Chattanooga, TN – Mayor Andy Berke has decided to evict The Forgotten Child Fund from their building in order to establish low income housing.
The Forgotten child fund provides toys for children that cannot afford Christmas.
News Channel 9 writes that the organization has been running since 1965, with this year being their 55th Christmas season.
In 2019, they gave toys to 15,000 kids. In the past 10 years with the building, they have given out almost 100,000 toys.
The 19,000 square-foot facility is off East Main Street, but the organization along with Furniture Bank and Homeless Coalition will have to leave February 28th.
“Last December, the City was made aware of a proposed project by the AIM Center and the Vecino Group to create much needed affordable housing for individuals experiencing homelessness and those living with mental illness. We felt the property on East Main was the best location for this project and have begun the land donation process.”, wrote Mayor Berke’s office.
News Channel 9 reports that homelessness in Chattanooga has been on the rise since 2016, pushing Mayor Berke to address the issue over the years.
President of Forgotten Child Fund, Kelly Simmons, is reaching out to the community for support in locating a new building.
“What we’re doing here today is asking for the public to help us find us a home. This has been started with two Chattanooga police officers, and it’s grown from here.” said Simmons.
“I mean, if we’re operating out of a small building, that determines how many kids we can help. And that means, if we can only help five thousand kids, that means nine thousand kids are going to go without a Christmas,” says Clay Ingle, Spokesperson for Forgotten Child Fund.