Lexington Co. Council to review funding ask for emergency housing program

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Published: May. 23, 2022 at 6:58 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, S.C. (WIS) - Lexington County residents in need of emergency housing could be getting some help on Tuesday.

On Tuesday, the Lexington County Council is scheduled to review a request for $80,600 from Homeless No More, a Richland County non-profit which operates emergency shelter, transitional housing and affordable housing programs in Richland County.

The money comes from Lexington County’s CARES Act allocation.

If approved, the funding would formalize Homeless No More’s relationship with Mission Lexington, a Lexington County based non-profit which provides a variety of resources to those in need.

Together, the two organizations would operate needed emergency shelter resources for the Lexington County community.

Mission Lexington Executive Director Robin Bowers said the need for the service looks different on the Lexington County side of the Congaree River.

“Lexington County is unique in that is everybody is related to everybody else. So, they may not be roof-less, but they are homeless and so I’m going to sleep on your sofa tonight or my cousins, or my aunts, or my grandparents or my friends, and so it’s when all those people exhaust all those avenues that they finally end up with us and they say I am homeless. I need help,” she said.

Bowers and Homeless No More CEO Lila Anna Sauls confirmed a Homeless No More staffer is located at Mission Lexington’s location to facilitate resources for the Lexington County residents in need.

Sauls explained the Lexington County residents in need would receive emergency housing at the Columbia shelter, while resources are identified in Lexington County to help “stabilize” the situation and allow for a return.

In county paperwork, Homeless No More estimates the funding would pay for 50 residents to stay at the emergency shelter in Columbia while resources in Lexington County are identified for long-term solutions. Sauls said part of the initial program is to determine its demand.

“Our intent is even though this is a pilot, in that we are working out the kinks of the actual program, how the intake process works or how staffing look, our intent is to develop a footprint and provide these services in Lexington County since right now there is just no one else doing it,” she said.

Sauls said the demand for the program will educate her organization’s next moves in the area.

“Knowing that this is a short-term solution for the next 9 to 12 months, and at that point we’ll have data, we’ll know what these families need, and we’ll look for some more longer-term solutions in Lexington County,” she said.

Attempts to contact county councilmembers for this story were unsuccessful.

The county council meeting begins at 4:30 p.m.

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