The Chambliss Conversations: Partnerships And The HCDE
Here on “Scenic Roots,” we are telling the story of Chambliss Center for Children through a series of conversations as the nonprofit agency celebrates 150 years in the Chattanooga area.
The organization began in 1872 as a food pantry and clothing closet for orphans after the Civil War and during the Yellow Fever epidemic.
It moved to Vine Street - changing its name from the Women’s Christian Association to The Vine Street Orphan’s Home - and began housing children in need of homes.
In 1939, the agency moved to its current location in Brainerd.
In the 1950’s and 1960’s, as this nation shifted from group care - better known as orphanages - to foster homes, the agency also shifted gears to better serve the community.
A citywide study here in Chattanooga led to the formation of an “around-the-clock” child care model in 1969 where parents could utilize the Chambliss child care program during nontraditional hours.
Children still lived on campus until 2020 when legislative changes here in Tennessee caused the agency to close its group home.
Now, Chambliss Center for Children serves more than 750 children each day through child care - both on and off-campus - foster care and Transitional Living for young adults who have aged out of the foster care system.
Joining us for this conversation from Chambliss: Lesley Berryhill, Director of Special Projects and Events - and Stephanie Foster, director of School-Based Programs.
The story of Chambliss continues next month here on “Scenic Roots.”