To help us care for our clients, we are looking for several specific resources to address their wide variety of needs. In particular, we sometimes need mentors to work alongside our young adults to help provide guidance and support. We often need affordable housing alternatives, and notifications of job opportunities for workers with a range of skill sets to help them gain job experience. Having no public transportation on the mountain, clients may also need rides to appointments off the mountain. If you can help assist in any of these areas, please contact a Social Worker at our office.
We also work with clients that have been diagnosed with medical conditions that leave them unable to work or drive. These residents now have very little income to pay their rent and stay in their homes. SMSS routinely works with landlords to make partial payments towards the rent that these families need to keep them from becoming homeless. We typically require $15,000 in annual donations to prevent the homelessness of the Signal Mountain families we are caring for. We are also accepting donations specifically earmarked for medical care and prescription drug costs to help the parents of these young families return to their jobs.
SMSS firmly believes that every Signal Mountain resident deserves to feel safe in their own home. Home repairs can be very costly and we typically spend close to $25,000 a year to provide critical solutions to our clients' housing issues. To submit a donation, or to volunteer with this effort, please contact a Social Worker at our office.
Food Pantry Needs
We feed hundreds of Signal Mountain children, adults, and seniors each year. The typical cost to provide this life saving service is $22,000 in groceries, hygiene items, food vouchers and in-kind donations.
To help stock our Food Pantry, nonperishable food items can be dropped off at the Signal Mountain Social Services office between 10am – Noon, Monday – Friday, or left in the receptacles outside our door. Financial donations can be given by clicking the “Donate” button above or mailing a check to our office at SMSS, PO Box 294, Signal Mountain, TN 37377.
The most effective way to prevent multi-generational poverty is to ensure our client’s children succeed in school. Therefore, SMSS began a tutoring program in 2008 to provide the help our children needed to graduate from High School. This incredibly successful program now supports over 40 children in grades (K-12) and has resulted in a 95% high school graduation rate, up from just 5% in 2003.
SMSS currently employs 7 tutors to work with, and mentor, over 50 of our at-risk children each week. Projected cost for this strategic service is $5,000 per month.
To further support our very youngest client’s success in school, SMSS will provide backpacks, school supplies and clothing vouchers to over 70 Signal Mountain children in August of this year. Projected cost for this program is $7,200.
College & Trade School Scholarship
To best ensure our young adults become self-reliant, SMSS began providing college and trade school scholarships to 3 vulnerable students in 2015. This program has grown considerably since then and has resulted in a 90% graduation rate. We are now predicting 12 students will need our scholarship services annually at a cost of $24,000.
Client Impact Story
Our SMMHS tutors identified two high school seniors who would be first-generation college graduates and helped them apply for college using our Signal Mountain Social Services scholarship program. Our tutors had known these children since middle school and believed they were both capable of college-level work and deserving of our scholarship. They worked closely with both students to complete their applications and both of our young clients were accepted to their college of choice and awarded our scholarships to help cover the cost of tuition.
SMSS works with a wide variety of Signal Mountain organizations to give our client’s children extracurricular experiences that they otherwise couldn’t afford. From summer camps to school trips, to MACC enrichment classes, to playing sports or receiving town pool passes, these programs are always an enormous bright spot in our special children’s lives. Our current goal is to give 20 of our at-risk students the opportunity to take a summer class, go to camp, or play a sport each year. If you are interested in providing an at-risk child with this very unique experience, please contact a Social Worker at our office.
Appliances and Furniture
SMSS strives to provide the best possible living conditions for all of our Signal Mountain families in need. Most of our clients can’t afford major appliances or adequate furniture for their homes. Please contact us if you have a gently used appliance or furniture to donate and we will match your donation with a family in need. Delivery of these larger donations is also very much appreciated!
Transportation can be a major barrier to employment for our clients because there is no public transportation on the mountain. Please contact us if you have a vehicle to donate or if you would like to make a financial donation to our vehicle assistance fund!
Oftentimes with no means to afford a computer, our clients can feel intimidated by the digital world we live in. SMSS has computers in our computer lab that our clients can use for job searching and other basic applications. We are looking for volunteers who can work with our clients to help them learn basic technology skills. Please contact us if you can help!
Client Impact Story
Charles was having trouble accessing his Social Security account and benefits. Frustrated with trying to navigate the automated online services, Charles came to us for help. He said that he felt, “so left behind with all of the technology these days”. We were able to work with Charles and access his benefit information online. We then provided Charles with a donated laptop, internet access, and helped teach him basic computer skills. He is excited about having access to the digital world and eager to learn more!