Tennessee Department of Human Services Announces 40 Recipients of Families First Community Grants

More than $95 million to strengthen Tennessee families, expand opportunity and self-sufficiency
Wednesday, May 03, 2023 | 03:37pm

NASHVILLE, TN – The Tennessee Department of Human Services (TDHS) today announced the first round of 40 grant recipients for the Families First Community Grant Program, an initiative that will award more than $95 million in funding to organizations providing innovative direct services to support Tennessee families in need. The grant program was created through the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Opportunity Act, bi-partisan legislation which was passed and signed by Governor Bill Lee in May 2021 in an effort to effectively spend a surplus of federal TANF funds.

“We are honored to announce the 40 organizations that have been selected to receive Families First Community Grant funding to help us ensure that all Tennesseans have a pathway to self-sufficiency and economic prosperity,” commented TDHS Commissioner Clarence H. Carter.” At TDHS, we understand that we have the greatest impact when we partner with community-based organizations to provide innovative solutions to better support families in need. With the help of these organizations, it is our goal to transform the state’s safety net for our most vulnerable citizens.”

The complete list of grant recipients and services provided by each organization can be found on the Tennessee Department of Human Services website, by clicking here.

The Families First Community Grant program was created as an additional method to invest TANF funds in ways to provide assistance to low-income families and help them move towards sustainable economic stability. The grants will support a wide range of services in the areas of education, health and wellbeing, economic stability and fostering safe, stable, and nurturing relationships. The grant recipients were selected through a competitive application process and were evaluated based upon their ability to provide effective services and programs that address the specific needs of the community. In addition to tracking and reporting outcomes, organizations will be expected to conduct pre and post assessments to each family to identify the strengths and successes of the program.

The Families First Community Grant Program will also open the next application process for a second round in the coming weeks with approximately $30 million in additional funding available for community organizations. Details of the next open application period will be announced soon.


The Tennessee Department of Human Services (TDHS) consists of multiple divisions with a unified mission to build strong families by connecting Tennesseans to employment, education, and supportive services. Led by governor-appointed Commissioner Clarence H. Carter, TDHS serves nearly two million Tennesseans to ensure that all state residents have an opportunity to reach their full potential as contributing members of their community. Among the many services and programs provided by TDHS, some of the leading programs include the Child Support Program, Child and Adult Day Services and Licensing, Families First (the state’s Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Rehabilitation Services for people with disabilities, and Adult Protective Services, along with many others. TDHS is an organization committed to connecting people to resources that help individuals, families and communities thrive towards long-term economic freedom and prosperity. For more information, please visit: Tennessee Department of Human Services.