Keeping 6,000 Families in Homes During Hard Times

By LeeAnne Lang, Bechtel Group Foundation operations manager
Jun 23, 2020 4:30 PM ET
Blog

There’s no place like home for sheltering in place, but the economic upheaval from the global pandemic is making it harder to hold onto those homes.

“A short-term loss of income can turn into a long-term catastrophe if a family loses their housing,” says Annie Cacheiro, executive director of Aid to Distressed Families of Appalachian Counties (ADFAC). The nonprofit currently serves two counties in eastern Tennessee, an area with a history of economic hardship.

For more than three decades, ADFAC has offered emergency financial assistance to cover rent and utility bills. The nonprofit also provides financial counseling to help families work toward self-sufficiency.

“We serve more than 6,000 families each year, and we are preparing now to do more in the months ahead,” says Annie. “Our neighbors are hard-working people who deserve our respect. Our goal is to offer a hand up, not a handout.”

Bechtel Group Foundation is supporting ADFAC – and dozens of other nonprofits – with a $50,000 gift to the Neighbor to Neighbor Disaster Relief Fund at East Tennessee Foundation, a Knoxville-based community foundation that brings together many donors to improve lives and strengthen communities for future generations.

The contribution to East Tennessee foundation comes from the new Bechtel COVID-19 Relief Fund, which helps charities in the company’s project and office communities address urgent needs created by the COVID-19 crisis.

Bechtel has worked for more than six decades in Tennessee, with many of the assignments in the eastern part of the state. Today, the company has an office in Oak Ridge and is the lead member of Consolidated Nuclear Security, LLC, a firm managing and operating the Y-12 National Security Complex and overseeing construction of the Uranium Processing Facility for the National Nuclear Security Administration.