October 5, 2020
“Volunteer Ministry Center supports and will be assisting the City of Knoxville in the efforts to address the needs at Blackstock. Given the emerging issues of the camp sites, our agency fully recognizes and will be part of the coordinated efforts to assist the individuals needing shelter and thus start the process of securing permanent housing and referrals to resources for behavioral and physical health as needed.
As evidenced by street outreach efforts by Volunteer Ministry Center, Knox Area Rescue Ministries and Community Action Committee, the practice of physical distancing at the camp is not being observed. In addition, the presence of poor sanitation affecting the health of the individuals and the known and unknown incidents jeopardizing the safety of everyone at the location requires immediate and appropriate attention.
With the coming of the winter and cold weather conditions, individuals need sheltering opportunities that promote better health outcomes and a path to permanent housing
As a Knoxville City partner in providing services to individuals and families experiencing homelessness and near homelessness, Volunteer Ministry Center will be coordinating with other service providers to ensure the best outcome for each individual. VMC will also be making adjustments in our program offerings, especially at The Foyer and Resource Center, to meet the needs of those at Blackstock and assist in meeting the community’s objectives of promoting the health and well-being for all citizens.”