ONEIDA, Tenn. (WVLT) After nine years of service, the Scott Christian Care Center closed the doors at its current location in Oneida.
"It reminds me of the song, pave paradise to put up a parking lot." Said Scott Christian Care Center Director Lisa Cotton, "It's sort of how we feel."
The region that the center serves is medically underserved, distressed, and a food desert according to the center.
"The services that we offer are important." Said Cotton, "It's a mission, and it needs to go on long after the buildings are gone."
Six weeks ago, the center was informed that they needed to move out of the buildings they occupy on Alberta street, in order to make way for a new bank who purchased the entire city block.
Tuesday the center held their last day of giving out food. Program Director Rhonda West worried
about the well being of the thousands of those they serve.
"My heart is heavy, I've built a relationship with a lot of the people who have come through here." Said West. "I know their needs, and the services that they need, and this is something that, I don't know what they're going to do on our down times."
The center has been donated 17 acres of land just a few miles down the road from their current location. They plan to build a brand new facility there that can house all of the services they provide under one roof.
In the meantime, the center is raising the necessary funds for the new building. They need to have the donations before they can break ground.
For Deborah Bolen who has been using services provided by the center for years, she's not sure what to do during the lapse in service after the center closes.
"I feel sad because this is what puts food on the table for everybody." Said Bolen.
Some medical services will be moved to a temporary location in the next few weeks. All other services including food and wellness classes will have to wait until the new structure is complete.
"There needs to be a place like Scott Christian Care Center in every community you know." Said Cotton. "People can come and feel loved, be heard, prayed with, and have a place where they can reach out and pay it forward. This is a place where that happens every day.
If you would like to help the center raise the necessary funding for their new location, you can visit them online at scottchristiancarecenter.com.