KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — A year ago, the Catholic Charities of East Tennessee's Dameron Avenue building was set ablaze.
Despite the hardships the organization faced within the past year, it said it is thriving - having served over 3,000 clients since the day of the fire.
While the services looked different, the organization said it didn't stop serving its community.
The executive director of CCETN, Lisa Healy, said that she's proud of what the team has achieved in the past year.
“I am proud of our CCETN team, serving our community in our 11 social service programs, without any interruption, even though we are in a temporary space,” Healy said.
Since the arson, CCETN said it relocated to a temporary location until the Dameron Avenue building is rebuilt. Despite this, it is still helping the community's most vulnerable, especially with Christmas approaching.
Construction is expected to last until the summer of 2023, and Healy said that in the meantime, the organization is keeping the focus on its mission.
“This year we have kept focus on our mission, expanding new programs that support families and children,” Healy said.
Within the past year, CCETN said it has also expanded its services to better the community.
This spring, it opened Adoption Services as well as the Columbus Home Safe Place for Kids, a partnership to support children who are in the care of the Department of Children Services.
It also opened its sixth pregnancy center in Helenwood, Tenn.
Healy went on to thank the community and CCETN's partners who have offered support throughout the past year.
“Because of the support of community partners and donors, CCETN has been able to help hundreds this past year,” Healy said. “We are so grateful for your support and commitment to our mission. Thank you.”