New Report Details Upstate & SC Homelessness Rates
Homelessness remains a widespread issue in Greenville, the Upstate and across South Carolina. According to a new report produced by the Upstate Continuum of Care and the South Carolina Interagency Council on Homelessness, 11,338 persons were experiencing homelessness from October 2016 to September 2017. On a single night in January 2019, 1,401 persons were experiencing homelessness across the 13 counties of the Upstate. This represents the highest count of any region of the state and an increase of 216 persons from the previous year. Greenville County had the third-highest number of persons counted in the state with 753, behind only Richland and Horry counties. Spartanburg, Greenwood and Anderson counties were also among the top 10 counties with the highest counts.
Homelessness among K-12 students was also substantial. In 2017-2018, 12,660 students were identified statewide as experiencing homelessness. Nearly half were Upstate students (5,782 or 46%). Even more striking was the number of students identified as experiencing unsheltered homelessness (1,345), which represented 76% of all unsheltered students in the state. Not having a stable living situation was also related to poor academic proficiency, higher dropout rates and failure to graduate on time.
Local and statewide solutions to combating homelessness include developing a larger inventory of low-income/affordable housing, greater levels of funding for supportive housing and case-management projects, increased outreach resources to connect persons to existing services and robust prevention and diversion strategies to help keep persons from becoming homeless.
To learn more, including how to get involved, visit Upstate Continuum of Care at www.upstatecoc.org/data-1.