COLUMBIA, S.C. — Helping homeless, young adults get on their feet: That’s the mission of Columbia-area shelter Palmetto Place. Now, a local church is pitching in to help them once they find a permanent home.
Earlewood Baptist Church is donating household items to help get residents started in their new homes.
"This is what Jesus said to do: To is take care of the poor, the homeless, widowed and orphans,” said Pastor Shawn Miller of Earlewood Baptist Church.
Common household items, like dish soap and a can opener, are taken for granted by many. However, for others, they can be life-changing.
“When we have a youth that moves out of Palmetto Place and into their own apartment, they start with nothing," explained the shelter's Executive Director, Jill McHugh.
"They need towels, shower curtains, the basics that you and I may take for granted on a daily basis, and so Earlewood Baptist Church is able to fill that need," McHugh told News19.
Miller began donating the household kits to her organization last year. Since then they've been able to help about 15 residents.
When asked what inspired him to help Palmetto Place, the pastor said his son recently moving into a new homemade him realize how expensive it is to get started. "So two and two came together and we started buying them for the kids at Palmetto Place.”
Palmetto Place has two group homes. One of them is dedicated to getting teenagers and young adults on their feet.
“The ultimate goal for those young adults is self-sustainability and permanent housing," McHugh said. "They come to us because they're homeless. We provide just a huge variety of services for them, and then they leave us and go to college, the military, get their own apartment, work full-time jobs, so they become productive citizens of society.”
Once they move out, the donated household items help them get started in their new life. Miller said each kit costs about $350 and everyone gets the same items.
"We’re a very small church and we’re doing what we can, so it’s hard for the church to provide all the items," said Miller.
He added that they’re expecting 10-to-15 residents to move out of the Palmetto Place home by the end of the year and will need donations to get them what they need.