Happy Feet donates to Chattanooga Room in the Inn

Chattanooga, Tenn.-Happy Feet International, a distributor of luxury vinyl plank and tile headquartered here, has donated 2,000 square feet of floor space to Chattanooga Room in the Inn (CRITI), a local shelter for women and children who are homeless. The donation will support three families and three women. When the shelter dreamed of renovating its homes, Happy Feet and other community supporters came together to realize the renovation, the company said.

“Floors are what we do, and our goal every day is to make people happy with them,” said Casey Johnson, CEO of Happy Feet. “As a husband and father, it was very important to me to be able to donate the floor and to create a positive experience for the women and children living in the homes.”

With Happy Feet’s Highland Park warehouse near the shelter, the neighborly partnership was formed. Happy Feet donated the materials to meet the floor replacement needs of all three rental properties owned by CRITI. Meanwhile, Southern Champion Tray maintenance team members are completing maintenance and renovation of the units.

CRITI’s three residences contain six rental units, allowing them to permanently accommodate three families and three women. The duplex, which can accommodate two families, was the first home to be renovated with new Happy Feet floors in the kitchen and dining room. Two other homes will then be renovated with Happy Feet’s donated floor to replace the current carpet. The two unrenovated houses are currently occupied, but once renovated they will once again be home to three women in need of shelter and another family awaiting housing.

“It’s always exciting to have a new partner for every project because it’s a new relationship that needs to be nurtured for future growth,” said Erin Creal, executive director of CRITI. “We really rely on the community to support our mission. Floors are expensive and we barely make any money from the rent, so we can use the money we saved on floors to provide the necessary services to our constituents.”

To be eligible for housing, tenants must first go through a program run by CRITI. After that, the organization helps them obtain a housing voucher through the Chattanooga Housing Authority. CRITI acts as both a landlord and a case manager to ensure their tenants are successful and help them stay home.

CRITI relies on donations from businesses, the community and volunteers to help accommodate families in need. To learn more about Chattanooga Room in the Inn and how to support women and children in need, visit chattanoogaroomintheinn.com.

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