Lenoir City homeless shelter for women struggling to stay afloat

6 News Reporter

LENOIR CITY (WATE) -- A struggling local shelter gets some much-needed help after a funding shortfall. But, Iva's Place in Lenoir City fears it may not be enough, especially when there's been an increase in need.

The non-profit has already been forced to close its homeless shelter for women and children.

It has been a month, and the doors are still shut.

"We need this open. We need this open," says Nancy Grimes, Iva's Place Program Director.

Grimes is frustrated, but driven.

Homeless women from Loudon and surrounding counties look to her for help in the form of a hot meal, life skills, and a safe place to stay.

"You'll hope they'll renew your grant. You'll hope you'll get it again, but we didn't," says Grimes.

The non-profit lost funding for a state grant.

All that is left open is their soup kitchen and several apartments for women who have been victims of domestic violence.

"We have small bedrooms for mothers with small children," says Beverly Bittner, an Iva's Place Board Member who showed us around the shelter.

It is empty now, but they just go received some good news.

"We were able to meet with them and determine that they had some legitimate, immediate needs," says Judy Fenton, United Way of Loudon County Director.

Fenton says they intend to provide the non-profit with a $9,000 emergency grant.

They'll also match any new funding up to $10,000.

While the money will keep Iva's Place afloat, Grimes says it is not enough to help her do what she does best.

"There is a Jewish saying, and it's called, 'repair the earth.' I'm not going to repair the earth, but I can take one out of five of these women and help them stand up again," says Grimes.

Iva's Place can be reach by phone at (865) 388-6965 or by mail:

Iva's Place
P.O. Box 71
Lenoir City, TN 37771

The crisis line is (865) 988-7867.