Spartanburg Opportunity Center booming, may need to expand

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SPARTANBURG, S.C. (WSPA) – At Monday night’s city council meeting, Spartanburg leaders got an update on the progress being made by the new opportunity center.

7 News learned more about the successes of the center and the challenges we still face.

Homelessness has been an ongoing battle for the city of Spartanburg for a while now.

“Everybody talks about our homeless problem in the city. Some complain, some want to know why we can’t do something,” Brenda Lee Price said.

But the City has done something. This year, they opened the Spartanburg Opportunity Center in a portion of the Northwest Community Center, and those in need can go by on Mondays and Wednesdays for resources, like help finding a job, housing, and transportation–or even just for a hot shower.

It’s been more successful than anticipated. In fact, it’s been so popular, those who are a part of the program are now asking the City to consider helping them with an upgrade, saying they’re running out of space and need to expand.

“The greatest poverty in the united states is not money. It’s loneliness. And these people suffer every day. They need a place to communicate, to feel loved and supported, so please help us,” Peter Freissle said.

Other community members told 7 News they’re proud of the success the opportunity center has had so far and would be happy to see it grow.

“I feel good about our community. I feel good about being in the city council meeting tonight. Usually, I’m going home upset about something, but I was very happy to hear what we are doing, as far as the homeless population is concerned,” Price said.

And council members seemed to be in support as well.

“I am happy to see that it has grown from one or two people to the number that it is now,” Councilwoman Ruth Littlejohn said.

The council did not make any decisions on upgrading the opportunity center in Monday night’s meeting.

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