loving care, educated choices and support services


We believe that active and ongoing advocacy, education about mental illness and the recovery process are necessary in order to empower members and reduce stigma in our community


We believe that services should be continuously improved to align with current and emerging best practices