We believe that all humans have dignity, and that our laws and public policy should reflect this shared value. This means that those with disability or illness should have access to care and services they need to live a full life and that those facing hard times or unimaginable obstacles can access necessary support to rebuild their lives.
WHAT WE DO
We help Tennesseans one-by-one and then take what we learn from their stories to advocate for large-scale changes that help others in the same boat. In addition to helping individuals, we use the law and advocacy to ensure that Tennesseans can meet their most basic needs and have a pathway to opportunity. Specific focus of our work includes:
HELPING KIDS GROW UP HEALTHY
Healthcare is crucial to give children a healthy start in life and a chance to reach their full potential. We work to protect and promote programs that are vital to children’s health by educating the community and mobilizing support for policies and practices that ensure that all of Tennessee’s children can thrive.
EXPANDING ACCESS TO AFFORDABLE HEALTHCARE
Everyone should have access to affordable medical care. Here in Tennessee, there are 280,000 people who have no access to health insurance. They live in the “coverage gap,” which means they do not fit into a category for TennCare (our Medicaid program), and they do not make enough money to get financial help to buy insurance on the Marketplace through the ACA.
With the right supports, seniors and people with disabilities can live life on their own terms. That’s why we have worked for 22 years to make the possibility of independence real.
Ensuring all Tennesseans have access to nutritious food. Every Tennessean should have the food they need to lead a healthy, productive life. We work to keep nutrition programs, like SNAP and school meals, strong.
We help Tennesseans master the maze of health and nutrition resources. Our caseworkers help individuals navigate complicated systems to get health care and food. We are red tape warriors, experts at cutting through the maze of bureaucracy to get access to necessary assistance.
We train health care providers, social workers, and local community groups to better understand the complex healthcare system and the laws that govern it. We also work directly with TennCare and other public programs to make sure that services are available and work as they are supposed to.
When we see systemic issues that affect lots of people, we try and find a way to change the laws, practices, and policies that create those issues. We use every tool we can find to ensure that public policy reflects the reality of Tennesseans’ real experience. We address these issues in the courts, work with partners to educate and inform lawmakers, and equip Tennesseans with the tools they need to understand legislation and public policy and make their voices heard on issues that affect them.
Our brave clients, their families, doctors, and other caregivers are some of our most committed partners in working for justice. Their stories of difficulty accessing health care and nutrition for themselves or their loved ones show the need for change. With our clients’ help, TJC works to put faces on Tennesseans who cannot access the basic necessities they need to thrive. Their stories help policymakers and the general public understand the impact of inadequate health care and nutrition policy on real people, including our loved ones, friends, and neighbors.
Our work is supported by and made better by the work of many other individuals and groups throughout the state and the country. Partners include
- Heath care providers, social service agencies, and other nonprofits who work hard every day to serve Tennesseans
- Individuals who share their time, expertise, and financial support
- Law firms and members of the private bar who provide pro-bono assistance and financial support
- State and national policy groups on whom we rely for research and policy analysis
- State-based and national foundations who support our work. Major funders: