New shelter seeks to protect homeless from COVID-19

Local News

GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA)- The number of people experiencing homelessness in Greenville has gone up significantly in the pandemic.

However, the city is responding by providing a new shelter for homeless folks, that will not only keep them off the street, but will treat them for COVID-19.

For Bryan Copeland, he says homelessness in a pandemic is making life really difficult for him, “It’s kicking our butt, so we got to be careful.”

United Housing Connections CEO, Lorain Crowl, says pre-coronavirus, around 180 people were experiencing homelessness, but now she says, “You take that number and multiply it by 4 for the number of folks that we are seeing on a regular basis that are in our shelters, living in carts, abandoned buildings.”

As that number has increased, options for shelter, have decreased.

Especially for those with COVID-19 symptoms or a positive tests.

Crowl says, “The pandemic has caused them to not have places to go. You think about normal places that folks who are homeless can go for day time shelter would be the library or inside of our other churches.”

However, there is good news.

Greenville is providing a new place for the homeless to go, to stay safe from the virus.

Coordinator of the Greenville Homeless Alliance, Susan McLarty, says the new shelter will provide COVID testing, treatment, and rooms for quarantining.

However, their hope is to help them beyond their physical needs.

“What are your barriers, how can we help you not go back to the street, so we hope all that together will bring more positive outcomes,” McLarty said.

Something Copeland says, he’s thankful for, “It means a lot that they’re concerned, that they’re sincere about the homeless.”

The 2 million dollar shelter is located on White Horse Road and will open their doors to guests the Monday after Christmas, December 28th.

If you wanted to do something to help this shelter take off the best thing to do is give a monetary donation to one of the sponsors of the shelter.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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