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The                    Program

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MATS was awarded funding from THDA in the amount of $125,000 for the 2023 ESG Program to fund the Shelter Program, Rapid Rehousing, and HMIS (Homeless Management Information System Database)

Emergency Self-Sufficiency Shelter Program

MATS's mission is to provide shelter, food, and clothing to individuals and families experiencing homelessness to help clients gain sustainable income and permanent housing.


We also provide counseling, education, and advocacy assistance to help clients obtain independent housing and self-sufficiency. We also aim to educate and raise the public's awareness of the myriad problems faced by people experiencing homelessness.


Residents work closely with a case manager to address the root causes of homelessness, find sustainable income, save money, create a budget, and transition into affordable housing.

Through this program, our services include providing clients immediate access to shelter, food, hygiene items, showers, laundry facilities, and clothing. Through case management, we understand what our client has experienced leading up to and during homelessness and the barriers to regaining stability. We developed an action plan toward self-sufficiency. Additional services to help clients include job readiness training, budget/financial coaching, obtaining legal ID documents, and getting appropriate services such as SNAP, Families First, Insurance, and Veteran's benefits. We offer transportation through the public transit system, nutritional and soft skills development, tutoring for children and adults, job and housing application help, and referrals to other programs for wrap-around services regarding the individual or family's situation.

Our ultimate goal is to provide a hand-up during challenging times for those displaced by homelessness and to teach clients skills that will keep them successfully housed for years to come.

Approval Policy:

We use a housing-first model where possible; however, we serve children, and their safety is paramount. Anyone can be admitted to MATS if:

  • They are homeless. (Homelessness must be verifiable according to THDA standards)

  • They must pass an initial drug screen for everything except for marijuana/THC, BZO, BAR, and TCA.

  • They must pass a breathalyzer for alcohol. If they fail the breathalyzer, they can come back in 24 hours. They must be sober to complete the intake process.

  • They can fully care for themselves without needing assistance.

  • ​They are not a registered sex offender, have convictions for, or have a history of sex crimes.

  • MATS will approve admission for un-medicated anxiety, depression, ADD, ADHD, Tourette's Disorder, Asperger's Syndrome, and borderline personality disorder if they do not pose harm or threat to themselves, staff,  or other residents.  

    • Beginning in July 2022, we started accepting un-medicated bipolar disorder (without aggressive tendencies) into the program. After admittance, part of their plan will be to go to Helen Ross McNabb and get stabilized on medication, so they must be willing to do that.

 All other mental illness disorders must be under a doctor's care and stabilized on medication for no less than 30 days before admission.

  • All potential clients must desire to be at the Shelter and want help.

You are not required to have an ID, a Birth Certificate, or a Social Security Card to enter the program.  MATS will help you get those items. 

The staff of MATS would like to extend a warm welcome to you and your family. We are here to assist you throughout your stay. We hope you will come to know MATS as a place of new beginnings. Our goal is to help you identify the barriers that led to your present situation of homelessness and overcome them; we are excited to see you move toward self-sufficiency and independent housing.


We encourage you to help establish your plan of action with the case managers and share your thoughts, feelings, and ideas during your stay. Participation in your plan is vital for success; the program only works if you do. We look forward to working with you through every step toward your independence.

Rapid Re-Housing Program  (RRH)


Rapid Re-housing programs are designed to help those who are homeless transition into permanent housing. Rapid Re-housing programs help families and individuals living on the streets or in emergency shelters solve the practical and immediate challenges to obtaining permanent housing while reducing the amount of time they experience homelessness, avoiding a near-term return to homelessness, and linking to community resources that enable them to achieve housing stability in the long-term. Rapid Re-housing is an important component of a community's response to homelessness. A fundamental goal of rapid re-housing is to reduce the amount of time a person is homeless.

Eligibility Requirements

  1. Individual or family who meets HUD's Homeless Definition under 24 CFR §576.2,

    • Category 1 (Literally Homeless)

    • Category 4 (Fleeing/Attempting to Flee Violence and living in a place described in Category 1)

  2. Individuals or families must be within our service area for RRH, which is: Claiborne, Cocke, Grainger, Hamblen, Jefferson, Sevier, and Union.



*HUD Homeless definition includes the requirement that individuals and families have no other residence AND lack the resources and support networks to obtain other permanent housing.

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