The Kingsport Homeless Ministry needs your help now to create a new day center, overnight shelter and rehabilitation facility, called Grace House Kingsport. This low-barrier space will serve the chronically homeless in Kingsport with issues (such as mental health challenges, felonies, or drug/ alcohol addiction) that could bar them from other shelters. Your support will help fill an unmet need in our city for those experiencing homelessness.
A 2019 count in Kingsport, TN, found about 150 people experiencing some form of homelessness. By the end of 2020, the city had received referrals on almost 250 people. Combined, all Kingsport shelters have a bed-capacity of only 85, and, currently, there are no low-barrier-approved shelters. Kingsport needs more shelter space right now.
Our plan is to offer Grace House Kingsport as an overnight shelter, with separate sleeping quarters for 35-40 men and women, based on fire marshal-set limits. We will also have a therapeutic day center and rehabilitation facility, where we will provide around the clock access to onsite counselors and healthcare professionals from other organizations. We will monitor clients’ needs, and link them to medical, mental health, job skills, and housing resources as needed. Your homeless neighbors need your help to get here.
Our founder and Vice-President, Jo, is a 104-year-old affordable housing and homeless advocate in Northeast Tennessee. For almost a hundred years, she's been an orphan. As a child, she was forced to consider the question: “Where will I sleep tonight?” Fortunately, she was cared for by a loving extended family when her parents passed away. She knows it’s easy to take for granted the roof over your head, the bed you sleep in, and the door you can lock. But, she also knows how quickly all those things can be taken away, and that, but for the grace of God, she could have easily experienced homelessness herself.
This is why she has supported and worked with others for over eighty years to help bring adequate, stable housing to the people of Southern Appalachia. It's also why, when leaving church with a friend on a very stormy winter night, she asked that same, simple question: “Where are the homeless sleeping tonight?” She and her friend were inspired to talk with others, and found many who shared their concerns. They saw the need for a facility offering shelter and support services. They decided to do something about it.
They formed the Kingsport Homeless Ministry, a faith-based organization that works with the city, businesses, churches, other agencies, and interested citizens to address the needs of our homeless neighbors. Members of the ministry researched and toured several facilities, and decided to base an operational model on the successful Urban Ministry Center of Charlotte, NC, and programs run by the United Way of Kingsport and the City of Kingsport.
We held many open community meetings and prayer meetings attended by healthcare and social workers, religious and business leaders, the mayor, aldermen, police representatives, the public, and those experiencing homelessness. We added advisory board members from the City of Kingsport to ensure that we work in concert with other area agencies to fill unmet needs, and avoid duplication of services.
How Do Your Contributions Help?
Your aid will help to cover the cost of purchasing the building, as well as needed sprinkler and security systems, and upgrades to bathrooms, doors, lighting, insulation, and guttering. Your gift will also help to provide handicapped accessibility, a privacy fence, and needed furnishings and office supplies, such as beds, chairs, desks, tables, phones, and computers. We estimate our need to be $600,000. This is a small price to pay for what could be a life-changing benefit to those who need it most.
Together, we know we can bring lasting, positive change to our city. Grace House Kingsport represents the culmination of several years of work from hundreds of people united by the idea that with God, we can turn back the tide of homelessness.
Please give as much as you can, any way you can, be it money, materials, or time. Work to get your church involved with our ministry. Most importantly, please pray for our homeless neighbors in Kingsport, and the success of our endeavor.
Learn more about us at kpthm.org . Follow us on Facebook , Twitter , and Instagram to keep up with the latest news from the Kingsport Homeless Ministry. Give to this GoFundMe campaign, or send a check payable to:
Kingsport Homeless Ministry
PO Box 1125
Kingsport, TN 37662