SC

Prioritizing Homelessness: A Call To Action

“By prioritizing homelessness, voters can send a powerful message to politicians that this issue cannot be overlooked or ignored …”

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by ERIC PROTEIN MOSELEY

Since pre-pandemic estimates in 2020, the homeless population has grown in the vast majority of states.

Vermont has seen the starkest increase in homelessness since 2020, with its homeless population nearly tripling, while Maine saw its homeless population more than double.

According to a 2007 estimate by the South Carolina Council on Homelessness, with me included, there were 6,759 homeless individuals in South Carolina on any given night, with children making up nearly 20 percent of the population.

When one considers that Camden is home to slightly under 7,000 people, the scope of the issue becomes more apparent.

The council also discovered that during a year, there have been over 17,000 recorded incidents of homelessness in South Carolina. Unrecorded occurrences might substantially raise this figure.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development reported that between 2007 and 2022, the number of people living in shelters in Columbia/Midlands decreased by 64 percent.

Even with these figures, several Columbia officials admitted they had not focused on the city’s rising chronically homeless population. South Carolina ranks 11th overall on this list of states having high rates of homelessness, which is low.

Columbia Mayor Daniel Rickenmann recently requested that Gov. Henry McMaster include $10 million for a new homeless services hub in his proposed budget for the upcoming fiscal year. The plan called for Transitions and Oliver Gospel, the two prominent nonprofit organizations that assist the city’s homeless population, to vacate their downtown locations.

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(Transitions/ Facebook)

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Lawmakers declined. The initiative received no funding from the House or the Senate in their spending plans.

Freedom of choice is fundamental to American society, allowing individuals to make decisions that shape their lives and pursue their aspirations. However, it is essential to acknowledge that this freedom can sometimes lead to ethical dilemmas or prioritize personal desires over moral considerations.

When it comes to political standpoints, such as those related to the economy, immigration, and abortion, it is crucial to strike a balance between personal beliefs and the more considerable societal impact.

While it is natural for individuals to have differing opinions, it is essential to consider the collective welfare and ethical implications of our choices.

While other political agendas are crucial, it is just as important to understand that rather than Republican or Democrat, for homelessness to rank amongst the top for voters of South Carolina, it has to first become popular within the community’s interests.

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Since I left South Carolina and got myself together, I feel obligated to give back to one of the several communities that once embraced me when I most needed it.

As my contribution, I have spearheaded a campaign to encourage the public to encourage politicians to make homelessness a top concern, as they do with different priorities.

Encouraging voters in South Carolina to prioritize homelessness is an essential step toward addressing the issue in the state.

While South Carolina may currently have the 11th lowest rate of homelessness in the country, it is crucial to recognize that even one person experiencing homelessness is one too many.

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“Addressing homelessness can have positive social and economic impacts …”

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By prioritizing homelessness, voters can send a powerful message to politicians that this issue cannot be overlooked or ignored.

This endeavor leads to increased funding and resources allocated toward homelessness prevention and assistance programs, ensuring that individuals and families in need receive the support they require.

Furthermore, encouraging politicians in South Carolina to take action on homelessness can have a ripple effect beyond just the state’s ranking.

By proactively addressing the issue, South Carolina can serve as a model for other states.

It can showcase effective strategies and policies that policymakers can implement to prevent and reduce homelessness.

Additionally, addressing homelessness can have positive social and economic impacts.

It can improve the overall well-being and quality of life for individuals experiencing homelessness while also reducing the strain on public resources and services.

Therefore, it is essential to encourage voters to prioritize homelessness and urge politicians to take meaningful steps toward addressing this issue, even if South Carolina’s current ranking may seem relatively low compared to other states.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR …

Eric Protein Moseley is a social impact documentary filmmaker who was the subject and co-producer of “Down But Not Out,” a South Carolina ETV documentary filmed in Columbia in 2008. He is working on his latest film, “Understanding the Spectrum: Exploring the Classes of Homelessness.” His column, reprinted with the permission of the author, originally appeared on SC Daily Gazette.

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4 comments

davismcclam Top fan July 3, 2024 at 3:36 pm

If you will send me the address of some homeless people, I will cut some pictures of food out of some magazines and send it to them.

Reply
John Smith July 4, 2024 at 12:46 am

You can send it to the same homeless shelter that your mom worked at when she met your homeless dad-Fyntnyol Freddie and your step dad- Opiod Eddie. That’s where you can send the pics of food for the homeless

Reply
River Top fan July 5, 2024 at 9:47 am

I notice this is a blue problem.

Reply
CongareeCatfish Top fan July 8, 2024 at 10:05 am

If the local governments could a) take all people who were homeless and tested positive for drugs and put them in a mandatory treatment facility, i.e., they couldn’t leave until they had been clean for at least 6-12 months, and b) take all the mentally ill people and put them in permanent care facilities, and c) lock up drug dealers for minimum 10 year sentences, you would pretty much eliminate homelessness except for the very small percentage that are truly trying their best to make it and have fallen on hard times that were not of their making – and in that case people would gladly give them 50, 100+ dollars to help them out, knowing that the drug addicted and mentally ill were not on the streets but being taken care of elsewhere.

Reply

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