Meeting physical, social, emotional, and spiritual needs through and service and love in Appalachia
Describe the need affecting community
Though the coal-mining industry declined many years ago, “forgotten Appalachia” still suffers from the economical impacts that are paired with a consistent sense of fatalism. Based on the most recent census report for Grundy County, the primary county we serve, the average income of residents is $15,683 per capita and the medium household income is $26,814 while the Tennessee state average is $44,298. Furthermore, it is estimated that 29.7% of persons living in Grundy County are living below the poverty level. With 6,372 households in the county, that results in approximately 1,892 poverty-stricken households. The Appalachian Regional Commission compares three economic indicators unemployment, per capita income, and poverty rates to rank counties, and Grundy County has persistently fallen in the lowest category titled “distressed.”
How will this Advance project help to address the need?
The issue of poverty is not one that will be easily solved, but Mountain T.O.P. aims to combat the problem of fatalism through partnership and through empowerment. We strive to meet the physical, social, emotional, and spiritual needs of any family or child with whom we work with, in hopes of building a meaningful relationship. Our goal is to address the root issues and provide hope.
Describe the primary goal of the project
Mountain T.O.P.’s primary goal has remained steadfast for more than 40 years. To help meet the physical, spiritual, social, and emotional needs of the Tennessee Cumberland Mountain people. Mountain T.O.P. exists to address expressed needs through partnership with the hope of building healthy, meaningful relationships and by combating the effects of fatalism. We strive to empower people through Christ’s love and hope. Long term, we hope to see a reverse in the poverty cycle currently inhibiting the Cumberland Plateau.
Describe the change you would like to see in the community as a result of this Advance project
We hope to see the following long-term changes as a result of our continued presence. A decrease in substandard housing (home repair), an increase in school or community leadership (day camp), an increase in community involvement, a decrease in the percentage of households below the poverty level, and an increase in local volunteers.