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Tennessee Investing in Innovative Solutions to Serve Families

$122 million in grant money now available to public and private organizations dedicated to helping families overcome economic, social and developmental vulnerabilities.

Tennessee Department of Human ServicesNashville, TN – The Tennessee Department of Human Services (TDHS) is accepting applications for Families First Community Grants through February 4th, 2022. These grants will make up to $122 million in funding available to public and private organizations who can demonstrate family-focused solutions that help Tennesseans move beyond economic, social and developmental vulnerabilities and on to a path of self-sufficiency.

The Families First Community Grant Program was created by the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Opportunity Act passed in May 2021. This is the second grant phase of this initiative and will provide short-term grants to smaller community organizations that share TDHS’s vision for fundamentally changing how low-income families are served.
TDHS believes vulnerable families should be served in ways that grow them beyond a life of basic survival, frees them from dependance on public support and empowers them to create their own unique version of the American dream.
“We’re here to ensure that all state residents have an opportunity to reach their full potential as contributing members of our community,” said TDHS Commissioner Clarence H. Carter. “For far too long government programs have focused on outputs, rather than the outcomes of the lives of those served. We aim to change the way vulnerable Tennesseans are served by partnering with public and private organizations who recognize public support should be a mile marker in a life’s journey, not a destination unto itself.”

TDHS encourages neighborhood-based organizations ready to play a central role in the design and implementation of programs that address the unique problems of low-income families in their communities and fosters at least one of the federal TANF goals to submit an application for a Families First Community Grant. Additional information about the grant process can be found in the Families First Community Grant Application Guide. Applications can be submitted online here until 5:00pm CT February 4th, 2022.

Learn more about additional work being done by the Tennessee Department of Human Services and how your organization can get involved at www.tn.gov/humanservices. We can Transform Tennessee Together!


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