GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA)–According to a newly released report, more than 3,600 people experienced homelessness in the past year in Greenville County alone.
Looking at Netta Yates today, it’s hard to believe she was once homeless and living under a bridge.
“I came in one evening it was late it was dark,” said Yates.
She was part of the more than a hundred people living in tent city under the Pete Hollis Bridge in 2014.
“And I was scared to death to tell you the truth,” said Yates.
Yates came to The Upstate to be with family, but wasn’t able to find affordable housing.
“I had about $1500 on me when I came down but I ran out. So I became homeless,” said Yates.
With the help of community organizations she was eventually able to get back on her feet. She’s glad to see local organizations come together for reports like this one.
“Let them see what a person endures when you’re homeless but they don’t have to stay there,” said Yates.
Susan McLarty with the Greenville Homeless Alliance says it’s tent city that sparked the need for data on the issue.
“If we don’t collaborate we could expect to see increases in violence and harm to people,” said McLarty.
She says the next step is to find housing for those trying to escape homelessness.
“We have people who are ready to move they have jobs they just simply need that long term subsidy to help with the housing,” said McLarty.
She says there need to be 850 housing options that help with that transition.
Yates has some advice for anyone who is struggling with homelessness.
“You don’t have to be scared, don’t worry. They will take care of you and they will guide you to the resources,” said Yates.
Experts say if you educate yourself on the resources available for the homeless you can help connect them to those organizations.
There will also be a community meeting on how to combat homelessness on Thursday, November 22 at 8:30 a.m. at United Ministries.