In 1986, several of our area's pastors saw a need in our community and joined together to open a shelter shortly after the death of a homeless man under a bridge in downtown Morristown. Out of that tragedy, the Ministerial Association Temporary Shelter (MATS) was created. The original location of MATS was at the Kingmeyer Hotel.
MATS used three rooms in the hotel during the winter of 1987. It was divided into a men's dorm, a women's dorm, and a separate room for prayer and counseling. In the first month, MATS provided 62 shelter nights!
After the cold of winter was gone, the shelter closed in April of 1987, but there was still a need for a homeless shelter in this area. On November 13, 1987, MATS had our grand opening at the Hill Street location in Morristown, Tennessee.
The Hill Street property served as the location for MATS until 2017 when we received the opportunity to purchase our current building on Main Street. The facility was built as a residential building, and it serves our needs much better than the single-family home was able to do. It is easy to keep clean and pest-free and is able to handle even our highest volume winter months.
The MATS Charter states that the purpose of the shelter is "to provide temporary shelter for homeless people; to provide meals to homeless people; to provide assistance to homeless people such as counseling, job search and referrals; and to provide public education on the problems of homelessness". Over thirty years later, the leaders of MATS are proud to say that the original mission has been maintained.