There is little that can be done for homeless families in Knox County, short of breaking them up. This is for want of one thing — available, local temporary housing with space for parents and their children.
Today, only a few places are available where mom, dad and the kids can all go. Children who have both parents that are homeless will end up in foster care, or their parents may have to find a family shelter outside of their home community, in another county. Even if a family qualifies for metro housing, there is a long waiting list.
The Winter Sanctuary provides a warm bed overnight five months out of the year for single individuals. But homelessness occurs all year round, and the residents of the sanctuary are turned out during the day time. Having a place to stay 24 hours a day, seven days a week, is the first step toward stability, a “home base” where a life can be put back together.
Knox County has taken steps toward meeting housing goals, but still more needs to be done.