United Way Launches East Knoxville Neighborhood Fund

Communications Director

Kristin Farley
(865) 215-2589

400 Main St., Room 691
Knoxville, TN 37902

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United Way Launches East Knoxville Neighborhood Fund

Posted: 05/11/2021
United Way of Greater KnoxvilleUnited Way of Greater Knoxville, along with the City of Knoxville and Knox County governments, is launching a Direct Neighborhood Fund to provide resources to the East Knoxville community in response to recent gun violence and tragic events. With $100,000 in seed funds from United Way of Greater Knoxville, $50,000 from the City of Knoxville, and $50,000 from Knox County, the fund will have a starting balance of $200,000 and will continue to grow. Funds will be directed to support black, indigenous, people of color (BIPOC) led nonprofit organizations doing violence interruption programming and youth and family enrichment and development work.

“Like many individuals here in Knoxville,” says United Way of Greater Knoxville President & CEO Matt Ryerson, “our organization has been in mourning for families who have lost children in recent incidents of gun violence. We have been looking for answers to very complex questions, and we are honored to be joined by the City and County to support the East Knoxville grassroots organizations that are doing incredible, life changing – and lifesaving – work in addressing those complex questions.”

Key community leaders in East Knoxville will be the decision makers in this grant making process. They will name the fund, determine how to administer the money, and where to most effectively invest. 100% of donations will go to support the agencies and organizations selected to receive funding by the committee.

Both City of Knoxville Mayor Indya Kincannon and Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs have expressed their support for the fund and the essential service it will help provide to the community.

“Our neighbors in East Knoxville have been suffering,” said Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs. “I’ve said I am committed to working with our schools and the city to do what I can but recognize a lot of those efforts won’t start immediately or have immediate results. Thankfully, this is happening now and will function with input from those closest to the heart of it.”

“This collaborative fund is great way to support even more organizations that are already on the ground connecting with our young people,” Mayor Indya Kincannon said. “We all must continue to ask ourselves: how can we help our children feel safe and support violence prevention efforts in our City? This is another step in the right direction.”

United Way of Greater Knoxville’s priorities align with the mayors: to protect and uplift the children of East Knoxville.

“Overall, our goal is to support nonprofits who work with, nurture, encourage, and support our incredibly resilient but underserved youth,” says Ryerson. “By partnering with the leaders and community stakeholders who know these neighborhoods best, we can ensure that our resources are meeting the needs of the community.”