View our 2016 Annual Report
The Chattanooga Community Kitchen first opened our doors as a feeding program in 1982 when seven downtown churches partnered together in an effort to better meet the needs of Chattanooga’s growing homeless population. Since then, we have expanded to cover a city block, providing food and wrap-around services to the homeless and needy of Chattanooga seven days a week, 365 days a year. Our mission is to work to lessen the struggle and despair of the homeless and needy without expectation of recompense, but out of love and compassion for human kind.
We do not place expectations on individuals in order for them to receive our basic services. Our feeding and clothing give-away programs are open to all, at no cost, as are showers, laundry facilities, phone and mail services. Our more involved programs do have basic requirements for participation, as determined by HUD and other standards.
The services at the Community Kitchen are many. Life’s basic necessities are often overlooked when they are readily available. Imagine being homeless. Imagine looking for work, but having no address or telephone number to place on your job application. Imagine being filthy with nowhere to bathe, or heading to a job interview with no clean shirts. The Community Kitchen is here to help with these basic needs and more. To begin with, we’ll feed you. It is hard to do much on an empty stomach. Then we’ll let you shower, give you clothing and a place to sit for a moment.
Afterwards, we have an outreach case manager that can sit with you and begin to direct you to the next step of services.
If you need a job, we have case managers on staff who are charged with not only helping you, the homeless individual, look for work, but also helping with preparing for the job, writing resumes, getting clothing, practicing interviewing and even finding the right fit.
We have three shelters available (for men, women, or families) for those needing a good night’s sleep. We have transitional housing for families ready to leave shelters, but not yet able to move into their own home. If you need healthcare, substance abuse treatment or mental health case management, we have the Homeless Health Care Center on-site. If you need Veteran’s Assistance, Food Stamps, or Social Security, we have representatives who come to us to help you enroll in their programs. If you need a toothbrush, we can give it to you. Once we help you find your way, you can begin taking advantage of some of our simplest services, to meet your basic needs. When your case manager helps find you your first job lead, you can use our address and phone number on your application. They can call here, and we can get you the call, or take a message. Once you have some clothing, you can use our washer and drier to keep it clean. While you’re involved in a program, you even can stay in one of our shelters so that you can keep your job. We will do what we can to help meet your needs, to enable you, the homeless man, woman, or child, to succeed. Through all of the services we offer, we seek to satisfy the spiritual and physical hunger of the homeless and needy of Chattanooga. There are no fees or requirements for receiving our services. Instead, we provide them out of compassion and love for mankind as we strive to fill gaps in the lives of needy men, women and children.