After the COVID-19 virus hit Knoxville we decided to spend the time we’d been given to look for a new home for our drop-in center. We wanted to find a space that could become a permanent fixture in both Raising a Voice and the local community. When our current building became available we knew that God was placing this new location in our path for a reason. After weeks of praying and waiting, we finally got to tour the new center and realized that it was perfect for us! We made the decision to purchase the building and were able to close and move in at the end of May.
The renovation process required a lot of elbow grease! We have been so blessed to have so many volunteers come transform this building over the last few months. The team at Hope Fellowship have been incredibly helpful in getting the building up and running. We’ve been able to get every square inch clean, from the walls to the carpets, it has been awesome to see how this building has changed. Once we fixed the last few minor repairs and moved in the furniture, we were able to open! Moving forward, we are hoping to update and continue to clean to make the space as homey as possible for everyone who walks through the doors.
We understand that the idea of the drop-in center model can be a little weird for people to understand, due to the fact that we don’t require anything, we’re not a shelter, and women can come and go as they please. However, we hope people can see that this low threshold creates an entry point for people who are ready to leave prostitution or abusive situations. We want people to be able to learn more about other opportunities that they may have in their life that they don’t know about or have never been previously told about.
We want women to know about our center. We want it to be a place where these women can come do laundry, build relationships, feel safe, and begin to dream about what else God has planned for them. We believe this center can become a new starting point for people in the community and we can’t wait to see how God transforms the lives of those in need.