From now on, Crisis Ministries will be called One-Eighty Place, a name leaders believe describes what the organization does. It helps people go from homelessness to self-sufficiency - to make a 180 degree change in their lives.
For 30 years, people in crisis have called it something else: Home. At least temporarily.
And among organizations that target homelessness, One-Eighty Place is called a success.
Chairman Paul Kohlheim said that the board spent more than a year updating its strategic plan. In the end, members agreed the organization was offering the right services. But they also found that many people don't know the extent of what they do.
One-Eighty Place isn't just a shelter where homeless people can find a bed and a warm meal. It provides health services, counseling, legal assistance, job training and dental care.
Among similar institutions, it is considered laudable if 30 percent to 50 percent of residents do more than just stay there - if they connect with those additional services as a way to work toward self-sufficiency.
In 2013, 85 percent of Crisis Ministries' clients engaged those services. Of the 1,976 people served that year, 768 are no longer homeless.
Those people call One-Eighty Place life-changing.
Volunteers from hundreds of faith-based organizations call it their ministry to help serve meals, provide medical care or make a donation.
And those who have been to cities without homeless services like those One-Eighty Place provides call it a huge asset. It is the largest homeless service provider in South Carolina. It has served nearly 2 million meals and sheltered almost 40,000 individuals. It has helped more than 8,000 homeless men and women achieve self-sufficiency.
One-Eighty Place is building a new facility just behind its present one on Meeting Street. It is designed to be filled with light, and to be efficient and accommodating of the services provided there.
It will serve the same number of people, but more of them will be homeless veterans to reflect a growing need.
In serving homeless people in Charleston, and now in Summerville, Crisis Ministries has served the greater community faithfully and effectively.
As One-Eighty Place, it will continue that good work.
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