New N. Charleston homeless coordinator to pair people with services they need
NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - North Charleston city leaders decided in June to dedicate a position to be a liaison for the city, homeless individuals, and organizations.
Homeless Coordinator Brandon Lilienthal said that this role is to really engage with homeless people by finding out exactly what they need. On a typical day, he tries to introduce himself to as many people in need as possible.
Some services Lilienthal said he helps with include identification cards, employment, increasing job skills, and locating transitional housing. In order to gain the trust of homeless people, he wants to show them that he is not going anywhere.
“I’m showing that by, you know, by coming to under the bridges every day, going into the encampments every week. Just showing a face and showing that they can say, ‘Hey, this guy really means that he wants to help us,’” Lilienthal said.
Another large aspect of the role is to work with local homeless organizations in order to fully assist individuals who may be needing different resources. Uplift Charleston Founder Aaron Comstock said they have been waiting many years to see a position like this created.
“Now, to have someone in charge, who is a part of local government in North Charleston, who will be dedicated to the cause that we are so passionate about is good, but in the end, time will tell,” Comstock said.
Uplift Charleston collects donations to support the homeless throughout Charleston. Lilienthal said that he has started connecting with different organizations that specialize in mental health, substance abuse, and veterans’ centers to better assist people of all backgrounds.
“I’ve been getting more calls from organizations wanting to collaborate and work together to better serve the homeless population in North Charleston because the homeless population has grown a lot,” Lilienthal said.
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