Homeless Point-In-Time Count in the Upstate

Each year, The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development requires a count of homeless individuals across the nation. The resulting data allows the government to assess local service providers’ funding needs.  On January 23th, 2014, the Upstate Homeless Coalition will coordinate a street and shelter count of homeless individuals in 13 counties across the Upstate.

A safe, efficient, and accurate count is required to meet the needs of veterans, families, and other individuals who have no safe place to stay in Greenwood County. Last year, volunteers counted 238 people who are experiencing homelessness in Greenwood County.  Because a large portion of Greenwood is rural, it is difficult to count everyone—and professionals estimate this number is too low to be accurate. This year, county coordinator Candace Timmerman and the team of local partner agencies and volunteers are hoping to get numbers that accurately reflect the situation here in Greenwood.

Although the PIT Count helps agencies serve the less fortunate, it also benefits local taxpayers. While it may not be obvious, the chronically homeless create significant costs to city governments.  A recent cost study on homelessness found that placing four chronically homeless persons into permanent supportive housing can save more than $80,000 a year.

The Upstate Homeless Coalition hopes to provide effective and sustainable solutions to the problem of homelessness—by helping with the count, members of the Upstate community are invited to do their own small part.

The Mayor’s 5K Walk/Run for Homeless Awareness



Join the Mayor, Meg’s House, and umbrella programs Hope and GAMES as they work to bring awareness to the homeless population in Greenwood.

We’ll be giving out shirts, trophies, and gift bags. Plus, there’s a chance to win free food from uptown restaurants like TW Boon’s, Howard’s, and Buffalo Grill — just for coming out and participating!

The race kicks off November 23rd at 11:00AM at the fountain on Main Street. Finish just in time for lunch uptown!

Register online now for a reduced fee!  www.mayors5k.eventbrite.com



The GAMES Program Breaks Cycles of Abuse

The GAMES Program helps break the cycle of abuse.

After a childhood of physical and sexual abuse, Paula (name changed for confidentiality) was left emotionally broken and unable to trust anyone. For many years, she attempted to seek help, but her cries were unheard. Although her mother was present throughout her childhood, she was emotionally distant due to the stress of living with an abusive partner. She watched as her mother was belittled and occasionally battered. While her mother was working, the abuse was turned towards her. She was sexually assaulted multiple times. When she finally gained the courage to disclose the abuse, her accusations were ignored by the authorities. She was hopeless; she ran away. Not knowing where to turn, she internalized the pain and turned to alcohol and drugs in her late teens and early twenties.

Her drug habit and risky behaviors resulted in an unplanned pregnancy. Addicted, pregnant, and homeless, she finally sought rehabilitation. After months of intensive counseling, she successfully completed the rehabilitation program and was ready to start a new life with her child. The GAMES transitional housing program provided her with housing and supportive services. During her stay in the program, she set and achieved many goals. She returned to school, obtained a full time job, and continued to remain sober. After two years, she attained permanent housing. The GAMES program provided her with a second chance, an opportunity to improve her education, and the tools to become self sufficient.