Joel Trigg is the executive director of Hope Haven Ministries, Inc.
In 1973, a group of Christian businessmen came together with the desire to minister to homeless men in Kingsport. As a result of their united efforts, the Main Street Gospel Mission was established in a building in the 100 block of downtown Kingsport. The Mission provided shelter, a warm meal, and evening chapel services, and housed up to 13 men on a nightly basis until 1980, when a fire starting in the adjacent apartment building destroyed the Mission. Residents of the Mission rescued several people from the fire; however, two people died in this tragedy as a result of smoke inhalation.
The Mission continued to provide services to the homeless in a temporary location—a rented building on the comer of Main and Revere Streets. In 1981, the Board of Directors purchased three lots on the comer of Mission and Dale Streets, and registered the ministry with the State of Tennessee as a non-profit organization under its new name, Hope Haven Ministries, Inc. A fund-raising drive began later that year to renovate the existing house on the property. Donors were encouraged to help by purchasing one square foot of the new mission at a cost of $35.00 a square foot. The project was completed with the donation of time, money, and manpower of the caring community of Kingsport.(This is the building which now houses the Day Center.)
The Mission began providing services in this location in 1983. As the problem of homelessness grew in the late 1990’s, the Mission once again found it necessary to expand to meet the increasing need for shelter. Striving again to be a community answer to a community problem, the Board of Directors and supporters of the ministry made plans for expansion. Construction was begun on the current 4,000 square foot facility, located at 670 Dale Street. Habitat for Humanity volunteers provided much of the skill and labor required to complete this new facility.
In 1998, the Mission began providing services in the new facility, which provides shelter for up to 27 men on any given night. The Mission operated under the direction of the Board of Directors and the supervision of a part-time Director with the aid of resident staff until 1999, when the Mission hired its first full-time Director, Richard Christ.
After visiting other missions in the southeast, the Board of Directors saw the need to expand the services of the ministry to include programs addressing the rehabilitative needs of those affected by homelessness. In 2000, the Board of Directors recruited director, Steve Robertson, from a large, successful inner-city mission in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. With his arrival in July, 2000, the “New Life Program” was begun.
In December 2002 the ministry was further expanded to include women and children. A home on Maple Oak Lane was purchased and Phase I of a remodeling program was completed, with the first residents accepted towards the end of the month. Beds are available for 16 women and children(plus several cribs.) Improvements have continued to be made with kitchen remodeling, new laundry facilities and a great playroom for children.
July 1, 2003 saw the opening of a Day Center in the original building on the corner of Dale and Mission St. The Day Center was established to offer the transient homeless a place to eat, wash clothes, and take a shower and rest. Along with these immediate life needs, we also share the message of Jesus Christ with the broken and hurting individuals that come in from the stresses of living on the street.
Today, Hope Haven Ministries is a ministry seeking to help homeless, destitute individuals and families. Currently, the ministry is under the direction of Executive Director Joel Trigg. Our ministry provides emergency assistance such as shelter, food, clothing and crisis counseling, and offers compassionate and structured programs that stress rehabilitation, restoration and a responsible attitude toward God, self, family and society.
We offer the hope of freedom from addiction by teaching life skills that will provide the necessary help for individuals to lead fulfilling, productive lives. Since our Board of Directors and Staff believe that true restoration comes only through Jesus Christ, we address each person’s spiritual poverty as well as his/her physical poverty.
We do this by providing encouragement, structure, and abiding love for every one who comes through our doors. We hope to be a refuge where men, women and children see Christ lifted up – and where they confess their need for Him and find eternal life through His sacrifice.
Only through the gifts of God’s people are we able to minister to so many hurting people. With your help, we hope to continue to be “a community answer to a community problem” by providing a professional, compassionate ministry and being leading advocates for the homeless in our community.
We will continue to educate the community on the issues of homelessness, asking that the community join with us to work together to rescue the poor, the weak, and the needy.
For more information contact us at 423.246.6012 or [email protected]