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Knox County Salvation Army emergency assistance programs.

There are several main programs administered by the Salvation Army in Knox County Tennessee. The non-profit offers housing solutions from Operation Bootstrap, help for women and single parents, free Christmas assistance, and more. In some cases, families in Knox County can receive a limited amount of financial help for bills or rental expenses.

The non-profits short term, or Transitional Housing program is a much more involved program than Operation Bootstrap, and this one requires a 6 month period of commitment from clients. The expectations for those who enroll are to consistently have full-time employment and a source of income with no lapses. They also need to save money, pay a certain portion of rent (minimal) and to continue to work towards individualized goals that have been established.

In turn, while working within this Salvation Army housing program, clients have meals, a place to stay and the support of case management staff. The purpose of this transitional housing is to establish independence and self-reliance for participants with the support provided by the Salvation Army.

Currently, the program has a men's shelter while the women's housing unit is an option too, including for their children.  has a capacity for 18 women. For further information call (865) 525-9401.

Emergency financial assistance may be required for addressing all types of crisis within a family unit including a short term reduction in work hours, debilitating illness or a sudden loss of employment. The Salvation Army staff is available to attend to specific needs such as offer help with food, grants for utility bills or provide household items such as furniture or free clothing. In rare cases, loans or some other cash assistance is available for a rent payment in Knox County. Sometimes the line between preventing homelessness and providing minimal, temporary assistance is very small. The phone number is (865) 525-9401.

Operation Bootstrap, like the similar Transitional Housing program referenced above, is a solution to homelessness on a more permanent basis for men. Clients of the Salvation Army are offered a variety of resources through the solution including housing, free meals, counseling and Bible studies within a secure and structured environment.




In order to enroll, expectations for participation in this program include working, assisting with household chores, making payment toward rent, and more. Housing in this program is available for dozens of men with a typical stay of two weeks time. Clients tend to move on in their lives outside of the program, however, many move up to the Transitional Housing Program. Dial (865) 525-9401.

Family or Thrift stores is another resource for clients that provides for tax-deductible donations and a more viable, financial retail alternative.  Any proceeds from the sale of items goes directly back to the Knoxville area financial assistance programs and services throughout the county.

Women from all areas of life may be affected by domestic violence and the Joy D. Baker Center offers support for them in a secure, safe facility while providing shelter, free meals and assistance by trained staff members. Shelter is provided for homeless children and women too. In addition, women receive services from counselors and liaisons in dealing with court and school systems, referrals to other agencies based on individual client needs, and assistance with finding employment in Knox County.

Other support is available too. Children are also deeply affected by domestic violence and the Rainbow Promises program was created by the Salvation Army to assist them through appropriate counseling and providing individual educational guidance. Main phone (865) 525-9401.

Both people impacted and responders can get help from disaster relief. The Salvation Army is an assistance organization that is officially recognized on federal, state of Tennessee and local government levels across the country.





Included in the services provided in Knox County are specially trained volunteers and officers who work to offer food, clothing, shelter, comfort and assistance with many other daily living requirements. An example of one of the services provided by the Salvation Army are mobile kitchens which are familiar to many members of the greater Knoxville community.

Christmas and holiday help is important as that morning is a special time for children, teenagers, and infants. They deserve to have that moment, especially the thousands of underprivileged children in the greater Knoxville community. The Angel Tree and adopt a Family programs were created to provide donated new items for children in need. Items such as shoes, clothes and toys are offered to families that have a need for help and are not currently participating in other charitable holiday programs.

The main centers in Knox County are as follows.

  • 409 N. Broadway, Knoxville, TN 37917, dial (865) 971-4931
  • 2010 Jacksboro Pike, LaFollette, TN 37776, main phone (423) 566-2214
  • 350 N. Illinois Ave., Oak Ridge, TN 37830. Call the center at (865) 483-5072
  • A center is at 1413 E. Broadway (5 Points Area), Maryville, TN 37803, dial (865) 983-7155




By Jon McNamara

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