City's Response to COVID-19

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The City of Knoxville’s Response to COVID-19


COVID-19 RESPONSESince March 2020, the City of Knoxville has invested almost $5.7 million to support local residents as they navigate the health, economic, and social challenges of the COVID-19 global pandemic.  Through a combination of local, state or federal funds, the City and our partners have helped families make rent and mortgage payments, provided shelter and services to those experiencing homelessness, invested in job training, supported local non-profits, distributed healthy food, and provided internet access to local schoolchildren.  These City funds are just one piece of a much larger network of funds that have provided critical support to local residents and businesses. 

Here is a partial list of the City’s investments in community services and resources:

Rent & Mortgage Payment Assistance and Homelessness Prevention  – $1,825,788

• Partner agencies include Knoxville-Knox County Community Action Committee, Knoxville Leadership Foundation, HomeSource, Knoxville Area Urban League, CONNECT Ministries and Arts & Cultural Alliance

Shelter and Services for People Experiencing Homelessness -  $1,271,740

• Partner agencies include Knoxville-Knox County Community Action Committee, Volunteer Ministry Center, Salvation Army, YWCA Knoxville and Tennessee Valley, Catholic Charities, and University of Tennessee/Knoxville Homeless Management Information System. 
• This funding also supported The Guest House, which opened in March to provide shelter for individuals experiencing homelessness who were awaiting COVID-19 test results or had been diagnosed with COVID-19. 

Food Access & Assistance - $300,250

• Partner agencies include CAC Mobile Meals, Second Harvest Food Bank, Nourish Knoxville and Senior Citizen Home Assistance Service (SCHAS). 

Education and Employment Services - $200,000 

• Partner agencies include the Knoxville Area Urban League, to provide workforce training and placement, and Knoxville Education Foundation’s EKnox Initiative, which supports internet access for Knox County students. 

Free Transit Services  – $880,450*

• In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Knoxville Area Transit stopped charging fares on March 24, 2020, and KAT will remain fare free for the remainder of 2020. 
*Estimated value of free fares as of October 30, 2020

Community Non-Profit Services Support – $1,200,000

• The City contributed to United Way of Greater Knoxville’s Knox County COVID-19 Response Fund, a fund to support local non-profits providing essential services for those affected by the COVID-19 crisis.  In addition, the City provided support to Zoo Knoxville.  

In addition to financial support from the City of Knoxville, local partners and community-serving organizations agencies have also received direct funding from State and Federal sources to assist residents with housing, food, utilities, healthcare, childcare, and other critical services. 

If you or someone you know is in need, please call 2-1-1 to connect with the many resources available to assist local residents during the COVID-19 pandemic. 


Throughout the pandemic, the City of Knoxville has stayed “open for business,” with no employee furloughs or suspensions of the City services that businesses and residents rely on.  To keep the City running safely, the City has invested an estimated $2.1 million to support the health and well-being of City employees and the people they interact with each day. 

Our firefighters, police officers, service workers, KAT drivers, and many others work on the front lines each day to keep Knoxville moving. We appreciate them and will keep working each day to keep our employees safe! 

Here is a partial list of the City’s investments in keeping City operations running smoothly and safely during the pandemic:

• Personal Protective Equipment and COVID-19 Testing for City Employees – $302,104

• Technology & Facility Upgrades to Enable Teleservices & Keep Workplaces Clean - $284,708 

• Employee Leave Support & Pandemic Appreciation Pay - $1,598,375