CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – A program in Charleston is connecting homeless people to available resources throughout the city.
On Thursday, Charleston’s Community Development Committee heard an update on the city’s response to homelessness. The efforts include the Street Outreach Program, which was started by the city about 2 years ago.
Through this program, Outreach Specialists go into the community to meet homeless people and connect them to resources.
“The first step is finding the different places in the community where unhoused people are likely to be, and then just visiting multiple times to develop rapport with them,” explained Emily Beck, the Community Liaison and Homelessness Coordinator for the City of Charleston. “And then trying to figure out their situation and assess what kind of resources they might need.”
One of the resources is the Hope Center at 529 Meeting Street, which just opened in June. Neighbors can go there four days a week for basic needs like clothing, showers, food, and hygiene products.
“Some of the things they need assistance with are birth certificates, driver’s license, primary care, mental health issues, social security benefits, and most importantly housing,” said Latosha Fludd, the Director of the Hope Center.
Officials said the Street Outreach Program team had 600 encounters between June 2021 and May 2022.
Fludd said the Hope Center needs donations including new coats, sweatshirts, sweatpants, belts, undergarments, backpacks, socks, handwarmers, and gloves.
Donations are accepted during the following days:
Monday-Wednesday: 10 am-2 pm
Friday: 9 am-12 pm
Other resources are listed below:
- Housing Crisis Line: 843-737-8357
- Dialing 211
- Shelters to Shutters: 843-259-6427
- Palmetto Community Action Partnership
- City of Charleston Outreach workers – Mariquetta Barnett: 843-513-4125 and KeTwanna Walker: 843-730-2437
- City of North Charleston Homelessness Coordinator – Brandon Lilienthal: 843-607-0880.