SC Department of Mental Health News Release

January 20, 2005
For Immediate Release

Contact:          John H. Hutto, Director of Public Affairs

                        Michele Murff
803- 898-7767

Homeless Coalitions to Count People who are Homeless

Columbia, SC:  On Thursday, January 27, 2005, South Carolina’s homeless coalitions will conduct the first statewide count of people who are homeless. A voluntary effort, the count will provide the most accurate picture of homelessness locally and in South Carolina to date. The coalitions will find and interview people who are in shelters or transitional housing programs and also people who are trying to survive on the street, in abandoned buildings or in other places not fit for human habitation.

In previous years, coalitions conducted local counts, but because the counts were on different days or years and each coalition developed its own methodology, it was difficult to aggregate the data for planning.

The homeless coalitions are looking for additional volunteers to assist with the count. Please see the attached list of contacts for each coalition. The coalitions are regional organizations comprised of social service providers and other community representatives. They serve as local planning groups on homelessness.

The University of South Carolina’s Institute for Families in Society has supported the effort and developed a method to do the interviews and to inventory homeless facilities. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development provided support for training, and the SC Department of Mental Health is providing support for statewide data analysis.

“I am very pleased and grateful that we can expect more comprehensive and accurate data on homelessness this year to support our policy development. Our vision for South Carolina is that every person will have a place to call home that is safe and affordable,” said George P. Gintoli, director of the SC Department of Mental Health and chair of the SC Council on Homelessness. He was appointed chair in 2003 by Governor Mark Sanford.

The SC Council on Homelessness is comprised of representatives from nineteen state and federal agencies and private organizations.

In November 2004, the Council presented to Governor Sanford its ten-year Blueprint to End Homelessness in South Carolina. The plan includes five goals:

  • Establish a seamless integrated housing and service delivery system that links individuals and families with programs needed to prevent homelessness.
  • Establish a sustainable continuum of housing options to ensure that all South Carolinians, including those who are homeless, have access to quality, affordable housing near services and amenities.
  • Ensure that all homeless South Carolinians have access to the supportive services needed to achieve self sufficiency.
  • Ensure the ability of the SC Council on Homelessness to achieve its vision.
  • Develop a statewide homeless data collection and analysis system that will provide the information to address homelessness in South Carolina and evaluate the effectiveness of strategies and programs.

The entire report can be seen at


Area Coalition

Lead Contact / Alternate

Contact Information

Counties included in coalition

Total Care for the Homeless

1. Judy Swanson



2. Pat Ranalli

(w) 843-918-1542  (h) 843-347-4510 ©843-457-2123


 (w) 843-448-2035 or 843-918-1533 © 843-995-1613



Horry, Georgetown, Williamsburg, Clarendon, Sumter, Lee

Low Country Coalition

1. Debby Waid

(Humanities Foundation)

(w) 843-856-4120  © 843-452-3715



Berkeley, Charleston, Dorchester


1.Susan Milne



2. Janette Moyer

(United Way)

(w) 843-470-2819


 (w) 843-549-9594  © 843-908-1718



Beaufort, Colleton, Jasper, Hampton

Upstate Homeless Coalition

1. Donna Waters



2. Suzanne Young

(w) 864-241-0462 (h) 864-246-7109


 (w) 864-241-0462  (h) 864-963-8361  © 864-608-6684



Cherokee, Union, Spartanburg, Laurens, Greenville, Pickens, Oconee, Anderson, Abbeville, Greenwood, Saluda, Edgefield, McCormick

Pee Dee Coalition

1. Butch Giusto



2. Lloyd Flores

(City of Florence)

© 800-207-1839  (w) 843-629-0830 (h) 843-317-9372

Email: or

 (w) 843-665-3175 (x.205)  © 843-409-1955 (h) 843-665-7603

Email: or


Chesterfield, Marlboro, Dillon, Marion, Florence, Darlington

Midlands Area Consortium for the Homeless

1. Rebecca Frierson


2. Reggie Alexander

Email:  (803) 462-0450

 © 803-206-4168  Email:

York, Chester, Lancaster, Fairfield, Newberry, Lexington, Richland, Kershaw

Orangeburg, Calhoun, Bamberg, Allendale.

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