Fletcher’s Homemade and Factory Connection to help fight county homelessness

Published 8:00 pm Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Homelessness can be a traumatizing event for anyone, but even more so for families with school age children. The various causes of it are many, but it can happen sometimes with simply missing a paycheck or a complete loss of a job. Some students do not realize a schoolmate’s “home” may be a parked car or even a tent in the woods.

Unlike some larger cities and counties that have a very visible homeless problem, locally the problem here is just beneath the surface. “There’s a whole homeless community in our area that we are not aware of because they are embarrassed and don’t seek help,” said Lisa Fletcher, owner of Fletcher’s Homemade.

Two local businesses are teaming up with a county school official to help fight Carter County’s problem of homeless school children.

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Fletcher’s Homemade and Factory Connection are helping lead the charge to combat this hidden issue with an upcoming fundraiser called the Carter County Schools Homeless Education Program.

Some of the events that will used to raise funds will be a class on how to make a hobo bag that will be taught by seamstress and Sycamore Shoals costumer Donna Horowitz. 

Nancy Berry from Factory Connection and the Evenings on Elk event will also be helping to make everything a success. “We will be selling homemade cookies and pound cakes…homemade jewelry,” she said. Berry also said that there are many other items for sale as well to help raise funds.

“It makes your heart feel good when you can help someone else in the community. There’s a time in everyone’s life when someone needs help and if you can give back after people have been good and kind to you, you can do that. And to see a smile on a child’s face when they get something, or even parents, it is just a wonderful feeling to be able to do that — to help someone,” said Berry.

Some of the items needed for the homeless supply closet include clear and mesh backpacks, paper, notebooks and other school material. Also needed are personal hygiene items such as soap and shampoo; basic household items like toilet paper, paper towels, laundry detergent and soap; and new clothing for younger children and teens. Financial donations will also be appreciated.

County schools Student Support Coordinator Alison Timbs said, “Proceeds [from the fundraiser] will go to families in Carter County schools and to fill the supply closet.” Timbs is also known as the homeless liaison for the county school system. Timbs said the homeless can reach out to her office at 423-342-0070 or 423-547-4008 for assistance.

The fundraiser will be held as part of the Evenings on Elk event at Fletcher’s Homemade located at 510 Elk Avenue, Friday, May 10, from 6 to 8 p.m.

Berry and Fletcher said the Evenings on Elk this year will be working with area businesses to put on a different fundraiser each month from May to October.