Local group counts number of homeless in Charleston

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - A local group spent all night counting the number of people living on the streets in and around Charleston.

It's a study from Lowcountry Continuum of Care Partnership, or LCOC, that happens every two years. Old ripped blankets, a tire and a couple of stale cookies may look like trash to us. But for some living on the street, it's home.

Friday morning, we joined along in the City of Charleston's homeless count.

"We are conducting the point in time homeless count which is a biennial project that the LCOC undertakes under the direction of HUD," says Associate Director LCOC Becky Lawnie.

This year students from MUSC took part in the count and had a chance to see first hand the effects of homelessness.

Gini Ikwuezumma who volunteered for the homeless count says,"The more young people get involved...I mean it could be a vehicle for a really big change."

The study is done nationally and is required by the Federal Department of Housing and Urban Development. But in the City of Charleston, finding the homeless is harder then it seems.

"It's a little disappointing in the City of Charleston. The homeless folks don't seem to gather like in camps like they do in North Charleston. So it's a matter of driving around and trying to find where they might be on this given night," Lawnie said.

For the several MUSC students who braved the cold to stare homelessness in the eye made them feel truly fortunate.

"When you come out here in the cold you realize that your fortunate," said Ikwuezumma."But we know what works, but we don't have the resources to put it in place."

Copyright WCSC 2011. All rights reserved