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Home Is Where the Heart Is

The Heart of Willowbranch Partners

Homebuilder Willow Branch Partners prides itself on making your dream home a reality, enabling clients to "live better.”

No truer words have ever been spoken, especially in the eyes of My Friend’s House in Franklin. One of the last standalone residential group homes in Middle Tennessee, they began work on behalf of at-risk youth in 1982. My Friend’s House is a comprehensive treatment program and nonprofit community-based organization that strives to meet the needs of Williamson County youth and referrals from Middle Tennessee.

According to Paul Winegar, executive vice president at Willow Branch, the decision to partner with My Friend’s House was an easy one.

“We discussed ways we could do more as a company, and giving back to our community sounded like the best thing for us. We did some research into area nonprofits that we could potentially help and eventually reached out to My Friend’s House. They are a terrific organization, and it just felt like a great fit with us being homebuilders.”

This was approximately three and a half years ago, and Paul explains that the initial plan was to remodel the existing home. But after realizing the extent of needed repairs and that the residents would be displaced, Willow Branch decided to build a new home from the ground up and obtained the building permit in October 2018.

Approximately one year later to the day, the eight residents (the maximum number allowed under Tennessee state law) moved into their new home. The old house will be torn down, and the land will be used for resident activities.

“The new and improved My Friend's House exceeded our expectations,” says Tina Edwards, My Friend's House's executive director. “Willow Branch has outdone themselves! They worked with their vendors to get supplies at cost or donated, which provided much-needed cost savings. Bucky should be proud of his team; they all supported our mission, and it has been a pleasure to work with them. The final product not only looks like a fabulous house, it already feels like a loving home. 

“The boys who call My Friend's House their home now have a safe, spacious, nurturing environment in which to recover and thrive, and the house will be a home for thousands of young men for decades to come. I am personally honored to be a part of this life-changing project and hope the community is proud of the work being done at My Friend's House.”

“Everything has just felt right; our relationship with the board members and Tina has been great!" Paul says. "They were so easy to work with and are a great partner to have in the community, plus we know what we are giving back is going to make a difference because of the hard work the staff at My Friend’s House does every day.”

Willow Branch Partners was founded by Bucky Ingram in 2010. As a premier custom builder in the greater Nashville area, they are constructing new homes in several locations including Thompson Station, College Grove, the Wedgewood Houston area, Tim Ford’s Lake and downtown Franklin. The Willow Branch Design Center is at the heart of its home-building process, offering a variety of unique architectural styles for prospective homebuyers to choose from.

“We offer a multitude of home styles—one-level living, townhomes and traditional master down with a full second story and basement homes—all which have farmhouse, traditional or craftsman architecture," Paul says. "The My Friend’s House design is all one-level living with a very open floor plan, larger bathrooms, and a large kitchen and laundry area that is functionally a better use of space for staff.”

The primary focus of My Friend’s House is to help youth change their negative behaviors, learn to make good choices, and provide opportunities to grow and develop into responsible young adults. My Friend’s House has also developed and nurtured partnerships within the community including United Way of Williamson County, Boys and Girls Club, Boy Scouts of America and YMCA. These partnerships provide the opportunities that foster the youth’s self-esteem and confidence, with an ultimate goal of reuniting youth with their families whenever possible. 

Because of the generosity of Willow Branch Partners, the residents of My Friend’s House are definitely “living better.”

“We had a couple of hiccups, which are to be expected, but overall, it went great," Paul says. "This is the first time Willow Branch Partners has done something like this, and we hope it’s the first of many.”

My Friend’s House is still in need of approximately $300,000 to completely pay for and furnish this new home. If you are interested in making a donation, please visit My Friend's House TN

“We discussed ways we could do more as a company, and giving back to our community sounded like the best thing for us. My Friend’s House is a terrific organization, and it just felt like a great fit with us being homebuilders.” –Paul Winegar
Executive Vice President, Willow Branch Partners

“From the initial meetings with Willow Branch, I knew their team would do everything possible to make this 10-year dream a reality. They were up for the challenge and the collaborative work done on this project was impressive.”  –Tina Edwards
Executive Director, My Friend’s House