MONCKS CORNER, S.C. (WCBD) – A group of pastors said Berkeley County must act when it comes to helping the homeless population.

Pastors from several churches in the county said they have a proposal they want to present during the public comments section of Monday night’s county council meeting.

Immediately after, they are going to head across the street where they will spend the next three nights in tents at the 52 Station gas station to bring attention to homelessness in the community.

“We came together, Pastors Jones, Reddy of Wesley United Methodist Church, and our congregation at Grace Reformed Episcopal Church, to try and raise awareness around the issue of homelessness in Berkeley County,” explained Pastor Tory Liferidge of Grace Reformed Episcopal Church.

Pastor Liferidge said it’s a problem for dozens of people in the community. They plan to hand out free blankets and sleeping bags to homeless people Monday night.

“Currently, there are zero homeless shelters in the fastest growing county in the state and the top 35 fastest growing county in the country,” said Liferidge.

The pastors are going to ask Berkeley County Council to find $2.275 million to purchase about five acres of land next to the Berkeley Community Mental Health Center in Moncks Corner.

“We are looking and asking for county council to utilize Covid relief funds that they receive that can be used and should be used for purposes like this.”

The money would purchase the land and put pods, similar to tiny homes, on the property to help house the homeless. They would also have an office pod in place to allow counseling and other services on site.

“It’s extremely important because everybody deserves shelter.”

The group also said they would like the county to spend about 1/3 of what the county spends each year on the Berkeley Animal Center in operation costs for the homeless proposal.

“The county is careful to shelter animals. And if you can spend millions of dollars to shelter animals, you can do the same to shelter human beings,” said Pastor Darien Jones of Moncks Corner AME Church.

When asked for comment, officials with Berkeley County told News 2 no one was available to talk about the issue.