Open Arms Care – Chattanooga

6711 Mountain View Road, Suite 111
Ooltewah, TN 37363
Phone: 423-238-9636
Fax: 423-238-9630


Open Arms Care of Chattanooga strives to help individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities reach their maximum potential through life skills development, vocational services, recreational therapies and community integration. Our services include Community Outreach, Volunteering, Physical Management, an Art Program and much more.

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Adam Crownoble is licensed under CC BY 3.0

A Rich History



In 1988 founding board members identified the need for ICF/MR beds in Tennessee with institutions closing. A certificate of need application was submitted and approved and Open Arms Care was born.

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Each OAC operation offers eight client group homes in a residential setting accommodating eight clients per home for a total of 64 clients per city. Currently OAC occupies 1/3 of the beds approved in the state of Tennessee. Chattanooga is the home to an Open Arms Support Office, Day Program. Greenhouse, and eight group homes caring for 64 very special clients.

As an integral part of the community, we value the rich heritage of our city, the generosity and compassion of its’ citizens, and the partnerships we’ve formed over the many years. The friendship of those who champion our mission, whether concerned donors, or corporate partners, Open Arms Care Chattanooga is proud to garner the trust and support of a wonderful place to call home.

A Place to Call Home

[]-4604615680_4Residents enjoy the peaceful, scenic beauty of our community. Located throughout the Chattanooga area, these homes are designed specifically to meet the needs of those who live there, but also maintain a neighborhood appeal.


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Our Services


Our mission is, “To Make a Positive Difference in the Lives of People with Disabilities.” This mission is furthermore carried out by Our vision….”People with Disabilities Achieving Maximum Potential and Leading Dignified and Meaningful Lives.”

Whether its the Health Care Services provided 27/7, Residential and Day Program Services, or Business Services, our clients come first. Quality, person centered support is the foundation to our individualized approach.

We also believe that our employees are key to client success. Providing training to assist them in teaching techniques, compliance, quality, and safety, is important to creating the environment we seek for both client and employee.

Putting people first: how we live out our mission and value statements.

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Residential Services

Clients in each home are assisted by a Program Manager, Assistant Program Manager and Direct Care Professionals who focus on client development and community integration. Some clients also participate in community activities such as shopping, church, sports, picnics and trips. A normal day for a client would include personal hygiene time, breakfast, depart for work or Day Program Services then back home for dinner and down time, maybe video games or a good book.


CHA Residential Services photo1CHA Residential Services photo2


CHA Residential Services





Day Program Services

IMG_0447With a full range of habilitative training to achieve the highest practicable degree of community integration and independence in their lives, the Open Arms Care Day Program Services offer a variety of teaching opportunities for clients. The staff members at Open Arms Care offer coaching, mentoring, and teaching through varied curriculum designed to assist clients in reaching their maximum potential and enabling them to lead dignified and meaningful lives. Chattanooga’s Day Program’s curriculum ranges from teaching basic life skills to more advanced skills that are need for employment. OAC Chattanooga Day Service’s mission is to ensure that Day Services activities are meaningful to each client, addressing individual goals, while increasing community involvement and awareness. The entire staff at the Day Program work diligently to provide creative and fresh opportunities for those attending each day.

Operating for eight hours each day, five days a week, the Day Program offers a variety of services. Within the day services building there are a number of classrooms designated to education and client development. We also provide vocational/job coaching, academics, art therapy, retirement programs, and horticulture therapy at an offsite greenhouse.

Creative Discovery

The Creative Discovery Classroom allows clients to discover their environment in creative ways. They focus on body movements and balance, time on task, cause effect, rhythmic motion, and sensory development. The staff in this program ensure that tasks are presented creatively, to encourage client participation and maximize potential.


The Pre-Vocational Classroom helps clients obtain skills in preparation for a vocational/job setting through innovative techniques. The classroom focuses on six different pre-vocational lab categories: food services, clerical, assembly line/industrial, facility maintenance/carpentry, janitorial, and home skills. Within these categories clients learn skills by practicing activities such as bagging groceries, wrapping silverware, alphabetizing, sorting, learning to use the correct screwdriver, filling soap dispensers, to cleaning out a litter box.

Community Inclusion

[]-3883570880_5Part of the mission at OAC is to focus on community integration. Through the community inclusion group, clients obtain skills to be successful in the community. In addition, they are able to give back to the community through volunteer opportunities such as delivery of food for Meals on Wheels, donations sorting at the Samaritan Center, and participating in the OAC recycling program.

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Donald Hines is licensed under CC BY 3.0

Life Skills

CHA Life Skills

The Life skills program provides sensory processing, attention to task, basic vocational, meal time, personal choice, communication, and activities of daily living skills. Clients are taught everyday “life” skills such as cooking, cleaning and office related tasks.






OAC (oak) VillaCHA Oak Villa

OACvilla serves as a mock apartment for clients to learn daily living skills in a real life setting. The apartment allows staff to teach skills such as bed making, table setting, clothes folding, properly putting clothes away, cleaning, etc.




Physical Therapy Supports


Physical Management provides repositioning, range of motion, attention to task, leisure skill development, sensory processing, fine and gross motor skill, meal time, personal choice, and communication programming. Skill development here is very basic and focuses on getting clients to communicate choices to staff via verbal and non-verbal techniques such as pointing, eye contact or touch. This area also houses a hot tub/spa to assist with hydrotherapy for clients at the recommendation of their Physical Therapist.



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Ron Frazier is licensed under CC BY 3.0



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Oscar Anjewierden is licensed under CC BY 3.0

Multi-Sensory Room

[]-3447215470_3 The Sensory Room is designed to allow clients to utilize sensory equipment such as dancing lights, massage/spa therapy techniques, aroma therapy devices, sound machines, curtain lights, and a ball pool to enhance a sensory deprivation or to reduce anxiety brought on by over-stimulation. Several clients have “sensory diets” developed by their Occupational Therapist which detail activities and therapies specific to each individual.

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Piotr loop is licensed under CC BY 3.0


The vocational department is held at our Chattanooga Support Office. This department allows clients to work more independently with or without a job coach. They work on clerical tasks such as filing, delivering mail, hole punching, making copies, etc. This department helps them to truly prepare for a job in the community. Clients follow dress code and office policies and procedures,  equivalent to expectations for OAC employees.


The Academics department allows clients to learn through the technology of the I-pad. They learn about upcoming events, math skills, English, arts, and so much more. This group also allows clients to focus on proper social skills as well.


CHA greenhouse plantsClients enjoy the beauty surrounding them when they spend time at the Greenhouse. The fragrance of the blossoms, the moist soil in their hands, the sense of accomplishment.

CHA client in greenhouse





The Chattanooga greenhouse area consists of two greenhouses, office/storage/hygiene building and various outdoor growing areas. Activities range from planting, potting, fertilizing watering plants, and community integration. Participating in those type activities provides sensory stimulation, physical exercise, hand eye coordination, fine and gross motor skills development, socialization, and an increase of self-worth for our clients. Working at the greenhouse gives clients a sense of accomplishment in that they see their work grow and eventually sell the item to invest back into the greenhouse.

Working at the greenhouse gives clients a sense of accomplishment in that they see their work grow and eventually sell the item to invest back into the greenhouse.

Retirement Program

This program concentrates on leisure and activities of daily living skills, as well as community inclusion opportunities and relationships with other retirement communities. Retirement clients often host parties and attempt to make trips into the community for recreational activities such as walking at the mall, dining at area restaurants or participation in social organizations.




From sporting activities, concerts, local events and activities, to visiting the petting zoo or an area park, participants are encouraged as they continue to be an integral part of their community.

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Flying Brushes new logo

Flying Brushes Art Program


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Flying Brushes Art Program provides the opportunity for clients to unleash their creativity and enjoy a freedom of expression. Working with methods derived from the Artistic Realization Techniques program created by Tim Lefens, Flying Brushes in Chattanooga boasts some of the most beautiful and unique artistry available.

The studio provides an atmosphere of independence. Whether putting brush to canvas with their own stroke, or with the help of their tracker, they can make the decisions as to size, texture, color, and subject of each of their creations. Some client’s have little or no mobility in their extremities, therefore a laser is positioned to the clients head or wrist that allows them to channel their thoughts and emotions onto canvas while the “tracker” tracks their movement.

CHA art roomCHA Art Room

Art work is displayed proudly throughout our Support Office, and at offices and venues across the state.


<Click here> to find out more about our art programs. Enjoy the creative artistry of Open Arms Care and find out how you can purchase your own original artwork.

Make a Difference

Open Arms Care relies on the generosity of families, friends and our community; your support makes all the difference. Be a part of something special for those who are very special.

Thanks to your generous support, we can continue to expand the possibilities for those we serve.

“You guys do so much for so many special people. It is my HONOR to be a part of your organization.
God bless you all.”
  -Supporter, Bruce Edens

Major credit cards are accepted – Mastercard, American Express, VISA, Discover, and more!

Supporting Cast

With a talented group of individuals taking up the supporting roles we are pleased to provide an array of important and necessary services.

Business Services

Business Services has the responsibility of ensuring all funds managed by OAC are used wisely. This includes preparing a yearly budget, processing bi-weekly payroll, Medicaid billing, client insurance, accounts payable, over-seeing the Maintenance Department and managing the vehicle fleet.

Human Resources

“Employees Are Key” at Open Arms Care. The Chattanooga operation averages just under 200 excellent employees and each of our employees is committed to the success and development of the clients we serve. For this reason, OAC is committed to the success and development of our employees. We like to think of ourselves as an “Employer of Choice” in the area and the Human Resources function at OAC ensures staff are motivated, dedicated and proud to be a member of the OAC family. The HR function oversees and manages the recruiting process, internal transfers and promotions, performance management, training and development, all compensation and benefits matters and employee relations and recognition programs. Many of our employees have been with us for several years, bringing a wealth of knowledge and experience to the clients we serve. OAC, Chattanooga has had several employees receive external awards and recognition as well, including both state and national awards. We are honored to serve the clients that we do, and we do it very well because of the employees we have.


Our Maintenance Department is responsible for the preservation and repair of the eight client group homes, the Day Program Services building, the Support Office and two greenhouses. This responsibility encompasses any component necessary to ensure the safety and comfort of clients and staff. This could include issues related to plumbing, heating/air, electrical, installing appliances and building or installing special client equipment.


The Training Department ensures the highest quality of training is delivered to our employees. We ensure all new and existing staff receive the necessary training to meet OAC, Federal and State requirements. Training includes, but not limited to Life Safety, HIPAA, Incident Management, Nonviolent Crisis Intervention (CPI), Nutrition, Sensitivity/Ethics and Defensive Driving. These trainings promise the highest level of care for our clients.


A Registered Dietician on staff ensures the dietary needs of our clients are met. Each client has a specific meal card prepared and modified by our Registered Dietician noting their special needs as determined by their physician.


Our director of Quality Assurance works with the Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (DIDS), Medicaid and Licensure to ensure all Federal and State requirements are met in the area of providing care to our clients. In addition, Quality Assurance conducts the admission process, oversees the Incident Management System, hosts Family Support Meetings and conducts internal investigations when needed. Quality Assurance is proactive in making sure the quality of care given to our clients meets their needs and interests. Client safety and quality of care are a priority to OAC.

The Quality director is the liaison between the Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (DIDDS), Center for Medicaid and Medicare Services, State of Tennessee Licensure to ensure all Federal and State requirements are met in the area of providing safeguards to our clients. In addition, Quality Assurance conducts internal audits and oversees the Incident Management system as well as conducts internal investigations when needed.

Health Services

Health Services is responsible for the coordination of clinical services and facilitates communication between the other disciplines including dietary services, physical, speech and occupation therapies. They ensure the provision of individualized healthcare, disease management and health promotion.


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Honza Soukup is licensed under CC BY 3.0






Open Arms Care is proud of the clients we serve. Many have achieved goals that were previously thought unreachable. Some clients participate in volunteer services or hold paid jobs within the community. The opportunities we provide for growth allow clients to be involved, productive citizens within their community.DSCN5327

When clients reach a particular goal, standing beside them you will find a staff member of Open Arms Care. They are the teachers, nurses, mentors, friends, and the family who lovingly share in the lives of those they serve. We are proud of the servant’s heart our employees exhibit on a daily basis. Our employees have been honored with industry awards for their commitment to service.

We are pleased to have garnered the trust of our clients and their families.








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Steve Huison is licensed under CC BY 3.0


Crystal Goins IMG_0522 cropped for website

Crystal Goins, Executive Director






Ride to Provide

CHA Ride to ProvideOpen Arms Care held the 10th annual “Ride to Provide” bike challenge fundraiser during September, 2014. We are inviting area organizations the opportunity to partner with us in support of the individuals we serve. Funds raised from events allow us to provide for more than just the basic necessities for our clients. For example:

Facility Improvements:

  • The replacement of carpet in our physical therapy room with laminate wood flooring was made possible. This wasn’t merely a cosmetic upgrade. This flooring provided a safe environment for clients to participate in sensory activities.
  • Property fences are important to our clients and staff. Protection from the dangers of highways that line properties is paramount. Furthermore, it allows clients to exercise and explore their yard freely.

Client Experiences:

  • See the world! Individuals with disabilities, who are also medically fragile, aren’t always able to enjoy travel experiences. Open Arms Care is proud to have funded a cruise for two particular clients with untenable health conditions and short term life expectancies. Today, their recovery is sweetened only by unforgettable memories.
  • Technology and adaptive equipment are important in the development of new skill sets. Devices purchased increase sensory awareness and communication. Participation in Art Realization programs allow for opportunities for self expression, but also satisfaction in selling an original piece of artwork.


IMG_0451The next Ride to Provide will be held in September, 2015. We invite individuals and corporate sponsors as partners.

Supporters continue to champion the Ride to Provide, with participation increasing annually to more than 175 in 2014. Last year, our partners helped us raise more than $17,000. With your partnership, we anticipate reaching our goal of $20,000 for 2015.

Our primary sponsor’s logo is featured across the front of cyclist’s jersey’s and prominently above logos of other sponsors on promotional materials and website.

We look forward to the 2015 Ride to Provide and the community spirit, camaraderie, and awareness it offers. Our success hinges on the long standing relationships we develop, the generosity of families, friends and our community, and our ability to make a positive difference in the lives of those we serve.

Support from our friends makes all the difference.

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