Manna House was founded over twenty years ago as a response to the need for transitional, supportive and safe recovery housing in Johnson City, Tennessee.
Our early years began with a a commitment to housing first principles, recognizing that for those suffering from the challenges of homelessness, substance abuse disorder and unstable living conditions, very little change was possible until the basic human needs of food, shelter and safety were met.
At least that’s our official story.
We’ve always know there was more than just a little providence and power greater than ourselves that aligned to make our little corner more than just a house or address to receive mail.
Following a series of reports by local news media in 1998, our founders came together to acquire the properties at 116 W. Walnut Street in Johnson City. Our first live-in house manager, the late Hugh L. White IV, was a disabled Vietnam Era veteran with two advanced degrees and a self-described “blue blood” determination that no person should be forced to live in an environment not supportive of his or her recovery or a home that failed to recognize their sacred human worth.
By the early 2000 Manna House expended to include our first annex, the John and Mary Jane Ripley House, through renovation of a six-bedroom bedroom small office building located in the parking lot of the original “main house.” In early 2018, we acquired a neighboring property and dedicated it as The Humphries House, creating a total program capacity of 40 beds within walking distance of Downtown Johnson City and nearby to the V.A. at Mountain Home and East Tennessee State University.
Our residents, affectionately called “Mannanites”, have arrived at Manna House with a variety of needs, histories, personalities and dreams. Some have moved in with with less than a few days sobriety only to leave years later with five year chips and and five year career plans. Multiple bachelors degrees have been cerebrated by fellow residents, several masters degrees and most recently one doctorate from ETSU. All of been surrounded with the love and support essential to reclaiming their lives.
Together we experience individuals and families healed, trauma addressed, personal triumph in overcoming addiction, residents finding good jobs and learning bad jokes—all with the many tears of joy and laughter you’d expect to find in any happy home.
To learn more about our story, click here.