Community Outreach


In recent years, the Community Outreach Department has expanded the Summer Food Service Program.  This department also provides additional services for the Southwest HRA communities including, Homebuyer Education and Telephone Assistance.  Recently, this department also assumed management responsibilities of the Southwest TN Community Development Corporation.



Patti Pickler
1-800-497-1286 or 1-731-989-5111

Patti has been employed with the agency since 1990. She was the Child Care Certificate Director for 19 of those years, managing the largest client-based program at the agency. Patti is a cum laude graduate of Freed-Hardeman University with a Bachelor of Science degree and a 2001 graduate of the University of Tennessee at Martin WestStar Leadership Program. While Child Care Certificate Director, Patti assisted the Department of Human Services with implementing the Tennessee Child Care Management System as well as provided training to other Certificate programs across the state.



Homebuyer Education Initiative

The Homebuyer Education Initiative helps qualified homebuyers navigate the home buying process.  Educational materials and individual training include:

  • Assessing readiness to buy
  • Managing Money
  • Understanding Credit
  • Financing a home
  • Searching for a home
  • Maintaining a home and finances
  • Counseling before signing a purchase contract 

Rural Home Loans

Assists low- and very-low-income applicants obtain decent, safe and affordable housing in eligible rural areas. In West TN, this includes all areas outside of the Jackson and Memphis City limits. This homeownership program works through USDA Rural Development and FAHE to package loans for low income applicants working to obtain a single family home in the rural area.
Rural Home Loans FAQ
Loan Application PDF

Telephone Assistance Program

Southwest HRA, in partnership with area telephone companies, now offers free and reduced rate land line and cellular phone services to low-income families in our area. SafeLink provides a free cell phone with 69 minutes of talk time per month. LifeConnex provides land line service with free connection, free first month of service ($19.99 per month thereafter), unlimited local calling, caller ID Deluxe, call waiting deluxe, and 60 minutes of long distance calls per month. Applications are available at all Southwest HRA Community Service Centers.

Summer Food Program

The Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) ensures children continue to receive nutritious meals during the summer school break. Children receive free meals meeting Federal Nutrition guidelines at approved SFSP sites. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition service and the Tennessee Department of Human Services fund this program.

Click to view WBBJ news coverage of the 2019 Summer Foods Program

Click to view Facebook video from TN Department of Human Services Summer Summit

For more information, please view our Nutrition Brochure

Southwest TN Community Development Corporation (SWCDC)

Southwest TN Community Development Corporation is a community housing development organization created to meet the housing needs of citizens throughout the eight counties served by SWHRA.

Funding sources include the Tennessee Housing Development Agency, Rural Housing and Economic and Community Development, Department of Economic and Community Development, Jackson Housing Authority, and annual fundraisers.

Our agency will be taking Homebuyer applications for a new development at the Whitehall and Dupree Street neighborhood. These homes will target moderate income households. If your family is interested in applying you may pick up applications at the Southwest HRA Community Service Center located at 1124 Whitehall, Suite 201-A, Jackson, TN 38301. Please attach all current income to the application and return to: Southwest TN CDC, P.O. Box 264, Henderson, TN 38340. Once your family is determined to meet income guidelines, we will refer you to a mortgage loan officer to determine your eligibility for a loan. Once you reach this goal you will be involved in the planning of a new home in this area. For further information please contact Edna Johnson or Patti Pickler at the SWTCDC at 1-800-497-1286 or Tara Skinner with Coldwell Bankers at 1-731-215-0035


Where Are We?

Where are we image map...

The Tennessee General Assembly established Southwest Human Resource Agency (SWHRA) in 1973 as one of nine Human Resource Agencies deemed to be the delivery system for human services throughout the state of Tennessee. SWHRA is a public non-profit agency that serves an eight county region including Chester, Decatur, Hardeman, Hardin, Haywood, Henderson, McNairy and Madison counties...

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