The Tennessee Respite Coalition’s mission is to enhance the quality of life for family caregivers through respite.
The Tennessee Respite Coalition provides relief to families and caregivers from the extraordinary and intensive demands of providing ongoing care.
In 1996, a small group of individuals interested in respite met to discuss the status of respite in Tennessee. They called themselves the Tennessee Respite Coalition and set goals of raising respite awareness and increasing respite services in Tennessee. This group received funding to further their efforts, which included developing a universal access point for respite and organizing Respite Awareness Days at the state Capitol. By 2000, the work had expanded to create a need for a full-time coordinator. At this time, the organization operated from the Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services. As the organization evolved, the TRC transformed into an independent 501(c)3 nonprofit, which allowed it to receive grants and donations to support respite services. In 2006, Congress passed the Lifespan Respite Act. Three years later, Tennessee was one of the first seven states to receive a three-year Lifespan Respite grant. Through its work, the TRC has gained national presence and developed connections with respite leaders across the country. Today, the original goals set by that small group of volunteers in 1996 still remain at the heart of the TRC’s mission to enhance the quality of life for caregivers throughout Tennessee.