KNOXVILLE (WATE) – Knox Area Rescue Ministries broke ground on an expansion at their Serenity House which is aimed at helping women in dangerous situations.
The women’s recovery facility will undergo $1.3 million in renovations and updates. The facility currently houses 25 women, but after renovations will be able to house 34 women.
“Women who have fled abusive situations or women who are ready today to get off of drugs, when they come to us, we’ve got to be ready to take them in,” said KARM president and CEO Burt Rosen. “Which means we’ve had women sleeping on couches and other places just to make sure that we get them off the street. This will give them their space. It will give our counselors space, it will give us a training kitchen that allows us to build job skills and that’s just essential for what we do.
Serenity, the women’s recovery facility, will undergo massive renovations, including the addition of a large multi-purpose meeting room to allow all residents, volunteers and staff to meet together, interior upgrades, and modernization to the structure to add considerable capacity and resources to serve more women. The construction is expected to take nine to twelve months.
The facility is the former Mount Rest Home, donated to Knox Area Rescue Ministries in the early 1990’s.
“Serenity is a highly effective program which through the years can point to numerous long-term success stories of women whose lives have been restored and who are now productive, contributing members of our community,” said Rosen. “We have made increasing programmatic changes to assist more and more women in recent years and now it is time for the building to catch up. Given the age and wear and tear on the building, which houses thirty women 24 hours a day, we must address facility improvements. We are expanding capacity as well as making the needed facility improvements to accommodate these significant program changes. These changes will allow us to continue helping break the cycle of homelessness for women who come to us in need.”