James Island Outreach, which has been at Bethany United Methodist Church on Maybank Highway for 25 years, is moving to Camp Road where it will have new, larger headquarters.
The organization provides emergency relief for those needing food, medicines and help paying utilities and rent.
The new home for the nonprofit will be at the corner of Camp and Mellichamp roads on property owned by St. James Church. Outreach Executive Director Cal Worthington said he hopes the new facility will be up and running by the end of February or the beginning of March.
A zoning variance is needed for the outreach building to be located in a residential area. “Our anticipation is that we will get the approval that we need,” he said.
The current headquarters is too small to best serve the needs of the island. Quarters are so cramped that clients sit in hallways waiting for service, he said.
The tight space has hurt the effectiveness of the outreach during times like the recent floods. “We just had no room to receive emergency supplies and give them out,” he said.
The relocation, he hopes, will enable the outreach to expand its services in new ways such as teaching young people interview skills and helping them find jobs.
James Island Christian Church donated two modular buildings each measuring 24-by-65 feet that will be the new home of the charity. Lowe’s refurbished the buildings at no charge, he said.
The new location will have a waiting room, two interview rooms, an area where clients can shop for food and an 85-by-12 foot covered deck.
James Island Outreach happened when area churches responded to help rebuild in the aftermath of Hurricane Hugo. Last year, it provided $8,000 in cash for utilities, rent and medicines and distributed more than 92,250 pounds of food worth $153,000. This year, the outreach anticipates a 15 percent increase in food distributions.
Worthington said he hopes to tap into the professional knowledge and experience of Bishop Gadsden retirement community residents. The facility is located across the street from the new location of James Island Outreach.