TOP PHOTO: This was just the beginning of the flooding along East Central Avenue on the evening of June 7, 2019.

The transitional housing units for domestic violence victims on the morning after the historic flood of June 7, 2019,

LAFOLLETTE, TN (SPECIAL TO WLAF) – 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.

The process of cleaning up was well underway before the month of June 2019 ended.

“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.”   

Community Health of East Tennessee (CHET) received a grant for $385,735 from the Tennessee Housing Development Agency. Senator Ken Yager helped secure the funds and carried the bill that led to the grant. Pictured are CHET board members Becky Carr-Kirklin and Ed Wheeler, CHET CEO Teresa Dabney, Katie Moore with the Tennessee Housing Development Agency, Senator Ken Yager, CHET COO of domestic violence program Nora Tiller and CHET board member Charlie Ruth.

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. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 07/16/2021-6AM-PHOTO COURTESY OF WLAF’S CHARLIE HUTSON)

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