Independence 2019-08-20T13:17:39-05:00


The Independence team works to support the dignity and independence of seniors and individuals with disabilities


We have served older adults and individuals with disabilities since 1995.  TJC’s Independence program aims to ensure seniors and adults with disabilities receive the support they need. Our Independence work includes helping individual clients, providing training sessions to health care and social service providers, and advocating for systemic change related to the following issues and programs:

  • Long-term service and supports: CHOICES is Tennessee’s long-term care program for people over 65 and people with disabilities. CHOICES helps individuals access to home care to stay in the community and may support nursing home care if needed.
  • Enrolling seniors and adults with disabilities in programs that allow seniors and adults with disabilities to live with safety, dignity, and independence.  These include:
  • Medicare Savings Programs (MSPs)

  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, food stamps)

  • Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)

  • Well-being:  protecting seniors and adults with disabilities from abuse, neglect, and financial exploitation.


The Charlie Warfield Fellowship was created in 2015 to fund a new lawyer to work on the Independence team serving low-income older adults and adults with disabilities at the Tennessee Justice Center. Charlie Warfield has been a champion for equal justice in the Tennessee legal community, first at Farris Warfield, then at Stites & Harbison. Charlie’s friends and supporters honored him by creating a fellowship in his honor.

A generous challenge grant from Frank and Amy Garrison got us well on our way in establishing this fellowship, and with your support, we raised the balance and launched Independence in the fall of 2015. The JoAnn Waite Bennett Memorial Fund also made a generous donation to help TJC continue the legacy of JoAnn’s lifetime commitment to social justice. Until her death in 2007, JoAnn was a faithful TJC supporter and collaborator, working with us to improve services for older adults.

Warfiled Fellow

Danielle Johns, previous Warfield Fellow.

I am so honored to work on the Independence team and to spend each day making a difference in the lives of seniors across Tennessee. I never dreamed I would get to do this work right out of law school.

The Warfield Legal Fellowship has provided me with the opportunity to make a difference, even to help save lives of those who have been left so vulnerable due to lack of access to care. My motivation and inspiration each day are to work not just on the specific issues my clients are facing, but to improve access to vital care and financial security for all the seniors in our lives from Memphis to Mountain City.



Jane Beasley

Case Manager and Client Intake Coordinator

Gordon Bonnyman

Staff Attorney, Co-Founder

Katie Ann Twiggs

CHOICES Client Advocate