Member Spotlight: Creative Compassion, Inc.

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The Fahe Network consists of 50+ Member organizations, spanning across the Appalachian portions of Kentucky, Tennessee, West Virginia, Virginia, Alabama, and Maryland. During the best of times, these local leaders provide essential services to their communities including housing, economic, and community development. During times of crisis they stand with their communities, often increasing or modifying the types of services available to match the current need. Thanks to their hard work and dedication, the Fahe Network has served the region for 40 years Building the American Dream. This collaboration has invested over $1.5 Billion into Appalachia, which has directly impacted the lives of over 616,000 people. We are taking the time to celebrate each of these Members during our 40th anniversary, as we continue in partnership to ensure that no community is left behind.

Creative Compassion, INC— Crossville, TN

Nestled in Crossville, TN, is Creative Compassion, Inc. (CCI). Founded in 1989 by Michael Smathers, a former pastor, and his wife Judy, CCI was created to provide for the housing needs of residents in Cumberland County and its surrounding areas.  The name of the organization came from a sermon written by Michael’s father titled “The Call to Creative Compassion.” For the last 31 years, CCI has applied the ideas of Christian compassion to finding a creative solution to the economic and housing issues facing individuals with low- to moderate- income.

Dedicated to improving the quality, and quantity, of affordable housing and home ownership opportunities, CCI is able to provide solutions for low-income elderly persons, single parent households, low- to moderate- income individuals/families, and first-time homebuyers. The services CCI provides includes new construction, mortgage loans, and home repairs.  Each of the homes CCI builds is Energy Star compliant to help keep energy bills from becoming a burden on the homeowners.

When Create Compassion was first founded, they operated on very thin margins and in the first years the only program they offered was technical assistance to other nonprofits.  Their first home construction was in 1992.  CCI was the first organization, private or public, to receive HOME funds administered through the Tennessee Housing Development Agency.  Their submission was the top scoring application and they’ve continued to utilize the program to great effect ever since.

Since its incorporation, CCI has constructed approximately 107 new construction homes, 33 rental units, and 33 multi-family units for elderly and/or disabled persons. Since 2014, CCI has completed approximately 33 home repair projects and provided Homebuyer Education courses to 21 different families.

We proud to have to CCI as part of Fahe. Their dedication helps make the American Dream a reality for their communities.  

To learn more about CCI, the services they provide, or to fill out an application for service, follow the links below:

Join our Anniversary Celebration

Over the course of 2020, we will be celebrating Fahe’s history through sharing historical photos, family stories, and future projects, as well as other Member Highlights. Please join our 40th anniversary celebration by sharing your memories, pictures, and support for Fahe on social media.  Please join in by using the hashtag #WeAreFahe.  You can find us on Facebook and Twitter.

Olivia Brock Schemanski
Olivia Brock Schemanski
Olivia Brock Schemanski serves as Fahe's Communication VISTA. She holds a BA in Business Administration with a minor in Public Relations from Eastern Kentucky University. She's an avid lover of music and in her free time she enjoys photography, going to concerts and re-watching "The Office."

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