NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - The issue of affordable housing and homelessness continues to be a problem in cities like North Charleston. One non-profit ministry wants to expand their services to provide housing.
Tricounty Family Ministries provides groceries, meals, and social services for people in North Charleston.
Kara Stewart, the organization’s executive director, says she has seen an increased need for housing due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Our first step is to renovate a building we already own on Reynold Avenue. We are going to turn that into 9 affordable apartments where folks will be able to come into and have a 12-month lease,” Stewart said. “We will work with them throughout the year to provide services they need to get them to the next level for their families.”
The next step would be to replicate that model and move into a building in the area where they would be able to provide more affordable apartments.
The biggest goal would be to create a homeless shelter, since the city is lacking one.
“Our vision for this homeless shelter is bigger than just providing housing in addition to the meals and the clothes and the counseling that we’ve provided,” Stewart said. “Our real goal is that we create a place that would be welcoming for our neighbors to come and share resources.”
Other advocates who help people experiencing homelessness said they were excited to hear the news.
Uplift Charleston founder Aaron Comstock delivers food, clothing, and hygiene products to those in need. He says there are other organizations also working to create a homeless shelter, and he hopes the city will get involved.
“We are so hopeful these other groups are starting to do this work, but we also need help from the city,” Comstock said. “The ultimate goal has always been encouraging and getting these people places and getting transition houses built, so our friends can get on their feet and then get out of homelessness.”
Stewart says she needs people to continue supporting the ministries, providing ideas, and making donations so they can move forward with these plans.
For more information about Tricounty Family Ministries, click here.