KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Volunteer Ministry Center started construction last week on a new low-barrier shelter on North Broadway for Knoxville's homeless community. 

The low-barrier shelter known as 'The Foyer' will be located between VMC's headquarters and Knoxville's day space under the I-40 overpass.

Last March, Knoxville's City Council approved $245,000 in funding for the shelter through the City's Community Development Department. 

"This shelter will serve as another important connection between people experiencing homelessness and outreach workers at VMC and other service providers," said Michael Dunthorn, coordinator of Knoxville's Office on Homelessness. 

Renovations are set to be completed later this year. The overnight emergency shelter will provide between 40 and 45 beds to people experiencing homelessness, according to the city.

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Additionally, the shelter will help connect people to housing opportunities. 

"Its purpose is not only to bring people in from outside but also to help them access and move on to appropriate permanent housing and a better, more healthy life," Dunthorn said. 

VMC will provide oversight, staffing and management of the shelter from 4 p.m. to 8:30 a.m. each day. 

In order for individuals to access the shelter, they must be referred by street outreach workers from VMC, Community Action Committee, Helen Ross McNabb Center or other social service providers. 

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