CHATTANOOGA TENN (mocsnews.com) – “It was a call to the human experience of dying,” said Founder and Executive Director of Welcome Home of Chattanooga Sherry Campbell. “Welcome Home opened to that very human need of being loved and cared for, especially at the end of life.”
Welcome Home of Chattanooga is a local nonprofit dedicated to serving those in need of end-of-life or medical respite care who would otherwise have nowhere else to go. The organization partners with local hospice agencies to provide resident medical care and has cared for over 80 individuals since its founding in March of 2015.
(Via BetterTennessee.com: Founder and Executive Director Sherry Campbell next to the nonprofit foundation.)
“We partner with these amazing hospices in the community who come in and provide the hospice care just like they would in your home,” stated Campbell. “They partner with us to make sure that the people we’re here to care for get the best care.”
A major portion of care for the residents come from the Chattanooga community in the forms of volunteering and internships. “I had the opportunity to intern here in 2016 and 2017,” said Alexis Loudenslager, Director of Social Services at Welcome Home. “Seeing the growth from then until now, I think that volunteers are really the backbone of this place and have gotten us where we’re at today.”
(Via The Chattanoogan: Volunteers from First Horizon Bank assist Welcome Home renovate their new property location on Quiet Creek Trail)
Loudenslager also assists residents who may have an improving health during their stay at Welcome Home to find a more permanent residence after their stay. “One of my wonderful jobs here is to try to find these people housing,” said Loudenslager
Assistance is given to improved residents of Welcome Home through multiple methods such as seeking benefits for residents that had not been previously given, as well as working with local organizations in the community to offer housing. These benefits may include veteran assistance or social security, said Loundenslager.
The nonprofit offers educational classes and events throughout the year to encourage the education of families and individuals about end-of-life care. Lectures, interactive discussions and programs are also available to those wanting to learn.
“Our education program [serves] as a way of people learning and becoming more comfortable to talk about death and dying,” said Campbell. “We’ll continue to offer a safe place for people to come for end-of-life care, and to grow and expand to be able to serve more people.”
Campbell hopes that her work at Welcome Home will aid in the fight against homelessness in the Chattanooga community. She aims to work to grow and expand Welcome Home so that more in the Chattanooga community may be served.
“Another dream of Welcome Home is to start seeing homes like this across the state,” said Loudenslager. “Start grassroots, start small and then show folks how we did it.”
More information about Welcome Home of Chattanooga can be found at Welcomehomeofchattanooga.org.
Mal O’Connell contributed from Chattanooga.