LAURINBURG — Church Community Services of Scotland County is concerned about the homeless population, especially during the COVID pandemic and cooler weather approaching.
“We are seeing a large increase in requests for assistance to persons who are homeless,” said Denise Riggins, coordinator for CCS. “Most have come here from larger cities, where they left their homes and moved in with relatives and now relative’s landlords are asking them to leave due to overcrowding or simply because of housing rules.”
The staff at CCS is doing what it can to help the homeless coming through their doors.
“While we are not equipped to assist on any kind of long-term basis,” said Riggins, “we are doing our best to find shelter for a few days if possible, as it is not always available. Then, we supply foods which can be microwaved and eaten; we also provide clothing if needed.
“A bus ticket is provided if they can go back to some type of home and, finally, we try to refer them to any agency who might help them find housing.”
Riggins also stated how heart-wrenching it is for them to know, within a few days those they help may be back in the same situation.
“We are not equipped yet in our community to assist most of the homeless population,” said Riggins. “We know those concerned citizens for the homeless are doing all they can as well, but their programs can not assist all those who are in need.
“I am working with Southeastern who may be able to help our community with this need,” added Riggins. “It may take some time, but we hope and pray, by the first of 2021, our county may be able to receive some funding to help address this need.”
Riggins expressed her appreciation by saying, this need is also impacting the funding at CCS and they are constantly appreciative of the community’s support.
“We ask you please get the word out, clients must call us for an appointment as we just cannot handle walk-ins due to COVID,” said Riggins, “however, regardless of COVID-19, our dedicated volunteers and Client Services Coordinator, Vince Bateman, continue to operate our food bank on Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 8:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. and our clothing closet on Tuesday and Thursday from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. as well.
“We are making sure anyone in need of food and clothing has their need filled and we continue to pray for additional funding to assist with rents and utilities throughout 2020 and into 2021,” added Riggins.
Church Community Services is located on Gill Street in Laurinburg. For information, contact CCS at 910-276-8330.
JJ Melton can be reached at [email protected] To support the Laurinburg Exchange, subscribe here: https://www.laurinburgexchange.com/subscribe.