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YWCA Knoxville & the Tennessee Valley launch Keys of Hope Capital Campaign and rename building in honor of Nancy J. Land

April 24, 2024
Left to right: Tiffany Davidson, deputy director of community safety and empowerment for the City of Knoxville; Stephen Land; Nancy Land; Randy Boyd; Kathy Mack, chief youth engagement officer of YWCA Knoxville & the Tennessee Valley; Stephanie Burrage, CEO of YWCA Knoxville & the Tennessee Valley; Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs, Jennifer Linginfelter, deputy chief of staff for Congressman Tim Burchett; Susan Edwards, president of the Board of Directors; Chelsea Ivens, senior field director for U.S. Sen. Marsha Blackburn.

The YWCA of Knoxville & the Tennessee Valley has officially launched the Keys of Hope Capital Campaign, which aims to raise funds to renovate the nearly 100-year-old building and expand the lifesaving program for women.

The campaign will help fund essential renovations and updates to the historic building to achieve the safety, efficiency and functionality needed to operate fully. Additionally, it will enable YWCA to serve more women in Knoxville who, with a 90% success rate through the proven Jenny Boyd Keys of Hope program, reenter the workforce, find permanent housing, regain self-sufficiency and reclaim roles as contributing members of their communities.

During the campaign launch event on April 24, YWCA recognized Nancy and Stephen Land for their lead gift to transform the Clinch Avenue building, which will now be known as the YWCA Nancy J. Land Center.

“We have always supported the mission of the YWCA and we have sponsored and attended the Keys of Hope luncheon for many years,” Knoxville philanthropist Nancy J. Land said. “It’s not easy to adequately convey how much good this program does. We ask everyone to please help in any way that you can through your time, talents and treasure. Every dollar makes a difference.”

The campaign has raised $9.9 million through public and private funding and grants, and the community fundraising effort will work toward the $11.5 million total project cost.

“I could not be more grateful for the donation efforts we have made so far in this impactful project, but we still have a ways to go,” YWCA CEO Stephanie Burrage said. “The YWCA does such amazing work and makes a difference in so many lives. My goal is to continue that good work and improve the facility and programs we offer through community donations to continue making a difference in both the women’s lives we serve and the community.”

Stephanie Burrage, CEO of YWCA Knoxville & the Tennessee Valley, speaks at YWCA Keys of Hope Capital Campaign Launch

On any given day, more than 10,000 Tennesseans are homeless. Many women served through the Jenny Boyd Keys of Hope Program are on the verge of homelessness or have been homeless before. The program prevents them from starting – or falling more deeply into – the cycle of chronic homelessness. The YWCA’s cost to house a woman in the program for one year is nearly 90% less than the annual taxpayer cost to support a chronically homeless person – $40,000 vs. $5,973. Annually, more than 1,200 women inquire about the programs but must be turned away due to a lack of space.

The YWCA’s downtown building, constructed in 1925, has never undergone a significant renovation. It is not fully disability-accessible and has outdated mechanical systems, disintegrating plumbing systems, substantial energy inefficiency and crumbling exterior and interior walls.

Donations to the campaign will ensure more women have continued access to a safe and effective program to rebuild lives devastated by abuse, loss, tragedy, addiction, incarceration and other circumstances.

For more information about YWCA Knoxville and the Tennessee Valley and to donate, visit

About YWCA

YWCA Knoxville and the Tennessee Valley has been serving women and their families in East Tennessee since 1899. Offerings have changed over the years to meet community needs, but one thing has remained the same for more than 100 years: women and families from all walks of life depend on our services.

The YWCA currently operates its Jenny Boyd Keys of Hope Women’s Program for 58 women in downtown Knoxville. Women come to the YWCA for a variety of reasons and with a variety of needs. Whatever the reason for a woman’s stay, the program’s goal is to provide affordable housing in a safe environment with supportive services that promote self-sufficiency.

Coordinated out of the YWCA Oak Ridge building, the YWCA also provides scattered site transitional housing services for victims of domestic violence and their families in Anderson, Blount, Knox, Loudon, Roane and Sevier counties. This program offers financial education, parenting education and trauma-informed care, including support groups and supervised visitation and safe exchange programs for families who have been affected by domestic violence.

A trusted East Knoxville community center since 1920, YWCA Phyllis Wheatley Center is the main facility for the YWCA’s after school, summer and other enrichment youth programs. Phyllis Wheatley Center staff and volunteers work tirelessly to provide youth with the tools necessary to overcome obstacles and to succeed in school and beyond.