‘Huge need’: Lancaster receives ARPA funds to lease building for homeless shelter

Queen City News
Queen City News

LANCASTER, S.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) – On the corner of Wylie and West Meeting Street sits Lancaster’s next homeless shelter.

“It is a huge need in Lancaster,” said Executive Director of United Way of Lancaster Holly Furr.

The organization received over $330,000 from the American Rescue Act funds to lease this building in hopes of reducing the number of homeless people in the city.

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Burns Ford of Lancaster also held a fundraiser months ago and raised an additional $150,000.

The Lancaster Area Coalition for the Homeless (LACH) has worked to secure a home that will offer housing for 10-15 people at any time.
Lancaster’s Board of Zoning appeals approved a notable exception to allow the house, located on 501 East Meeting Street in Lancaster, to be used as a shelter.

Furr says although Lancaster is a small city, the organization has worked with more than 100 people since the beginning of the year.

“A lot of our homeless are doubling up in homes; they’re living with families, they’re couching surfing, they’re sleeping in their cars, you don’t often know the homeless that are in your area,” Furr said.

For Patrick Peterson, a place to stay would mean more peace. After a fight with drugs, he’s been roaming the streets for two years by himself.

“Lonely, depressing, it’s hard. I’m a recovering drug addict. I don’t want to be homeless; I want to do something that helps people,” Peterson said.

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The new homeless shelter will provide a place to stay for families and single individuals like Peterson, the first of its kind.

At the same time, providing programs will put them on the path to financial security, aiming toward a better life.

“That’s our goal is to make sure that the residents in our community are able to find their own place, whether it be finding a house or owning a house or in public housing somewhere. That’s our goal, and we’re going to provide the steps to help them achieve that,” Furr said.

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Furr says the ARPA funds will also provide money for security, especially at night.

“There will be full-time security there during that time in addition to staff that will be there as well.. just in case there are any problems or if someone needs to come in the middle of the night, we’re still able to do intake.”

The home will be renovated, including adding a sprinkler system. Furr said she hopes the shelter will open soon.

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