THDA grant will help Community Health of East TN rebuild shelter lost to flooding
A grant from the Tennessee Housing Development Agency (THDA) will allow Community Health of East Tennessee to rebuild transitional housing units for domestic violence victims that was irreparably damaged due to flash flooding.
The $385,735 Tennessee Housing Trust Fund grant was one of six totaling just over $3.5 million that were awarded during the most recent round of THDA’s competitive grant program.
The funding will be used to rehabilitate an existing facility in Campbell County that will be used to house victims of domestic violence and their families. The previous facility was damaged beyond repair during flash floods that struck the region in the summer of 2019.
THDA Executive Director Ralph M. Perrey said the grant funding will allow Community Health of East Tennessee to continue providing a much-needed service in Campbell and surrounding counties.
“Housing that provides safety and stability plays an important role in helping victims of domestic violence escape their abusers,” Perrey said. “This funding will allow Community Health to continue providing services that can make a serious difference in helping both female and male victims of domestic violence begin a new life.”
Community Health of East Tennessee Executive Director Teresa Dabney said the funding from THDA played a crucial role in the nonprofit’s ability to rebuild.
“We are honored to have been awarded this grant,” Dabney said. “This funding will enable us to offer transitional housing services once again to victims of domestic violence in Campbell County.”
Dabney said the facility will consist of multiple units that will be able to house as many as seven families at one time. The housing will be open to both male and female domestic violence victims and their families that have graduated from Community Health of East Tennessee’s domestic violence program and are ready for more long-term housing.
Dabney said the original facility was destroyed when over four feet of water flooded the property during a period of heavy rainfall in June 2019. Residents had to be rescued during the flooding and were relocated in its aftermath.
Despite the hardship caused by the flooding event, Dabney said the outpouring of support from the Campbell County community allowed Community Health of East Tennessee to continue offering support to residents living at the facility when the flood occurred.
“Nothing was salvageable,” Dabney said. “Everything was lost, but it just meant so much to us seeing the reaction from the community and how everyone offered to pitch in and help our clients get moved into apartments and buy clothes for them. I’m still in awe by the response we received.”
The Tennessee Housing Trust Fund (THTF) was created by the THDA board of directors to provide financial support for innovative, affordable initiatives that serve the housing needs of Tennessee’s most vulnerable residents.
Funding for the Tennessee Housing Trust Fund comes entirely from earnings generated through THDA’s Single Family Mortgage program. THTF grants are awarded through a competitive application process. Since 2006 THDA has provided over $76 million in THTF grants to local governments and nonprofit organizations across the state.