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Grainger, Cocke, Hamblen, Jefferson, and Monroe County TN assistance programs.

Low-income families in Grainger, Cocke, Hamblen, Jefferson, and Monroe County TN will get financial help, grant money or free times. Charities, churches, and government agencies provide assistance with electric bills, housing, food and other needs. Find help near you in Jefferson, Grainger, Cocke, Monroe and Hamblen County.

Resources are wide ranging. There is money to pay for utility bills, including electric or water. Or get free transportation, including car repairs for work, or grant money to pay back rent. Low-income families, seniors and the disabled will also get free groceries from a food pantry, medical or dental care, and other support.

Community Action hardship grant money

Douglas-Cherokee Economic Authority, Inc. operates in all nearby counties. Both short term, crisis assistance is provided as well as longer term support and guidance. Most of the services are paid for by the federal government Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) and are administered from local Neighborhood Service Centers in counties such as Monroe or Cocke.

  • Utility bill assistance is provided from the Low-Income Heating and Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). Funding comes from the federal government as well as the Tennessee Department of Human Services. Money can help pay your monthly bill or funds can be expedited during a crisis.
  • The LIHEAP program will help low-income and struggling/unemployed households with the high cost of home heating or cooling bills. All grants are offered on a first come, first served basis. There are other resources available as well, and locate additional programs that offer help paying electric bills.
  • Limited support may be provided to help pay rent/mortgage if faced with an eviction or foreclosure. Families facing a utility disconnection may apply for assistance. A focus is on housing and rental needs, and learn more on rental assistance in TN.




  • Free food and groceries are offered from pantries in Hamblen and Grainger counties as well as other towns. There are free fod boxes for low-income families, grocery distribution and other resources. Additional anti-hunger resources come from the USDA Surplus Commodity food program.
  • Working on self-sufficiency is a focus of the Douglas-Cherokee Economic Authority. The non-profit provides job placement services, education, and provides errands for elderly and disabled clients as well as limited home visits. They also help with transportation, including referrals to auto repair programs for a job in eastern TN.
  • The Senior Nutrition Program is administered in the region by the community action agency. It provides free home delivered meals to the homebound and disabled. The agency also works with local charities to provide congregate meals at senior centers in the area, including Jefferson and Monroe. If you can’t make it to a meal site, then volunteers or staff may offer transportation to the local centers. Everyone, no matter your age or income level, should be able to receive at least one hot nutritious meal per day.
  • The Douglas-Cherokee Head Start and related Early Head Start programs provide free quality care for children under the age of 4. Assistance is also for their parents and pregnant mothers. Services are also provided through local school systems for children from low income families with disabilities. Education, food, and basic health or dental care is all available from Head Start.
  • Free vouchers can be provided to help pay for other basic needs. This will include clothes or household items, including furniture for a formerly homeless person. Find how to get a voucher for free furniture.
  • The U.S. Department of Education Federal TRiO works with the non-profit to offer education assistance from EOC. It can assist those local residents without a high school diploma and the program will help them prepare for and earn a GED. Also receive assistance in completing admissions and applying for financial aid and scholarships.
  • Employment and job training is available in Grainger County from the WIA. It can also help teenagers and youth. A wide range of services are available including paid and unpaid work experience, guidance and free career counseling services, occupational skills training, and summer employment.





The community action offices in counties, including Hamblen, are at the following. Not only may they offer grants or loans for electric bills or transportation, but referrals are also provide for resources (such as job training) that can break a cycle of poverty.

  • 534 East First North Street, Morristown, Tennessee 37814, telephone number is (866) 631-4120 or (423) 587-4500
  • 884 Englewood Road, Madisonville, TN 37354, dial (423) 442-3769 for hours
  • 750 Old Knoxville Highway, Sevierville, Tennessee 37862, call (865) 453-7131
  • Office at 534 East First North Street, Morristown, TN 37814, main phone number (866) 631-4120 or (423) 587-4500
  • 115 Mulberry Street, Newport, TN 37821, main number (866) 631-4120

Emergency financial help for housing, basic needs and bills

Saint Vincent de Paul has limited resources. When possible, the charity assists with housing, social services, food, and emergency needs. Low income and transitional housing services can assist the homeless and people facing eviction. Volunteers often need to have home visits to assess any applications.

Food, hot meals, and Christmas assistance may be offered, especially to children. Some short term financial aid can be available for paying housing expenses, rent, or utilities. Case managers from Catholic Charities will also offer a number other social services and referrals to qualified low income residents of Hamblen and Monroe County as well as other towns. The address is 2517 N John B Dennis Hwy, Kingsport, TN 37660. Phone: (423) 288-8101.

Catholic Charities of Eastern TN is a regional charity. There is also help for asylum seekers, single mothers and women facing DV. The charity coordinates low-cost legal aid, arranges transitional housing, gives out free stuff such as clothes or basic needs and other services. Learn about Catholic Charities low income programs near you.




Upper East Tennessee Human Development Agency (UETHDA) of Kingsport can provide assistance to those that meet State and Federal government funding guidelines. The non-process processes applications for USDA Commodity Program (TEFAP), weatherization, and more. There is the free Senior Community Service Employment Program, Low Income Home Energy Assistance program, and head start, among other resources. The address is 301 Louis St, Kingsport, TN 37660. Call (423) 246-6180.

The Salvation Army is the local branch of the nations leading non-profit. Programs can help with energy costs, including providing vouchers to pay for propane or kerosene. Other programs include free food, Christmas assistance including free toys for kids, help for seniors, and housing assistance.

  • There are also free school supplies or backpacks for kids or students. Or access social services and referrals are offered as well to low income families and the poor. The closest location is at 806 W Main St, Sevierville, TN 37862, and can be reached at (865) 908-4010.

Loan programs are offered. Eastern TN families, including those with limited or no credit, can get personal loans, borrow money from non-profits, or access emergency funds from other sources. While never ideal, loans can be an option in some cases for a crisis. Locate personal loans near you with no credit check.

East Tennessee Human Resources Agency provides some limited services for the region. Low income families and the working poor may be able to get help in the form of referrals or information on government benefits, such as weatherization. Clients of ETHRA can also learn about low income energy bill assistance, Legal Assistance for the Elderly Program, and other financial aid. Click here for details on Cast Tennessee Human Resources.

Sweetwater Area Ministries can disburse emergency funds for paying utility bills, including heating and air conditioning. Vouchers for buying food can also be disbursed. Call (423) 337-0210 for information.

Morristown Hamblen Central Services may provide heating bill assistance during the winter months. The non-profit also offers several other programs, mostly from referrals. There may be financial aid for rent to stop evictions, prescription medications, and other aid from their clearinghouse.

  • Other support is free Christmas programs from the Holiday Hope Fund, There is also free Foreclosure Counseling, free food from pantries, and a thrift store. They are a leading non-profit for the Hamblen County area. Address is 2450 S Cumberland St in Morristown, Tennessee 37813. Call (423) 586-9491, or read Central Services assistance programs.







Eastern and northeastern food pantries and non-profit centers

Sunset Gap Community Center food pantry will only help the needy in Hamblen County and other towns. Proof of hardship is required. Families can only use the pantry once a month. Location is 1300 Sunset Gap Road, Cosby, TN 37722, main number (423) 623-4313.

SNAP food stamps will help people buy groceries and other items they need for their family. Many stores take an EBT card, with some retailers like Wal-Mart offer deals and very surprising items to buy. As SNAP food stamps / EBT cards have many benefits. Learn more on surprising things you can buy with EBT at Walmart.

Breadbasket Central Charities is also in Newport. Dial (423) 623-8630 for emergency groceries, meals, or Thanksgiving and Christmas support. There will also be some free personal stuff, such as clothes, kitchen supplies, linens and more. Location is 644 River Rd, Newport, TN 37821.

Sevier County Ministries administers a pantry for the less fortunate in eastern Tennessee. Free groceries, Meals on Wheels to the disabled or elderly and other help is arranged. The pantry is at 890 Old Knoxville Hwy, Sevierville, TN 37862. Call (865) 428-5182.

Morristown Hamblen Central Services can offer free groceries, food, and other support once every 3 months. Location is 2450 S Cumberland St, Morristown, Tennessee 37813, call (423) 586-9491.

Ministerial Association of Dandridge - Emergency Food Pantry. Call (865) 712-8905.

Appalachian Outreach may have clothing, school items, food, canned goods, and perishable items. The address is 511 Municipal Drive, Jefferson City, TN, call (865) 475-5611 for intake.

There are other free food distribution centers and soup kitchens for boxes of groceries or hot meals, including during the holidays. Several other centers are in the region and can help the needy. Find more Tennessee food banks.

Free medical centers and community clinics in Eastern TN

Mountain Hope Good Shepherd Clinic - The nearby non-profit center offers free or low cost primary medical and health care services. The low income and uninsured may benefit from health screenings, check ups, pediatric care and general medicine. There is also free dental, including cleanings, preventative care, and care for people on Medicaid. Find a dentist for adults with Medicaid.

  • Other care is offered too, including for people with no money or insurance. The community clinic also offers diagnostic procedures, medications and follow up treatment. Location is 312 Prince Street, Sevierville, TN 37862, phone (865) 774-7684, or read medical bill assistance.




Chota Community Health Services - Tellico Plains Clinic operates a sliding fee scale. A wide range of family medical and dental services are offered to low income insured and uninsured. Address is 412 Hunt Street, Tellico Plains, Tennessee 37385. Call (423) 253-6545


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