Volunteers help homeless veterans brace for the storm

Volunteers help homeless veterans brace for the storm

NORTH CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Volunteers with Project Street Outreach in North Charleston spent the day helping homeless veterans find shelter and stock up for Florence.

Denise Cromwell runs PSO with her team of volunteers she calls foot soldiers. They help homeless veterans year round, but their services and supplies are especially needed when bad weather is bearing down.

Wednesday, they packed bags of food and supplies and were desperately looking for bottled water.

"I posted [on Facebook] and in less than a minute, someone said Publix still had water so I went to Publix," Cromwell said. "I asked the manager if I could buy them for my veterans and he said no! I thought, 'How insensitive!' But then he says, 'I can't sell them to you. I will give them to you.'"

A big cooler full of waters went to a veterans community called Patriots Villas. "I prayed that prayer and in less than ten minutes, it was being answered," Cromwell said.

Only a few minutes later she's the one who had the chance to answer a prayer.

Disabled veteran Pattie Kelly has been struggling, living in a worn-down van and unsure of where to go with Florence in the forecast.

"I've been sleeping in [the van] a week and a half now. You should see it, it's horrible. It was an abandoned vehicle downtown," said Kelly.

She said she'd planned to try to tough out the storm in her van but knew that would be dangerous.

Cromwell and her husband filled up Kelly's gas tank and volunteers brought food and supplies to get her and her two kittens through the week.
Project Street Outreach helped them find a shelter, too.

"I'm just so thankful. I didn't have anywhere to go," Kelly said.

Cromwell ended her interaction with Kelly like she does with all veterans: With a salute. "Thank you for your service and the freedom I enjoy because of you," she said to Kelly with a hug.

Cromwell asks that no matter where you live in the storm's path, you consider reaching out to people who don't have safe shelter to make sure they know where they can go during the storm.

For more information about donating supplies and becoming a foot soldier volunteer, visit https://www.projectstreetoutreach.org/volunteer/

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