Central Services provides an emergency food pantry to those living or working in Hamblen County. Food for the pantry is gathered from the USDA, Second Harvest, and from area grocery stores and restaurants. Clients can visit the pantry every three months and must bring their most recent rent receipt or utility bill to prove Hamblen County residence. No other documents will be accepted. However, if you work in Hamblen County but do not live in the county, please bring your most recent paystub to prove employment.
If you would like to visit the pantry for your household, but the utility bill is not in your name, Central Services has an address verification form that must be filled out before accessing the pantry. Download the form on the right or request it in person at the front desk of Central Services.
Our thrift store is open Wednesday-Friday, 8:00-4:00. We sell donated clothing, accessories, toys, furniture, housewares, appliances, and more. We try to keep our prices the lowest in the area to best serve our customers. We also run sales on clothing or seasonal items. These sales are usually posted on our Facebook page.
All of the money from sales in the thrift store is used for operating the agency and providing client services. We accept donations Monday-Friday, 8:00-4:00. We are currently unable to pick up any items; they must be brought to the agency. We can provide a tax receipt upon request. Please call our office for more information on donations and pick-ups. View the Charitable Donations Valuation form for more information about substantiating a tax deduction for items donated to charity.
Our goal is to teach and model positive living and coping skills, in hope that we can change some of the habits that lead to unhealthy behaviors. By treating people with honesty, respect and genuine concern we believe that they can learn to deal more effectively with the adversities of life.
◀ Common Information discussed in counseling with caseworkers
◁ Employment and education resources
◁ Affordable child care
◁ Affordable housing (view form) and financial management
◁ Time management
Central Services partners with Douglas Cherokee Neighborhood Center to provide regular and emergency rent and utility assistance for Hamblen County residents. Regular help is in the form of LIHEAP (Low Income Heating and Energy Assistance Program) through Douglas Cherokee. This program occurs every three months; see the services calendar for specifics. Call the office for more details.
Emergency rent and utility assistance is a once per year service with a specific procedure. Those wanting help should call our office (number listed above) and leave their name, phone number, and a bit more information. Then, a caseworker will call back, usually within 24 hours, to discuss need and schedule an appointment if we’re able to assist.
◀ Christmas Food Basket
Central Services provides a food basket for eligible families at Christmas time. This is separate from our emergency food pantry. Residents of Hamblen County, with or without children, may apply to receive this basket to prepare a Christmas dinner.
◀ Christmas Toys Program
Central Services provides toys for Christmas presents to children of eligible families in Hamblen County. When signing up for the program, parents and children pick specific toys or types of toys the child would prefer. These requests are placed on Angel Trees throughout the county, so community members can pick a child and buy them their gift! Extra gifts are given too, with a huge volunteer event to gather these toys and pack Santa's Sleigh with each child's bag! The parents pick up the gifts close to Christmas, in a black bag so the children cannot see where their gifts came from. It is up to the parent to wrap and give the gifts to keep the magic of Christmas alive.
◀ Pre-Teen Present Program
Since children ages 10-12 tend to be harder to shop for and typically get less community-donated gifts, the Preteen Presents Program ensures that this age group is not forgotten at Christmastime!
If you would like to donate items specifically for this program, please call our office.
If you or someone you know has traveled to Hamblen County, but circumstances left them without the resources to return home, traveler's aid may be able to help. Eligible clients can be provided a bus ticket to return home. Call the office for more information.
We partner with local pharmacies to assist with medication needs for those who live or work in Hamblen County that cannot afford it. If you’re interested in medication assistance, call our office and ask to be placed on our callback log. A caseworker will call you and make an appointment if you’re eligible.
The Holiday Hope Fund provides food baskets and toys to eligible families in Hamblen County at Christmas time. There is also a fundraising drive to raise money to purchase the food and extra gifts, volunteer events, and Angel Trees around the county to involve the community.
To sign up, you MUST bring:
1. Proof of Hamblen County address (current utility bill or rent receipt)
2. Proof of income for everyone in the household (can include pay check stub, bank statements, social security award letters, etc.)
3. Social Security cards for everyone in the household.
Look for our Angel Trees! You will start to see our Angel Trees around town! On the trees are tickets with a child's Christmas present wish. You can pick a ticket, purchase a gift, and return it to us to be a part of the magic of Christmas. You can find our Angel Trees at the Walmarts on the East and West ends (not Neighborhood Markets) and in College Square Mall outside Kohl's. You'll see a few others around town as well! Thank you for your support of the Holiday Hope Fund!
We need your help! Our Angel Tree at College Square Mall needs volunteers to accept gifts and donations. Sitters are needed from open to close at the mall and this event goes on from late November to Mid December. If you or your volunteer group is interested in volunteering for this event, click here to fill out an interest form. You will be contacted to schedule a specific time and date. Our other volunteer event is the packing of Santa's Sleigh! During this time, volunteers of all ages can help us package our food and toys for distribution the following week. Volunteers for these days do not need to sign up ahead of time. This event lasts only a couple days in Mid December. Contact us to find out more. Thanks for your interest!
The Hamblen Interagency Coalition (HI-C) is an open meeting of anyone providing services in Hamblen County. This includes social service agencies, local churches, government agencies, and more. Meetings are held on the last Thursday of the month, from 12-1, in the Wallace Room at Central Services (2nd door on the right side of the building). Lunch is provided. Everyone has the opportunity to share information about their programs or events, and each month a different speaker provides in-depth information about their agency or program. Sign up for the mailing list to receive meeting reminders, meeting summaries, and other information about social services in Hamblen County. HI-C does not meet in November or December. HI-C creates a comprehensive resource guide for services in Hamblen County.
HIC Resource Guide