Now that I have seen, I am responsible: Response to Homelessness in Greenville2
Photo Credit: Mykal McEldowney, Greenville News
Last week we read eagerly each day as the Greenville News delved into the issues of homelessness in our community through a 5-part series. "In the shadow of downtown" they painted the picture of tent city and the dozens who reside just a brief walk from our bustling and growing metropolitan center. For the organizations and individuals who serve Greenville's homeless and impoverished, this is a known reality. We were eager for the public to read on and know it too.
It was important for the community to read not only about the individuals' stories, but also about the agencies offering help. Occasionally one will hear a complaint about nonprofits operating as islands, void of collaboration and rife with duplication of services. Greenville seems to us to be an exception to this. As a developer of affordable housing we partner with numerous agencies to provide permanent housing for their homeless clients. In fact, providing permanant housing for homeless service providers is one of our four housing strategies.
In Greenville a coalition of these agencies meets monthly to collaborate and confront the issue of homelessness. Together we provide a continuum of care that can maneuver an individual from the street to permanent housing, with appropriate services like mental health care, medical treatment, transitional housing, drug and alcohol recovery, and financial wellness contributed throughout. We are proud to provide the safe and affordable homes that can be the permanent resting place for a family transitioning from agencies like Triune Mercy Center, Safe Harbor, Department of Mental Health, & GAIHN.
Two newly developed homes slotted for clients of our partner agencies
We were thankful to be featured by the Greenville News as an agency that the community can support as they seek to assist the homeless. They wrote, "There simply isn't enough inexpensive housing in Greenville" and we know this to be true. Quality affordable housing is a needed solution. We've developed 478 homes in the Upstate in our 15 years. We've seen the West Greenville community transform from a hotbed of drug activity and dilapidated housing to a dynamic mix of lower-income renters, and middle-income homeowners all acting as good neighbors, watching out for one another, with kids playing in the front yard again. Affordable housing made this possible.
We continue to seek opportunities to develop more housing for those in need. Our waiting list continues to grow, while grant funding continues to shrink. That's where the community can join hands to ensure Greenville is a place where everyone has a home they can be proud to call their own.
The Orange family enjoys their home at Chicora Crest in Downtown Greenville
As a result of The Greenville News' article we received new interest and donations. A new Solid Rock Club donor explained his choice to support us monthly after reading the series.
"I have to admit I had grand ideas about pulling a truck up and handing out everything and anything I could get my hands on including $$ to anyone on the street, however, after reading the series I realized that would be counterproductive. It seems that there are already organizations like yours in place – each having a niche – that together can continue to do it the right way. I wanted to help add resources as best I could so I chose your organization as one of many I will support in the coming year starting now."
His zeal is encouraging to us, but more so, his strategic heart to support organizations with seasoned track records of experience and solutions. His financial support assists us to operate in excellence, making him a valued member of our team. His example is the ideal response to an informative newsspread. He not only read, he acted. We pray more will do so. Greenville is better when we work together. We are thankful to the Greenville News for planting the seeds.
Learn more about our Solid Rock Club of faithful monthly givers.
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