SUMMERVILLE, S.C. (WCBD) – Dorchester County Community Outreach (DCCO) was optimistic that their land would be annexed into the Town of Summerville, and after Thursday’s Town Council vote, they’re one step closer.

DCCO is seeking annexation for land they purchased in October.

“Being a part of the Summerville community to utilize the police service,” DCCO executive director Ginny Vicini said, “and the EMS and the sewer and utilities.”

Vicini says her organization bought the land to place a men’s homeless facility and women’s homeless facility on the property.

“Every community has individuals who are experiencing homelessness,” she said, “and the majority of those individuals are individuals who want to do better with their life. What we offer gives them that opportunity.”

But neighbors who live near the vacant lot at the intersection of Miles Jamison and Beverly Drive have concerns.

“Another surprise that none of us really knows,” one Summerville resident said, “that are just walking around on the streets. They could’ve just gone into someone’s house; they could’ve just gone into a garage.”

“I don’t know how they’re going to integrate into the neighborhood,” another Summerville resident said, “and I mean, it’s kind of selfish, but every neighbor I’ve talked to has the same thoughts.”

DCCO says the neighbors’ perceptions of those who utilize their facilities is simply a misunderstanding, and they’ve worked to communicate with residents over the past few months.

“We have to just continue to reach out to them,” Vicini said, “you know, invite them, and we have. We have invited them to actually come and visit our facilities.”

After brief discussion by the council, the first reading of the annexation for the property passed unanimously.

One of the two shelters is scheduled to be completed later this year, and the other will be completed next year.