Sponsored Content

How Greenvillians can help end homelessness

The Greenville Homeless Alliance works with local nonprofits + organizations to educate the community, advocate for change, and collaborate to find innovative solutions to help end homelessness.

Sponsored by
Close-up of a woman wearing green t-shirt in the foreground with kids standing in the background

Youth from Christ Church Episcopal teamed up with the Greenville Homeless Alliance, Triune Mercy Center + the Salvation Army of Greenville County to pick up litter and learn more about homelessness as part of a Missions Week with a local focus.

Photo provided by the Greenville Homeless Alliance

Table of Contents

Did you know that many of the individuals + families experiencing homelessness in our community work full-time jobs, often at minimum wage ($7.25 per hour, or a $15,000 annual income)? At this rate, a person would have to work 81 hours per week to afford a modest one-bedroom apartment in Greenville County at the current market rent of $826 per month.

By the numbers

  • 3,200+: Men, women, and children who experienced homelessness in Greenville County in 2019-20. Of those,
  • 1,919: Lived in an emergency shelter (like Greenville Rescue Mission or the Salvation Army)
  • 214: Lived unsheltered (outside, in a car, or in a tent) for at least one night — and 41% lived that way for the past 12 months or longer
  • 1,148: Were school-aged children in 86 of 94 Greenville County Schools (including students living in emergency shelters, unsheltered, staying with friends or relatives, or living in a motel for over a full school year). This number has been rising for the last 10 years.

Many factors can contribute to someone experiencing homelessness, including:

  • Housing that is not affordable (Greenville County ranks No. 1 in SC for renter households eligible for housing stabilization funding, but who are not receiving it)
  • Eviction (SC ranks No. 1 in the country)
  • Mental or physical health issues
  • Involvement with the Justice System
  • Domestic violence
  • Addiction
  • Job loss
  • Loss of family from death or divorce

One common denominator in every situation is the lack of a support system to navigate a crisis.

A group of Greenville Homeless Alliance volunteers developing the GHA Mythbusters series

GHA volunteers from non-profit, faith, and business communities at the Community Tap creating a mythbusters campaign to address misperceptions about homelessness.

Photo provided by the Greenville Homeless Alliance

That’s where local organizations can step in and make a difference. The Greenville Homeless Alliance works with local organizations from the faith community, business, education, nonprofit, healthcare, and philanthropy sectors to advocate for change and find innovative solutions. These organizations who provide shelter, mental and physical healthcare, outreach, job training, pathways to housing, and more help create a support system for some of the most vulnerable in our community.

Greenvillians are invited to hear stories from people who have faced homelessness and learn how our community is offering hope at this year’s iGNITE event happening Tues., Nov. 15, at 12 p.m. Interested in supporting the cause? Become a sponsor (like NHE, Inc., First Baptist Greenville, and the Salvation Army) or get free tickets to the virtual event.

One woman sitting next to a woman standing

Greenvillians can join GHA and become part of their advocacy group, like Sally Wills with LiveWell Greenville and Tina Harris with FAVOR Upstate (pictured above).

Photo provided by the Greenville Homeless Alliance

Other ways to help:

  • Educate yourself and others about homelessness by watching GHA’s Mythbuster series.
  • Invite GHA to your book club, business, place of worship, neighborhood association, or school, where they can share their Homelessness 101 presentation.
  • Sign up to get GHA Updates and Advocacy Alerts and become an advocate.
  • Attend a GHA Stakeholder Meeting to learn how to get engaged.
  • Follow GHA on social media.

Volunteer or donate goods or services to GHA or one of GHA’s partner organizations.*

More from GVLtoday