Our History

In 1985, there was a lot of discussion and concern related to the emerging homeless trends that were appearing all over the country.  Congress put forth the Homeless Persons Housing and Supportive Services Act of 1985 and during the same year Knoxville’s Mayor Kyle Testerman appointed 25  members to what would be known as the Knoxville-Knox County Homeless Coalition.  

Original members included the Executive Director of KCDC, the five Executive Directors from the local shelters, the Executive Directors from the mental health centers, the Vice President of St. Mary’s to name a few and he appointed Dr. Roger Nooe to chair the coalition.  Dr. Nooe was a social work professor at the time at the University of Tennessee who brought objective oversight  to the group. The coalition met once a month at the City/County Building and discussed emerging trends, familiarized themselves with everyone’s programs, developed operating standards for the local shelters in town and in 1986 completed the first homeless study in Knoxville where various agency representatives conducted an interview with individuals who were living on the streets and in the shelters.

  The KKCHC has been going strong and meeting monthly since 1985.  It is now made up of agency representatives who volunteer to attend monthly meetings to coordinate services for individuals and families who are experiencing homelessness in Knoxville.  In 2009 we adopted our official mission statement “to foster collaborative community partnerships in a focused effort that seeks permanent solutions to prevent, reduce, and end homelessness.” 

Meet the Executive Committee


Nate First

Vice President

Bruce Spangler


Sara Wilhelm


Katie McIlwain 

City of Knoxville Office on Homelessness / CoC

Mike Dunthorn

Office of Housing Stability/ CoC

Shawn Griffin

Office of Housing Stability

Erin Read

Outreach and Engagement Committee Co-Chair / Nomination Committee Co-Chair

Rosie Cross

Coordinated Entry/CHAMP

Chris Smith

Advocacy and Development Co-Chair

Sarah Bradsher

Advocacy and Development Co-Chair

Evan Stringer

Youth Action Board / Nomination Committee Co-Chair

Jasper McEwin

Youth Action Board

Brianna Hanson 

Nomination Committee Co-Chair

Allie Cohn

Veterans Administration

Tiffany Higginbotham 

Education Committee Co-Chair

Sabrina Greene

Education Committee Co-Chair

Elvia Reyes


Coalition By-Laws 2015-2.pdf
Standards of care.pdf