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House of Hope plans to build another homeless shelter in Florence

(WPDE)

House of Hope announced plans Tuesday to build a 50-bed men’s shelter behind its Courtney Graham McGinnis Shelter on Church Street in Florence.

The organization’s Executive Director Bryan Braddock said they’ve served more than 700 homeless people since the McGinnis Shelter opened last fall.

Braddock said that shelter serves 40 people per night. They’re allowed to stay up to 30 days.

He also said the new shelter is really needed in Florence, as more than 400 people in the area are believed to be homeless.

"We were turning people away every day. You know, there's a huge need, a huge demand. Sometimes 30 days just isn't long enough to get someone back on their feet again. So, it's going to serve a dual role to expand the length of time and the number of people that we could serve,” said Braddock.

Florence Mayor Stephen Wukela said the city recognizes the homeless population.

Wukela said that’s why city council approved giving $75,000 last week to nine organizations that help those who don’t have a place to stay.

"The issue of homelessness touches so many other issues, whether it be the loss of a home because of financial situation or whether it involves mental health or drug addiction,” said Wukela.

He said city council asked all those organizations to come together with a funding request.

Wukela said the groups met the Mayor’s Coalition Homelessness Committee and called the collaboration the “No One Unsheltered Project,” which seeks to help any person in need of emergency shelter in Florence to be matched with a bed in one of the nine participating shelters.

"We challenge them to come together and make a unified request and make a unified project for shared resources and shared goals and shared effort. And, that's a challenge when you have that many organizations with slightly different missions and bases. That was the challenge. But they rose to the challenge and came to council with an unsheltered program. Which involves coordination of their efforts and transportation with individuals from one place to another. To make sure that you didn't have at the same time, someone that was unsheltered. And an empty bed somewhere in the community. And they have done that very successfully. They rose to the challenge,” said Wukela.

The No One Unsheltered participating agencies include the following:

  • Family Promise
  • Light House Ministries
  • House of Hope
  • Loving Arms
  • Pee Dee Coalition
  • Pee Dee Community Action Partnership
  • Resurrection Restoration Center for the Homeless
  • The Naomi Project
  • The Salvation Army

Construction on House of Hope’s new men’s shelter is expected to start next summer.

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