Lowcountry homeless discussion hopes to organize assistance efforts

Lowcountry homeless discussion hopes to organize assistance efforts

CHARLESTON COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - More than 50 people came out of a community discussion, put on by the group, "homeless helpers Charleston," to help solve the problem of homelessness in the Lowcountry.

"We have to come up with a system and we've got to stop enabling people," said one woman in the crowd, "Because, right now, tent city got a bad rap, bad name."

Messages like that were shared in the auditorium of the Charleston county public library.

"We need to see what they need," added another woman. "Do they have social security cards. Do they have ID's?"

Some were there wanting to help the homeless.
Others were there in need of help.

"I'm Amanda, I'm currently a member of tent city."

Some were there, with experience in both areas.

"My story is that I was homeless myself," said Moses Brunson.

Brunson was given a few work opportunities and people showed him another life off the streets.

"They helped me," said Brunson. "They helped me change the way that I think. And, by my thinking changed, my action changed."

That's the message he brought to the meeting. 
He said not everyone who is homeless wants help, so people need to make sure they're actually helping the right people.

That's the reason Dmitri Cherny decided to organize the meeting.

"To find the missing pieces," said Cherny.

Cherny, who is running for congress, showed the work the group "Homeless Helpers Charleston" has done on social media.

He showed an interactive map that allows people to plug-in areas where people are in need and find resources closeby.

Cherny explained a lot of people want to help but aren't always doing it the right way.

"People in tent city don't need clothing, clothing is taken care of," said Cherny.

He showed a picture where someone dropped off clothes to tent city. Those clothes weren't needed, so they were left as trash on the ground.

Cherny said that's just one example where people need to communicate so the people in tent city can get the help they need.

"Whatever they want to donate to the homeless, do through these organizations," said Cherny. "So we can organize."

The goal, he said, is to help change lives.

"I said thank you when I received the help," said Brunson. "But, of course that's not enough to represent what they did for me."

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