SC to receive millions in aid for student homelessness

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GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA) – On Monday, South Carolina will receive millions of dollars to support students experiencing homelessness.

The Department of Education reports it will distribute 800 million dollars across all 50 states, and South Carolina can expect to get nearly 14 million dollars of that share.

This money comes from the “American Rescue Plan” Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief – Homeless Children and Youth (ARP-HCY) fund.

According to the state’s 2019 homelessness report, in the upstate, 8 percent of homeless people are kids between the ages of 13 and 17. It’s a problem felt nationwide, prompting the national Department of Education to provide this assistance.

The goal is to identify homeless children and youth, make sure these kids are able to attend school and take part in school activities, and provide wraparound services in light of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

That’s something Pendleton Place is already working to accomplish in Greenville.

“To offer really an array of community-based services to these young people,” said Executive Director, Jed Dews. “There are a lot of them out there.”

He said the need for support grew during COVID.

“I can tell you that pre-pandemic we served 56 young adults and older teenagers who were experiencing homelessness or living on the streets,” Dews said. “During the pandemic, that is on track to increase to about 30 to 35-percent.”

Their youth resource center is more than just a place to stay and eat, they work with several agencies to get teens the help they need.

“They also meet with case managers while they’re there,” Dews said. “They have access to other services from partner providers and they are able to work with housing coordinators to get off the streets.”

For any child experiencing homelessness and in need of help, it’s important to know that any Quick Trip gas station in Greenville is a designated safe space. All you have to do is go in, and tell the cashier you need a safe place. They are trained to connect you with someone over at Pendleton Place.

South Carolina is expected to receive $3.4 million in funding on Monday. According to a press release, the rest will come in June.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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