Homelessness: Frequently Asked Questions
- Why should I refrain from giving to panhandlers?
Offering money to someone asking for help can keep that person trapped in the cycle of homelessness. How? Giving a few dollars gets them through the day, but does not allow them to obtain housing, work, support services? The City has partnered with United Housing Connections on the Keep Your Change to Be the Change program, designed to funnel your generosity to organizations that can make a wide impact on the community.
There are signs with QR codes around the City's downtown and parks to make donating easy. Make a Donation Now: https://www.unitedhousingconnections.org/be-the-change
- Why don't we mandate affordable housing as part of all new developments?
State law does not allow for inclusionary zoning (mandating affordable housing). The City is addressing this problem by incentivizing affordable housing.
- How can we help homeless people who have mental health issues?
Leave this work to the professionals. If you feel someone is a danger to themselves or others, call law enforcement to assist. If the person appears to have mental health issues and is experiencing homelessness but not in immediate crisis, send an email with the location and description of the person to firstname.lastname@example.org and an outreach team member will make contact and a connection to our local mental health center.
- What about creating a tiny house village to house the homeless population in our city?
The Greenville Housing Fund has formed a housing coalition of developers and service providers who are looking at sustainable, long-term solutions for housing persons at-risk for or experiencing homelessness. Long-term solutions include housing, but also support services like addiction recovery, mental health care and job training. United Housing Connections is one of those partners.
- The high cost of rent in the city contributes to homelessness. What is the City doing to help?
We recognize that rental costs have increased, and are working with community partners to create options for lower income residents. In partnership with United Housing Connections, Greenville Housing Fund, and Greenville Housing Authority, the City has 140 affordable units in progress with completion dates in the next 12 months. These include the McClaren, Citisculpt, Cowan Court, Spartanburg Street, Joseph Mathis Way, and the Terrain at Haywood. The Greenville Housing Fund has 419 units in progress and 200 units being preserved. City Council passed an ordinance allowing for the renovation of former hotels and motels into studio and one bedroom units.
- What can residents do to help the homeless community?
Whether you want to donate or volunteer, numerous service agencies are doing excellent work in our community. Please visit www.greenvillesc.gov/homelessresources for more information about how you can get involved.