(Story has been updated)
In 2006 Daniel and Mandy Watson founded The Restoration House and began their journey of walking alongside low-income, single-parent women and their children, helping them break free of harmful cycles. They work with them to regain hope and a future through supportive transitional housing, volunteer ally teams, family advocacy and youth development.
Although they have not had any single-parent men in their program, it is something they have had available since 2015 as part of their Christian-based ministry.
The House is going strong in its 15th year of supporting these fragile family units at their campus at 2205 Village Place Way off Robinson Road. Most families spend between two and three years there before moving into apartments or their own homes. At capacity, they serve 24 families.
Now, the agency is accepting single men who have custody of their children. “We are now open to that, and if men apply we hope we’ll be able to help them if we have vacancies,” said Lori Haskell, the agency’s program director who spoke to the Rotary Club of Farragut yesterday. “We know there is a need for this in our community.”
The Watsons were reared by single mothers and witnessed their struggles. That prompted the vision for what is now The Restoration House.
“We feel blessed and honored to be a part of what God is doing to restore single mothers and their families through The Restoration House’s work,” Daniel Watson said.
Haskell said they are always looking for volunteers for their “Ally” program. These are community volunteers who work with a family in all aspects of the process. “Being an ally is a deep commitment of time and we have a training process they have to complete as well. It is very satisfying work.”
They also have professional advocates on staff who help the families with parenting, finances, making correct choices and setting goals.
Their partners are the Harmony Family Center, the Emerald Youth Foundation and 15 church partners, among others. You can learn more about their partners here. You also can learn about The House and how to volunteer.
To explore membership in the Rotary Club of Farragut, email Tom King here or call 865-659-3562. Tom King has served at newspapers in Georgia, Tennessee, Texas and California and has been the editor of two newspapers.