Mayor Littlefield names interim human services director - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Mayor Littlefield names interim human services director

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CHATTANOOGA (WRCB) -- Mayor Ron Littlefield today announced that Faith-Based and Community Partnerships Administrator Al Chapman has been named the new interim director of the City of Chattanooga's Human Services Department. 

This change comes after Chattanooga's Human Services Department was recently criticized for failing to properly manage $3.6 million in Recovery and Reinvestment Act Weatherization Assistance Program funding. 

The Weatherization Assistance Program helps qualified households reduce energy costs by providing assistance to weatherize their homes. 

The Tennessee Department of Human Services administers the program throughout the state.  After meeting with Mayor Littlefield in May, state Human Services directors agreed to allow the City to partner with Chattanooga Neighborhood Enterprise who will be administering the weatherization program going forward.

"I have confidence in Al Chapman and his ability to manage this department," said Mayor Littlefield. 

"This department serves all of Hamilton County and is an essential competent in many people's lives.  It's is paramount that this department operate efficiently and without the specter of loosing additional federal dollars that aid so many people in our community.  Mr. Chapman is capable and has the compassion and understanding needed to ensure this department is operating successfully," said Littlefield. 

The Human Services Department is made up of 275 employees and has a mission to improve the quality of life for low income and or disadvantaged citizens in Chattanooga and Hamilton County by providing a safety net of services.  Originally, the Department was the local Community Action Agency for Hamilton County. 

In 1990 it became a City of Chattanooga department, with the administrator appointed by the Mayor.  The department is funded through the City of Chattanooga and the Federal Government.  Services offered include Head Start, Foster Grandparents, Child Care, HUD Counseling, Weatherization Assistance, and Early Head Start.

Former director Bernadine Turner will be retiring effective June 30.  Ms. Turner has been employed since March, 1972.  Additional adjustments are expected within the department. 

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