Grant to provide makeover at ETSU’s Johnson City Downtown Day Center

Published 2:32 pm Tuesday, February 2, 2021

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JOHNSON CITY – East Tennessee State University’s Johnson City Downtown Day Center will receive a makeover thanks to a grant from the Johnson City Morning Rotary Club.
The Johnson City Morning Rotary Club is donating $4,000 from its fundraising account. Under the direction of Dr. David Wood, the club’s grant committee chair was awarded a matching $4,000 District Rotary Grant to be used for the project.
Managed by ETSU’s College of Nursing, the Johnson City Downtown Day Center (JCDDC) provides medical and behavioral health services to the community, and is also a safe place for homeless individuals to go during the day to receive these essential services along with additional social services.
“We are so grateful for this grant, which will add needed amenities to the physical facility and beautify the space,” said Jennifer Whitehead, JCDDC director.
The grant will fund the purchase and installation of a storage building to hold donated items, a water fountain and water bottle-filling station, a bike rack, visible signage for the facility, and cleaning and personal hygiene supplies.
A major part of the project is a makeover of the behavioral health and laundry rooms, where the patrons spend much time. Improvements will include painting the walls and wall art, a wall mural in the laundry room and purchase of easily sanitized furniture. The JCDDC staff will also plant a tree with a plaque in remembrance of Paul Lee Plemmons, a long-time, beloved employee of the Day Center.
After five months of planning, budgeting, and approval of design concepts, work on the makeover began on Jan. 15. It will be directed by Connie Whitaker, an interior designer and president of the Johnson City Morning Rotary Club.
“As president of the Johnson City Morning Rotary Club, I am honored to lead our club in this project and sincerely believe what Rotary founder Paul Harris said, “‘Rotary changes us and those we serve. I believe we can change the world one life at a time,’” Whitaker said.
The JCDDC provides medical and behavioral health services to the community, as well as a variety of services to homeless individuals, including medical and mental health clinics, counseling, substance abuse and trauma groups, case management, washer/dryer services, shower services and a clothes closet. The center is open to individuals, families and youth over the age of 18.
For more information, contact Jennifer Whitehead at 423-439-7379.

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