Charleston applies for grant to expand homeless outreach team

The city of Charleston is applying for nearly a half-million dollars in federal grant money to help boost its efforts to end homelessness.
Published: Sep. 26, 2022 at 5:51 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 27, 2022 at 12:47 AM EDT
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - The Charleston Department of Housing and Development is applying for nearly a half-million dollars in federal grant money to help boost its efforts to end homelessness in the Holy City.

The city is partnering with the Continuum of Care, a network of providers that works with people to find long-term solutions to homelessness. The Lowcountry chapter serves seven counties: Charleston, Berkeley, Dorchester, Colleton, Beaufort, Jasper and Hampton Counties.

It works with cities and non-profits to secure funding and create programs.

The city hopes to use the grant money to add more people to their outreach team. The team members make contact with people in Charleston experiencing homelessness and work to build relationships and offer resources to them.

The city’s team currently has two staff positions, but the goal is to acquire the funding to pay the salaries for two more team members for three years. The grant application will seek $450,000 with a city match of $112,500.

Geona Shaw Johnson, the director of the Charleston Department of Housing and Community Development, says it’s still early stages of the application, but she is hopeful.

“Collectively we’ve reached easily over 100 members, 100 of our unsheltered neighbors in the last two to three months,” she says. “We want to expand that such that we mitigate persons having to be unsheltered, making sure they are aware of the services that are available to them. Sometimes they are aware, sometimes they are not, so this is really just a way to expand our reach and hopefully expand our effectiveness.”