First homeless shelter in Lee County seeking donations

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Published: Aug. 12, 2022 at 4:12 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 12, 2022 at 10:42 PM EDT
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BISHOPVILLE, S.C. (WIS) - Lee County Shared Hope Incorporated (LCSH) is calling for donations to support the construction and longevity of their incoming homeless shelter.

LCSH is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit founded through a Methodist church in response to the death of a homeless veteran in 2020.

Without a brick-and-mortar facility, LCSH says they serviced anywhere from 388 to ‘over’ 400 people in 2021 alone.

Now, LCSH is renovating a former optometrist office in Bishopville which will serve as the first-ever homeless shelter in Lee County. The structure is designated the Frances R. Drayton Building.

LCSH board of directors and advisors purchasing the Frances R. Drayton building in Sept. 2021....
LCSH board of directors and advisors purchasing the Frances R. Drayton building in Sept. 2021. (Luke Giddings)(Luke Giddings)

“The community leaders, at first, were hesitant to this. But now I have to say they’ve been a tremendous support to us,” said Luke Giddings, President of LCSH.

The Drayton Building will act as an overnight shelter and long-term facility with a maximum occupancy of 20 people. LCSH says this is a six-figure renovation.

“Tentatively, we’re shooting to open sometime in October. We know we’ll almost 100 percent try to be open before this winter,” continued Giddings.

Per LCSH, Bishopville’s homeless population jumped from 11 people in 2020 to ‘at least’ 50 this year. Over 200 people in Lee County are reportedly homeless or living without electricity or running water.

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