Former North Knoxville church eyed as possibility for Knox Count

Former North Knoxville church eyed as possibility for Knox County Safety Center

Posted:
The church sits alongside the Helen Ross McNabb CenterPointe unit on Ball Camp Pike and is roughly 9,700 square feet. The church sits alongside the Helen Ross McNabb CenterPointe unit on Ball Camp Pike and is roughly 9,700 square feet.
"We have to share a partnership," Burchett said. "You can't just have it one way or the other. We're all in or we're all out." "We have to share a partnership," Burchett said. "You can't just have it one way or the other. We're all in or we're all out."

By SAMANTHA MANNING
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - The Helen Ross McNabb Center told 6 News it is considering entering a recently acquired former church in a bid for a proposed Knox County Safety Center location.

The church sits alongside the Helen Ross McNabb CenterPointe unit on Ball Camp Pike and is roughly 9,700 square feet.

The safety center is something county leaders said is very much needed.

It's expected to help reduce the problem of overcrowding at the Knox County Detention Facility by providing a place to bring in nonviolent mentally ill people for evaluation.

"We've had a problem with the homeless population for quite some time obviously and we can sit here and point fingers at the state government the federal government but the problem is right here and we've got to deal with it," Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett said.

The problem comes down to funding.

Burchett said the county has budgeted $1 million for the facility but he said the county can only invest the money if the city and state also contribute to the project.

"We have to share a partnership," Burchett said. "You can't just have it one way or the other. We're all in or we're all out."

Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero's office said the city is waiting on the results from a task force assigned to evaluate all the options for the safety center before making any final decisions.

The State Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services said it fully supports the facility and is looking into potential funding resources, both state and federal.

Nearby residents, meanwhile, were mixed on their reaction to the possibility of the safety center coming to their neighborhood.

"When people need help you've got to give them help and if not here then where?" Knoxville resident Charles Lawrence said.

"You have to think about the kids and stuff that live around here," Knoxville resident Seanice Welch said.  "If something accidentally happens and someone escapes, and a kid is hurt, whose fault is it then?"

Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and WATE. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.