Breaking News
More () »

Family Promise of Knoxville helps people experiencing homelessness as eviction moratorium nears expiring

With the eviction moratorium expiring at the end of the month, one Knoxville organization is spending its time trying to prevent homelessness.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn — The moratorium on evictions is set to run out at the end of January, and some organizations are stressing the importance of renewing it to prevent people from being homeless.

Executive Director of Family Promise Knoxville, John-Mark Brown, said letting the moratorium expire could lead to major problems.

"We would be looking at mass eviction, it would overwhelm our city. It would overwhelm the resources that are already strapped to the gills," said Brown.

More than 400 families have kept roofs over their heads because of the help of Family Promise. Brown and his team have helped 25 families in Knoxville, keeping them off the streets.

"If we can keep children from knowing that that kind of thing, and that pain of homelessness, we're going to do the best we can to do it," Brown said.

He also said that he understands the situation is dire. The COVID-19 pandemic has led to severe financial difficulties for many renters and families in East Tennessee. Many have had to choose between paying rent or getting groceries.

"The idea that the pool of folks could get even bigger is, as I would say, overwhelming. It's something that keeps me up at night," said Brown.

According to the Shelterforce, mass evictions could lead to higher anxiety, depression and suicide numbers. It could also have an adverse effect on emergency room services.

For children, it could cause declining performance in school and chronic Illness. Brown says protecting them is vital.

"We firmly believe that every child's future begins with a home and that every child deserves to know where they're going to go to bed tonight," Brown said.

As part of his COVID-19 economic relief proposal, President-Elect Joe Biden has asked for an extension on the moratorium until the end of September.


Before You Leave, Check This Out