SC Department of Mental Health News Release

South Carolina Department of Mental Health
2414 Bull Street, Columbia, SC 29202

January 30, 2004
For Immediate Release
Contact: John Hutto

              Director, Public Affairs

SCDMH Receives Federal Grant to Provide
Housing in Urban and Rural Areas for Homeless People with Mental Illness

Columbia, SC – The South Carolina Department of Mental Health (SCDMH) has received $1,295,460 from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to provide housing assistance for homeless people with mental illnesses. The money is being made available through HUD’s Shelter Plus Care Program.  

Of that total amount, $750,060 will be used for rental assistance in the Columbia area through a partnership between the Columbia Area Mental Health Center and the private, non-profit Mental Illness Recovery Center, Inc. (MIRCI). The grant will fund twenty-four housing units and serve an estimated twenty-nine people.

Further, $545,400 will provide rental assistance in the rural counties of Aiken, Barnwell, Orangeburg, Bamberg, and Allendale. This initiative is a partnership between the community mental health centers serving those counties and the Mental Health Association in South Carolina (MHASC). The grant will fund twenty units and serve an estimated thirty-six people.

State Mental Health Director George P. Gintoli is South Carolina’s contact for the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness. Congress established the Interagency Council on Homelessness in 1987 to coordinate the federal response as part of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act.

It is estimated that in South Carolina there are 13,000 homeless individuals, including homeless families with children. The SCDMH estimates that about thirty percent of all homeless people also have a serious mental illness and a substance abuse disorder.

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