SPARTANBURG, S.C. (WSPA) – A Spartanburg non-profit says its serving double the number of homeless people they saw just a few months ago; and, they say, it’s time to expand their services.
“We’ve seen a lot more people come in,” Beth Rutherford said. “I don’t know if that’s necessarily COVID-related. I think people are hearing about us and they’re seeing a lot of positive results.”
Beth Rutherford, with the Spartanburg Opportunity Center, said the number of homeless people in Spartanburg seems to be growing.
“Our very first day, we only had three people,” she said. “We were probably, last December, close to averaging about 50 people. We now average about 100 people every time we’re open.”
Rutherford said the center is a one-stop shop to help people who are experiencing homelessness.
“We provide showers, laundry services, phone services, clothing, food, and, most importantly, case management,” she said.
They also help folks find jobs and housing.
Rutherford told 7 News they’ve seen so many people recently that they’ve decided to open an extra day each week and extend their hours.
“It’s a place that’s familial to them. It’s like a little community,” Rutherford said.
Thanks to the City of Spartanburg and COVID-19 relief funds, the center is able to update their kitchen and add a laundry room.
They’ve also added a classroom to provide financial literacy and job training, and they’ve even gotten a new health clinic.
“Medical issues are a definite need here,” Rutherford said.
With these services, Rutherford said she’s hoping they’re able to get more people off the streets and into homes.
“That’s our mission: to help homeless children and their families, and homeless individuals become self-sufficient. That’s what we want to see,” she said.
If you’d like to donate to the Spartanburg Opportunity Center, Rutherford said they are in desperate need of men’s clothing.
And if you’d like to volunteer with them, you are encouraged to call them at (864) 384-4131.
For more information on the Spartanburg Opportunity Center, click here.