Charleston homeless activists report productive meeting with White House officials

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CHARLESTON, SC — Charleston’s Hope for the Homeless Delegation just returned back to the Palmetto State from a trip to Washington, D.C.  The 15 member group, which includes Representative Wendell Gilliard, held a press conference Friday to explain the trip’s success.

The delegation met with Jerry Abramson, Deputy Assistant to the President and Director of Intergovernmental Affairs, staff and representatives of HUD to discuss permanent solutions to the homeless crisis in South Carolina.

Gilliard believes more should be invested in a plan to build tiny houses. He believes the initiative has worked in other states, like Texas.

Gilliard and the rest of the delegation do not believe housing the homeless in temporary shelters will help solve the overall problem.

One woman spoke at the press conference to explain her experience in a lowcountry shelter.

“My stay was very brief but it was very traumatic. The level of uncertainty that I saw my mother face, and the yearn to push her out of the shelter and put us back on the street, it’s very scary,” said Mary Ellen Smith.

Rep. Gilliard says there are more than 6,000 homeless people in South Carolina. He says at least 14% of the homeless population is veterans.

The Hope for the Homeless Delegation left D.C. with a challenge to law makers to to visit South Caroilna to learn more about the homeless situation in the state.

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