About Us

LifeLine is a 501c3 non profit para-church ministry organization based in Chattanooga, Tennessee and serving families in about a dozen counties across southeast Tennessee and northwest Georgia.   LifeLine primarily serves families in 50-75 mile radius of Chattanooga, but since 2003, we have served families in more than 20 states.  All of LifeLine’s board and staff are affected by special needs in some way, whether living with disability themselves or as caregivers.                       .
We have called the ministry LifeLine. Its goal is to meet the unique needs of families of those with special needs. When someone is drowning, a life preserver is extended. Our hope is to extend a similar lifeline to families struggling to be caregivers.  The life preservers and lifelines in our logo come together to form a flower, a symbol of thriving life.  LifeLine’s purpose is to help caregivers thrive, not just survive.  It is also our hope to show forth Jesus, the only giver of eternal life, in everything we say and do.



As set forth in its charter, this 501c3 non-profit organization was formed for the following purposes:

  1. To provide information, support, training or respite care to individuals with disabilities, their families, and the professionals who provide supports for them in the community,
  2. To educate churches and the general public on disabilities, legal and civil rights and the service delivery systems;
  3. To encourage parents, professionals, churches and organizations to become advocates for individuals with disabilities and to support them in doing so.
  4. To promote programs and practices that guarantee equal opportunity for individuals with disabilities, regardless of age or the nature or severity of the disability whether it be medical or educational, and empower individuals with disabilities to achieve economic self-sufficiency, independent living, and inclusion and integration into all aspects of society.
  5. To share the love of Jesus Christ and the Biblical concept of the value of all human life with everyone who makes contact with this organization in word and deed.


LifeLine’s three basic purposes are to provide support, education, and resources to families affected by a chronic or temporary, medical or educational, physical or mental disability. Currently, LifeLine is primarily aimed at families with children with special needs, but our ultimate goal is to reach families of those with disabilities across the lifespan, whether the disabilities be related to birth or acquired later in life.  LifeLine primarily serves families with children birth to age 22, regardless of diagnosis (or even if families are still trying to find a diagnosis.)  We also assist families with the transition to adult life and services.


LifeLine realizes that families who have a member with special needs sometimes feel isolated and misunderstood. Support from a source that truly comprehends their struggles is invaluable. All of our staff have experience living with disabilities themselves.

  • FamilyShare frequent support groups meet both in Tennessee and Georgia that include all types of disabilities and diagnoses.
  • Newsletter & LifeLineOnline helps to keep members updated on LifeLine events and community activities from which they may benefit. An e-mail listserv and bimonthly newsletter are alternate ways of staying informed about LifeLine and community events and breaking news affecting the disability community.
  • ParentLink is our Caregiver Mentoring Program.  Families are linked to others with more experience to support through difficult days.  Families who are comfortable in their role as caregivers have the opportunity to become mentors to others.
  • Facebook online community at LifeLine, Inc. – Almost 1000 friends have joined us here to share ideas, ask questions, and learn about local activities and events.  Join us here.


It is important to have clear and precise information about medical conditions and diagnoses as well as educational rights and responsibilities.  Families also need to understand real life ramifications of those diagnoses. LifeLine seeks to provide a network of contacts and resources to those searching for answers and help.

  • Through LifeLine’s Community Parent Resource Center, S.T.E.P. (Support and Training for Exceptional Parents) workshops and other informational classes are offered that help families learn to navigate the special education process.  Whether the child is homeschooled, public schooled, or private schooled, these trainings will be helpful in understanding and navigating an often complicated system of services.
  • Training is also offered in other related topics.  See our List  for a complete list of available topics
  • Training is provided to families, schools, churches, professionals, and educators, as well as churches who seek to include children with special needs in their programming.  See SPECIAL NEEDS MINISTRY for more details.



  • Resource & Referral – LifeLine has never tried to specialize in everything.  Our goal has been to fill the gaps for families to connect with what others are doing well.  LifeLine provides Resource & Referral services to families as well as local organizations, pediatricians, and other professionals.
  • LifeLine Resource Center  – The Resource Center contains many valuable printed materials and opportunities intended to promote awareness of various programs and services available to the families of those with special needs.  Part of the Resource Center is specifically designed for churches as they develop their own Special Needs Ministry.


Our Location
LifeLine is located at 1400 McCallie Avenue in downtown Chattanooga.  Our office is inside the Chattanooga Autism Center at the corner of McCallie and Greenwood.    Our Community Parent Resource Center is located there, and many of our activities and training sessions take place there.  For more information about LifeLine or its projects, call Lisa Mattheiss, Executive Director at (423) 645-0504.  LifeLine’s office number is (423)-622-4007.  LifeLine serves families primarily in the Chattanooga/Northwest Georgia region, though families have been served in some capacity across more than 20 states.

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