Mayor Karl Dean has this to say about us...

Miss Martha's Ice Cream Crankin'


Miss Martha's Kitchen Throwdown

There's a lot to celebrate in East Nashville

East Nashville is a neighborhood with a rich history and a strong sense of community. We take pride in our unique neighborhood and have shown how we can come together, rising to overcome isolated catastrophes. However, there is a line between a wealth of opportunities and a poverty of choices. Martha O'Bryan Center's goal is to break that line. Through education services, counseling, financial assistance, volunteer work, and community engagement, we're working to ensure that this line disappears in East Nashville and throughout our city. Help us change the future for all of East Nashville and beyond. Help us Break the Line.

The Facts

Income poverty means simply the lack of income or a shortage of material goods, but human poverty means much more. It can include the loss of dignity, a sense of powerlessness, a lack of autonomy and control, and the feeling of being marginalized or excluded politically, socially, or psychologically. The deprivation of what most of society considers necessary can result in the diminution of aspirations and achievements, especially for children in poverty who are very aware of what they are missing. (Metropolitan Social Services Community Needs Evaluation 2011 Update)
East Nashville is a neighborhood unlike any other in the Nashville area. With nationally recognized small businesses and restaurants, our community is a beacon of creativity, diversity, and acceptance; but ours is also a neighborhood where over 60% of high school students read on a sixth grade level or below, 9 of 10 children do not attend college, unemployment is 15% above the Davidson County average, and the drop out rate is 23% above the county average.
East Nashville is geographically isolated from the rest of the city by the Cumberland River and the interstate system. During the recent weekend interstate closures, many in East Nashville felt cut off from the rest of the city. Imagine that feeling of isolation as an every day occurrence, with no end date on the calendar. This is the reality for many of our neighbors in living in poverty.
Since 1894, the Martha O’Bryan Center has provided resources to individuals and families, empowering them to achieve independence and success. We believe that communities are healthiest when parents are working and children are succeeding in schools. Thanks to our supporters, volunteers, partners and the families we serve, we are together changing the expectations of achievement and engagement for all in East Nashville.
We are breaking the line.

click here to learn about Martha O'Bryan and what they do for the community

How we're Breaking the Line


How can I help?

Show your support for Martha O'Bryan Center with a Break the Line T-shirt. [ learn more ]
Thanks to our supporters, volunteers, partners and the families we serve, we are together changing the expectations of achievement and engagement for all in East Nashville. Together, we are breaking the line.

If you are eager to make a difference, there are numerous ways to help. Monetary contributions help build our programs and increase enrollment; goods and services nourish the Center's resources; and volunteering your time makes all the difference. Click on the Donate or Volunteer links below to help us break the line.

Share your experiences and skills with East Nashville students and help them connect what they are learning in school with what they will need to succeed in work and life. Volunteer today with Nashville Promise Neighborhood partner organizations, including Big Brothers Big Sisters of Middle Tennessee or Junior Achievement of MIddle Tennessee.

Area businesses can show support through a variety of ways, too - whether that be donating a percentage of sales, providing goods and services for fundraising events, or sponsoring a Martha O’Bryan program. If you know a business that would like to partner with us, please contact or at 615-254-1791 x 124 to find out how you can help.


Get Involved!!