CCETN's Impact Throughout East Tennessee

July 17, 2021

CCETN's Impact Throughout
East Tennessee

Each of our ten programs addresses key issues that are common in our region. Read on to learn how we tackle each social cause.

Child Abuse and Neglect
Parenting Education

East Tennessee is known for many things like being the home of the Smoky Mountains, Dolly Parton, and the birthplace of Mountain Dew. Boasting stunning vistas, unforgettable whiskey, and the sounds of bluegrass, East Tennessee is filled with southern charm. And as the second most populous region in the state, nearly 2.5 million people are happy to call East Tennessee home.

These accolades include some of the many reasons why we love East Tennessee. We want to see our state and especially our region continue to thrive – that’s why we fight to reduce the impact of the social issues most prevalent in our region. Did you also know these facts about Tennessee?

• Tennessee is among the top 20 states with the most homelessness with an estimated 7,256 people homeless on any given night.
• Of the live births, 45% percent of East Tennessee children are born preterm
• In 2020, there were 67,158 reported cases of child abuse and neglect in Tennessee
• In FY 19-20, DCS reported 13,355 Tennessee children in custody due to abuse and neglect
• 314,000 East Tennesseans were food insecure in 2018, with most food insecure individuals living in Knoxville

Children’s Emergency Shelter (CES)
Though CCETN and many organizations work hard to reduce child abuse in our region, abuse is still happening. Once a substantiated case of abuse is made, the child(ren) may be removed from the home. Without a next of kin willing to shelter them, the child(ren) may then be placed into the foster care system. While foster care is a necessary option for displaced children, we advocate for keeping families together by operating our Children’s Emergency Shelter. Open 24-hour/365 days per year, CES is a haven for children removed from their homes due to allegations of abuse. With CES, children can stay with us for up to ten days while a next of kin is located. During this time, the children are not yet in the state’s custody and therefore cannot be placed in foster or group homes.

CES aims to ease the jarring transition that comes from being taken from ones home due to abuse allegations. It is also our goal to assist the Juvenile Courts in keeping children out of state’s custody, if at all, and placing them with relatives.

Not only do we work to prevent child abuse with our C.H.A.P. program, but through CES (the only shelter of its kind in the region) we provide a continuum of care to help mitigate additional adverse childhood experiences due to abuse.

Columbus Home Assisting Parents (C.H.A.P)
Our Columbus Home Assisting Parents (C.H.A.P.) program, using a direct, in-home approach, reduces the impact of child abuse in East Tennessee by working with families and providing resources that help create secure environments. Our C.H.A.P. program leaders mentor and support parents by providing educational materials, teaching parenting/coping skills, and directing them to additional community resources. With C.H.A.P, our goal is to empower parents with the skills, resources, and knowledge they need so that stressful moments never turn into abuse.

In the past three years, C.H.A.P. has served 230 families with more than 500 children total – all of which are still within an intact family with no reports of abuse or neglect. Read Jack and Kim’s story to see the C.H.A.P program in action.

Unfortunately, child abuse is overwhelmingly common in the United States and our backyard of East Tennessee. In fact, a report of child abuse is made every 10 seconds in the United States and every hour in our state. Misconceptions about child abusers can lead to blind spots in reporting, but it’s important to know that abuse can happen in ANY family. While there are a plethora of factors that increase a person’s risk for abusing a child, oftentimes socioeconomic stress from financial issues, a lack of understanding about basic childhood development, and a lack of skills to help cope with the pressures of parenting are catalysts for abuse.

“In the first half of 2021, 60% of CES sheltered children did not transition into state custody.”

Child Abuse and Neglect

Horizon House/Five Rivers
Of individuals experiencing homelessness, lesser-known groups within that population include those who are mentally ill and/or living with HIV/AIDS. Health and homelessness are profoundly interconnected issues. Of the 3.5 million people in the U.S. who are homeless, as many as 3.4 percent are HIV positive. Likewise, an estimated one-third of persons experiencing homelessness are chronically mentally ill. Through our campuses in Knoxville, Maryville, and Morristown, Horizon House 1 & 2 and the Five Rivers campuses provide permanent housing and case management to our neighbors who manage a chronic mental illness. Learn more about the living experience at Horizon House and Five Rivers by meeting a few of our clients.

A Non-Portrait of Mental Illness: Meet David
Love at the Horizon
A Non-Portrait of Mental Illness: Meet Allen

Home Place (THP)

Much like our other community supportive housing programs, the Home Place is a residential facility that provides a stable environment and intensive case management services for individuals who are homeless or with limited income, and are living with HIV/AIDS. We’ve been operating this Chattanooga-based program since 1997. With partnerships with public transportation, hospitals, and local doctor’s offices – the Home Place allows our residents to be as independent as possible while living within an environment that is conducive to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. After six months at the Home Place, all residents have an undetectable HIV viral load.

Samaritan Place (SAM)
Older individuals can have a greater chance of becoming homeless after experiencing a crisis. Samaritan Place provides shelter for them. Oftentimes, seniors arrive at SAM having been the victim of theft, emotional, or physical abuse. In addition to shelter, we offer intensive case management to each senior we support. Not only is Samaritan Place the only housing program providing emergency, transitional, and permanent supportive housing for seniors in Knoxville – it’s one of only 12 programs in the United States offering seniors a complete continuum of care from emergency to independent housing.

From the moment a senior arrives at Samaritan Place, they receive food and shelter, unwavering support, and assistance in accessing resources that help them regain control of their life. Through our permanent supportive housing program at SAM, we can offer housing to some seniors who otherwise would not be able to maintain independent living. Read how SAM helped Mike, a struggling veteran and victim of theft, regain his independence.

Of every 10,000 residents in Tennessee, 12 experience homelessness. And an estimated 15 percent of them experience chronic homelessness. The pathway to unsheltered living is oftentimes more complex than realized and once a person reaches chronic homelessness, their odds of thriving can substantially decrease. Our homelessness relief programs aim to provide a mix of immediate and long-term assistance to allow our neighbors the freedom to focus on regaining stability.

“Last year, Samaritan Place provided 12,541 nights of shelter to 190 homeless seniors.”

“Our community supportive housing programs provided 23,589 nights of shelter last year.


HOPE Kitchen
Born out of the hardships presented by the 2020 Covid-19 pandemic, HOPE Kitchen is CCETN’s community-wide food assistance program that provides immediate resources such as hot meals, sanitary supplies, and clothing to our neighbors who experience homelessness and/or are food insecure. At varying times of the month, rain or shine, CCETN staff, and community volunteers gather to pass out and deliver supplies to these vulnerable members of our community. In partnership with the Diocese of Knoxville parishes.

HOPE Kitchen currently includes two locations:
• HOPE Kitchen at Holy Ghost Church (Knoxville)
• HOPE Kitchen at Immaculate Conception Church in support of Summit Towers (Knoxville)

If you are interested in donating to HOPE Kitchen or starting a HOPE Kitchen ministry in your community, contact us at 865.524.9896.

Crazy Quilt Friendship Center
Our Crazy Quilt Friendship Center, located near Jellico, TN, includes emergency assistance programs, summer programs, as well as a food pantry. For years it has been a sustaining resource for the poverty-stricken Newcomb area. Every three months, recipients are eligible to receive assistance with utility payments as well as fully stocked, family-size food boxes. During the summer, Crazy Quilt’s Mountain Arts Program provides creative programming for children ages 5 to 15. The four-day M.A.P. program includes a nutritious lunch each day and each participant receives shoes, clothing, and classroom supplies for the coming school year.

In Tennessee, one in every eight people faces hunger. To bring the issue even closer to home, in 2018, an estimated 314,000 people were food insecure in East Tennessee. Of those individuals, 223,120 were children. Food insecurity has long plagued our region, especially in the most remote areas. A common misconception is that food insecurity means having no food. However, food insecurity can be as simple as a parent skipping a meal or eating a smaller portion to ensure their children have enough.

“On average, Crazy Quilt serves 450 individuals each year.


We know that knowledge equals power, but we believe knowledge can also equal resources. The goal of our Pregnancy Help Centers (PHCs) is to empower parents who are in low-income situations with the education and resources that will help lead to self-sustained parenting and provision for their child(ren).

With services spanning from the initial pregnancy test through a child’s second birthday, our PHCs are a present help to couples and parents throughout their pregnancy and parenthood. Our Earn While You Learn model through BrightCourse allows clients to take parenting courses that are redeemable for infant and toddler necessities. Not only can clients use their course credits to redeem items like food, clothing, and toys, but larger items such as cribs, mattresses, and car seats are also available.

Currently, there are five Pregnancy Help Center locations that include:
• Knoxville
• Chattanooga
• Johnson City
• LaFollette
• Newcomb

“HOPE Kitchen served an estimated 2,400 individuals last year.”

Parenting Education – Pregnancy Help Center

24-Hour Helpline
Free Pregnancy Testing
 Non-judgmental & Caring Advice
Friendship & Emotional Support
Medical, Legal & Educational Referrals
Pregnancy & Prenatal Information
Service Agency Referrals
Adoption Information
Pregnancy Options Information
Post-Abortion Counseling
Earn While You Learn Program

Tennessee is home to a growing immigrant community with about 1 in every 20 Tennesseans having been born in another country. Our Office of Immigrant Services provides low and pro-bono legal services to our immigrant and refugee neighbors throughout East Tennessee. As a Department of Justice recognized law office, OIS offers legal assistance with:
• Family Reunification and Petitions
• Naturalization and Citizenship
• Immigration Petitions for Victims of Crime (VOCA)
• Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Initials and Renewals
• Temporary Protected Status (TPS)
• Green Cards (including asylees and refugees)

With three locations in Knoxville, Chattanooga, and Johnson City, OIS serves an average of 1,000 individuals each year. Read Louise’s Story to learn how we helped her on her path to citizenship after being trafficked to the United States.

“Ninety-eight percent of applications filed through OIS are granted by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services.”

Advocacy – Office of Immigrant Services (OIS)

At CCETN, we aim to care for the whole person. While our other programs meet physical needs by providing necessities, the goal of our Counseling Services is to build upon personal strengths and development to help clients achieve their interpersonal well-being goals. 50-minute in-person and telehealth counseling sessions are available to adult individuals and couples who experience marital issues, anxiety, depression, grief, stress management, and faith/spirituality issues.

All fees for counseling services are based on a sliding scale with consideration to the client’s household income and other variables.

If you are having a non-life-threatening mental health crisis, call the National Alliance on Mental Illness Helpline at 800.950.6264

If you or someone you know is in danger of harming themselves, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1.800.273.8255.

Call 911 if the situation is potentially life-threatening.

With the work we do through our 10, socially-centered programs, CCETN aims to make a lasting impact in our East Tennessee home and for all of our vulnerable neighbors. 

If you have questions or would like to partner with us in any of our programs, please contact us at 865.524.9896.

“In the last 5 years, 100% of clients surveyed expressed satisfaction with services received.”

Counseling Services