Helen Ross McNabb Foundation completes $4.25 million campaign to increase domestic violence transitional housing

(Knoxville, Tenn.) The Helen Ross McNabb Foundation is pleased to announce the completion of a $4.25 million capital campaign that will provide new and expanded transitional housing for women and families escaping domestic violence. 

“It is important to provide safe and comfortable housing to give the women and children impacted by domestic violence an opportunity to improve their lives and regain independence,” said Ted Flickinger and Debbie Jones, campaign co-chairs. “It has been a privilege to work alongside the McNabb Center staff as they find ways to address these needs.”

Since 2007, the Center’s Transitional Housing Assistance Program has offered resources and services for survivors’ long-term housing and safety needs. However, Knox County lacks safe and affordable housing options for victims of domestic violence, with a current wait of three to six months. 

The inability to find affordable housing may prevent individuals from leaving an abusive partner. Victims of domestic violence in Knox County are also at higher risk of assault or homicide after separating from their abuser, further underscoring the importance of safe housing.

“We are honored to provide an opportunity to enhance transitional housing for families fleeing domestic violence in Knoxville,” said Houston Smelcer, McNabb Center vice president of development and government relations. “This critical gap in the community is more essential now than ever.”

The Foundation’s capital campaign will create six two-bedroom apartment units, six one-bedroom apartment units, group meeting space, and on-site offices for McNabb Center staff when complete. The Center plans to break ground on the project in Summer 2022. The facility will be dedicated in memory of Sarah Stowers, a longtime supporter, volunteer and friend of the McNabb Center.

“The Stowers family is very excited about the McNabb Center’s plans to significantly improve and expand its services by providing safe transitional housing and counseling to families suffering domestic violence,” said Wes Stowers. “Our parents, Sarah and Harry Stowers, would be very pleased to know of our family’s continued support of the McNabb Center’s mission.”

The project is supported by contributions from The Stowers Family, Knox County Government, Thomas & Lindsey Boyd, Bob & Molly Joy, Lawson Family Foundation, Jim & Natalie Haslam, Bill & Chrissy Haslam, The Pilot Corporation, Steve & Ann Bailey, Phillip O. Lawson, Richard & Joni Maples, Cherokee Distributing and numerous community donors. 

“Knox County is proud to partner with the Helen Ross McNabb Foundation to support transitional housing specifically for families escaping domestic violence,” said Mayor Glenn Jacobs. “We must come together as a community to provide this vital resource and help families feel safe while they regain their independence.”

Since its founding in 1972, the Helen Ross McNabb Foundation has worked diligently to support the work of the McNabb Center. In addition to providing leadership and direction, the Foundation’s staff and volunteer board actively raises, holds and invests funds on behalf of the Center. Funds raised by the Foundation over the past 50 years have contributed greatly toward the stability and growth of the Center. For more information, visit or call 865-541-6684.