Ladies of Charity assistance programs.

Low income families that are in a crisis, but that have otherwise been self-sufficient, can contact Ladies of Charity for assistance. They offer some of their own direct forms of assistance to residents and also can provide linkage to other resources. Everything from free food to emergency funds for rent is available, as well as information on public assistance programs.

There are restrictions in place. In addition to having some form of valid photo identification, all clients of Ladies of Charity must provide current proof of income, residency or if they receive government aid, then proof of that is needed. These various forms of support are required each time assistance is sought from the organization.

Acceptable proof of residency in Knox County includes a current utility bill and piece of mail with a current postmark. It will need to have the client’s name and address. They also need copies of leases as well as electric bills, or whatever the item the person is seeking help for.

The organization’s food pantry is one place to turn to for resources. The location also distributes clothing, bread, fruits, produce and miscellaneous household items. So that is combined with canned items. The resources are offered, on a first-come, first-served basis, as donations allow in Knoxville.

The food pantry is for indigent individuals and families. Clients of Ladies of Charity can make use of the center once every several weeks. At the pantry, people can also apply for benefits such as SNAP food stamps and make appointments with Ladies of Charity staff for assessments and referrals.

Individuals can also obtain other goods at the center. There may be free hygiene kits at the pantry once every 30 days. Furthermore, the location distributes sanitary napkins, free diapers, baby food, blankets, winter hats, coats, shoes, gloves and also school supplies. All of this is limited and depends on donations.

Often combined with the pantry services above is a nutrition course and education. Clients can learn about using coupons as well as other money-saving advice. This course will help people achieve long term independence when it comes to their food needs.




Needy individuals and families from the greater Knox County Tennessee region can also shop at a separate clothing center. It is set up similar to a thrift store. For those that meet income limits or that are faced with a crisis such as a fire, all items are free of charge. This resource is available to qualified individuals once every three months at most.

The clothing closet / thrift store has other goods available as well. Some of what is on site includes personal hygiene goods. This may be shampoo & conditioner, toilet paper, toothpaste and toothbrushes. Or very low income people can be given vouchers to pay for deodorant, razors for shaving, bar soap, or feminine hygiene products.

Ladies of Charity financial assistance is an option as well. Any funds are limited, but they can be provided for rent or utility-service deposits or down payments. There may be some money available for water bills as well, if the client is faced with a crisis.

Note that cash is not distributed directly to the applicant. Rather all payments are made directly to the organizations from which clients are indebted. In order to obtain financial aid to restore utility service, applicants must submit a recent disconnection notice. If a family on a low income owes a substantial amount of money to a utility company, then the applicant needs to pay a portion of that cost. So proof of another source of financial assistance is required.

In order to obtain a voucher from Ladies of Charity to pay for prescription medications, residents of Knox County must provide proof of cost from a pharmacy in addition to the other necessary documentation. This support is for individuals and families who are struggling with financial problems. Ladies of Charity offers monetary aid for making rent or mortgage payments.

All applicants for any type of financial support must attend a life skills workshop. This is done in an effort to stabilize the situation. Clients will be given instruction regarding identity theft, credit reporting, budgeting, payday lending and other financial issues.





The organization also has information on low income housing programs in Knox County. They were created for very low income as well as currently homeless persons and poverty-stricken families.

Through its shelters and transitional housing program, Ladies of Charity aims to help families gain the skills and resources needed for stable self-sufficiency. The agency’s staff members help people apply for government subsidies and obtain support services for clients.

As part of this, case managers help individuals develop strategies to increase household income via employment, education, training and other avenues. Moreover, staff from Ladies of Charity connect clients with community resources to ensure that the individual’s needs are met. Food, furniture and household goods are provided to families as they work towards self-sufficiency.

The phone line for emergency assistance is only open in the morning, and the number is 865-474-9348. Or stop by the main center at 120 W Baxter Avenue, Knoxville, TN 37917.




By Jon McNamara

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