Salvation Army helps get homeless families off the streets
Melani Miller says children should not have to deal with homeless barriers such as sleeping on the floor and not having a place to study.
Major Roger Coulson says the key is to keep families together so the child can continue to work on their education
By: Iesha Marshall
Homelessness is a difficult situation for men and women to go through but it's a tougher situation when children are involved. Columbia's Salvation Army is helping get homeless families off the street.
The Salvation Army has helped over 500 individuals and over 200 families with children in the Midlands in the past year.
Director of Programs Melani Miller says their focus is stabilizing families.
"We try to help families with school children who are facing homelessness or who have become homeless become stable in their housing and that also means having greater financial stability." said Miller. The Salvation Army partners with Richland County School District One, Richland County School District Two and Lexington District Five through a grant provided by the United Way of the Midlands. Each district has a homeless liaison who identify homeless or at risk families. These families are referred to resources like the Salvation Army.
"There are all kind of clues that school folks are so wonderful of picking up and working with the school resource folks to find out what's going on and then the referral comes in to the Salvation Army. That's when we get excited because we know there's another opportunity to get another family stabilized." says The Salvation Army's Major Roger Coulson.
The Salvation Army brings families in to sit down with a social worker to design a stabilization plan.
"One of our goals is making sure children are successful in school and life." said Midlands United Way president Mac Bennett.