How We Help

How Good Neighbors Works


Make An Appointment.

Whether referred from a church, another agency, or self referred the first step is for our Neighbors to call the office to make an appointment. Messages that are received on days the office is closed are promptly returned by our office volunteers. Neighbors who fill out an assistance request online are called and given an appointment with directions to the office, and we specify all documentation needed for the appointment. Neighbors do not need to wait until they have a cut-off notice to call; in fact, we would prefer that they make contact as soon as they see a problem on the horizon. Once the appointment is set we remind our neighbors that if they need to cancel or reschedule to please call the office and let us know. This way we can open the appointment time for another neighbor.


Create a Plan.

Once Neighbors arrive, they are greeted by the volunteer staff and then are asked to fill out an intake form white copies of the utility bill or lease are made. A trained coach meets individually with the Neighbor to discuss their needs. The Coach and Neighbor work together to create a plan for resolution of their unique situation. During the coaching Good Neighbors shares a packet of community resources that all neighbors can access to aid them in completing their plan. The coach will also go over our process and how we provide assistance. 



Change a Future.

One to two months after the Good Neighbors coach and the Neighbor have completed a plan, the neighbor will receive a follow-up call to check in and offer other non-financial resources if they are needed. Here is where we hope to be of the most help to our neighbor as we truly want to see them succeed not only in overcoming a challenge, but also to help them reach their goals and build on their ability to achieve self-sufficiency and self-sustainability. We understand that it may take more than one visit to accomplish the goals that our neighbors set for themselves. For that reason, a Neighbor may return 6 months after their first visit, and 12 months after subsequent visits with a maximum of 5 financial assists from the Good Neighbors office.

Our Programs

Secure Utility and Rent Entry
SURE Deposit Program

Good Neighbors works with each neighbor as well as with the utility company to provide the deposit to turn on a new service or with the landlord to help with move-in costs. This assistance is accompanied by individualized coaching that helps our neighbors plan for the future and understand the benefits of staying on track with their bills as well as building savings in the event of an emergency.

Emergency Assistance

Through an individualized coaching process, Good Neighbors helps to find solutions to the challenges of everyday life. Our ultimate goal is one of empowering our Neighbors through support, partnership, and education to help make the move towards stability. The coach will call the utility company or landlord to advocate on behalf of the Neighbor and gain their support of a plan the neighbor has created in order to resolve their unique situation.

Needs Assessment Program

Every Neighbor who reaches out to the Good Neighbors office receives an individualized coaching session and completes a Needs Assessment with the coach. The goal being to improve the quality of life in Blount County and help connect people to the community services and resources that are available to them through our referral process. Our Neighbors determine what their needs are and the coach helps them find solutions.

Budget Program

Good Neighbors provides a free budgeting course for Neighbors who are looking to make the move towards financial stability. We have partnered with the St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church for meeting space and have small classes sizes for focused learning, in a 3- part course: Basic Budgeting, Debt Payment Planning, and Building for the Future. The group meets once a month to learn about practical financial tools that they can put into practice as soon as the following day. Our goal here is to bring a different approach in how we view money and plan for what is important to us while learning and building community. Individual advanced coaching is available upon request.

East Tennessee Collaborative

Following a model from Boston, MA called EMPath, Economic Mobility Pathways using their Bridge to Self-Sufficiency.

Good Neighbors of Blount County has partnered with the East Tennessee Collaborative to help transform lives right here in Blount County starting with 30 low-income families who want to make a better life for themselves and their children. Over the course of a year and a half to two years Good Neighbors is committed to offering supportive services that will help these families on their journey to self-sufficiency. While the road will be different for each family we serve, Good Neighbors seeks to empower our neighbors through a mentorship program and help remove barriers that stand in their way of achieving self-sufficiency and self-sustainability. The main service being a dedicated Mobility Mentor to help the families set goals for themselves. We are finding ways to better serve our neighbors and look forward to disrupting the cycles of generational poverty.