Lowcountry receives $1.6 million for homeless programs

As night falls, a family walks to the shelter at One80 Place.

When families become homeless, it’s best to help them quickly get back into permanent housing, then deal with problems that contributed to them ending up on the street, says Stacey Denaux, chief executive officer of One80 Place.

The homeless shelter on Meeting Street Monday received about $512,000 for two programs from the from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Continuum of Care program. HUD Secretary Julian Castro announced Monday that 66 programs in South Carolina would receive a portion of $9.8 million to provide services to the homeless.

Denaux said about $377,000 of the money One80 Place received will be used for case management services, security deposits, rent and utility deposits to help families get back into permanent housing.

In the past, she said, agencies serving the homeless would help people overcome problems such as alcohol and drug abuse and mental health issues before they helped them find permanent housing. But they have learned that people fare better if they get housing first, then tackle their other problems.

One80 Place also received about $135,000 for its self-sufficiency program, which includes education and employment services, Denaux said.

HUD is the shelter’s second largest source of funding, she said, after the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, which gives the shelter about $2 million per year. “It’s critical for an organization our size,” she said.

Anthony Haro is executive director of the Lowcountry Homeless Coalition which is comprised of about 12 agencies that serve the homeless in Berkeley, Charleston Dorchester, Beaufort, Colleton, Hampton and Jasper counties.

Thirteen Lowcountry projects received $1.6 million this year, he said. Projects deal with the chronically homeless and homeless families as well as a data system to track how the money is spent and the impact it has had on people.

Reach Diane Knich at 843-937-5491 or on Twitter at @dianeknich.