SUMMERVILLE, SC (WCSC) - The Lowcountry Home of Hope came together with the community for its one-year anniversary of serving homeless men in the Summerville area on Saturday.
There was food and fellowship for an open house at the shelter on Central Ave. It's now the only shelter in the Summerville area.
Resident Dana Maxwell has lived at the home since June.
"It gives a guy like me a place to shower, to change, to eat, to relax to do the research on getting a job to present myself to an employer," Maxwell said.
He now has a new job.
"I just needed a place to go and I came here with nothing," Maxwell said. "I had a pair of shorts, shirt, I just split up with my girlfriend."
Director of the Home of Hope, Stan Burtt says he became interested in the helping out when the former mayor started a committee to address homelessness in Summerville.
"I live on a street in downtown Summerville where a lot of homeless people walk by and I kept looking at them saying there is something we can do about this," Burtt said.
They now can house 16 men at a time and about 70 men have already come through the home. Through its support services most of the men have success stories of getting jobs, saving up and moving into their own place.
"One of guys here just got a really good job he's got a car , he's about ready to go off on his own he's been here 9 months but he was the town drunk for 6 years," Maxwell said.
Burtt says unlike some other shelters the men can stay as long as they need if they're making progress. The shelter costs just below $80,000 to run a year.
"We just scraped by," Burtt said.
Maxwell says he doesn't know where he'd be without the Home of Hope.
"They have given me a chance to re-evaluate my life," Maxwell said. "I started with the Charleston Bagel Company in downtown Summerville this morning so I will be serving coffee and bagels down there. I'll be supplementing my time now serving food to other homeless people."
Burtt says the Home of Hope team would like to open a shelter for women and children now that the One80 Place Summerville shelter is closed. However a women's and children's shelter costs more to run and they don't have the funds to do it. Burtt says he estimates the cost would be about $400,000 a year.
The Lowcountry Home of Hope is accepting donations so they can continue to help people in the community. If you'd like to donate you can do it here. Monetary donations can also be mailed to: Lowcountry Home of Hope, PO BOX 2994, Summerville, SC 29484.
You can also contact the shelter at 843.469.8858 or LowcountryHOH@gmail.com to find out its current needs.
For more information: http://www.lowcountryhomeofhope.com/