This morning, approximately thirty concerned citizens in Summerville, South Carolina, gathered to support the new Summerville Home of Hope scheduled to open July 1, 2015. The breakfast meeting at Seacoast Church was meant to share information on the new shelter established to serve homeless men, some of whom are veterans, in the community.
Following reports of homeless men and panhandlers in the city square last year, Mayor Bill Collins met with church leaders and concerned citizens and set in place a fact-finding mission to identify needed services to address the issue.
Mayor Collins solicited assistance from city police to help with the assessment. Given the fact that many in the homeless community are transient, accurate numbers proved difficult. Results of the informal study indicated there were at least two dozen men living in the woods, or in their cars, in Summerville and the surrounding area. That study set in motion plans for an all-male temporary shelter-home.
The new shelter is located at 821 Central Avenue in Summerville, previously occupied by Palmetto House which provided temporary housing to men, women, and families. When that organization closed, temporary housing for women and children was provided elsewhere, but the need for shelter-housing for men expanded.
David Powell, who has a 17-year relationship working with the homeless community, this morning outlined the basics of the new shelter; to provide temporary housing, hot meals, and a place to shower. The shelter’s vision is to respectfully assist these men to get back on their feet and into long-term housing.
The Charleston-based One80Place, having experience with the homeless population, has been instrumental in their assistance with the new Home of Hope. Five days a week, One80Place has agreed to provide van service from Summerville to their Meeting Street facility in Charleston. Their facility will help the currently homeless men find permanent housing, one of the most important steps to a life outside the encampments.
The City of Summerville has seeded the program with a full year of rent for the Central Street location and funding for transportation to the One80Place facility. Powell said, thanks to a local church group, the interior of the Home of Hope is in good condition, but $30, 000 is still needed to open the doors by July. Those who would like to help fund this much-needed facility can log onto the GoFundMe account here. Contact email@example.com for information regarding donations of furniture, appliances, and general supplies. FAQs regarding homeless veterans here.
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