KINGSPORT, Tenn. (WJHL) – Kingsport Homeless Ministry announced plans to open a homeless day center and night shelter on E. Sullivan Street in a meeting with community members on Wednesday.
According to nonprofit leaders, the organization will move into 700-710 E. Sullivan Street around the beginning of September.
Kingsport Homeless Ministry Board President Bobby Flowers said there is a lot of work to do in the coming months that will require the help of the community.
“This is not just us. This is a city outreach,” Flowers said. “We need everybody. We need churches. We need the city. We need the other agencies that work with people. We just need everybody.”
Flowers said that despite other organizations that assist the homeless population in Kingsport, there is still an overwhelming need for more help.
Flowers said there are approximately 175 homeless in the Kingsport area. Kingsport City School officials said there are about 145 homeless children.
“We knew there was a lack of beds and a lack of just a one place where homeless can come and get their resources,” Flowers said.
On Wednesday, about a dozen organizations came out to learn more about the shelter and how to help.
ETSU Nursing is one organization in the process of forming a partnership with Kingsport Homeless Ministry to provide the homeless with help for medical needs.
“Nursing has its roots in the community,” Christy Hall, ETSU College of Nursing representative said. “Our nursing students are going to have the opportunity to do exactly what nurses should be doing and that is serving the people in the community.”
City leaders were also in attendance at the meeting Wednesday.
“They’re a very responsible organization,” Kingsport Mayor Pat Shull said. “My concern is that the community helps out and provides funding.”
“This has been a long time coming,” Shantell Bogle with the Oasis of Kingsport Women’s Ministry said. “Kingsport needs to come together and solve this problem, and this is just one more step in the right direction.”