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Town of Shallotte, NC

Big City Business, Small Town Style

Caring for the Homeless

Every year, around the holidays, our Police Officers and Firefighter/EMTs receive reports of homeless people in and around the Town of Shallotte. During this time of year, we are in a heightened sense of awareness and remain vigilant in identifying the homeless and providing them the needed resources.

While some are grateful, it is not uncommon for our attempt to offer assistance to be unappreci...ated or unwanted. Quite often, we find ourselves trampling through the woods, at the request of a concerned citizen, to find the homeless not wishing to be found. For those not wanting assistance, they might simply be living off the grid or they might have some underlying reason why they do not want or need the resources being offered.

According to the National Center for Homeless Education at the SERVE Center, there are four classifications of being homeless. First, there are those that are “Double-Up.” This means the homeless are staying with family, friends or even co-workers. This makes up the majority of the homeless population at nearly 75%. Next, there are 18% staying in Shelters or Hotels. Each of these makes up approximately 9% of the homeless population. The last, is those that are unsheltered. This is the group that gains most attention. They make up less than 5% of the homeless population and, ironically, this is the group that has homeless that tend to refuse assistance outside of their own terms. As with anything, there are exceptions.

Should you believe someone is homeless or requires assistance, exercise due diligence to obtain details so that you can make a legitimate report. Although you might think you are helping, the homeless might believe you are interfering. Some are willing to protect their “off the grid” way of life at all costs. So, we suggest you continue to exercise compassion while at a distance and do not put yourself in harm’s way. While we do not make it a habit to support or endorse one charity over another, we suggest that you do your research carefully and donate locally to help those in need here at home.

To find out more information or to obtain assistance, we suggest contacting charitable groups such as Brunswick County Streetreach. In 2014, this group alone provided:

Provided 14 nights of Sheltering Services in office
Provided 25 nights of Sheltering in local hotels
Provided 264 nights of Sheltering in various locations

In addition, Streereach:

Transported 29 homeless to Wilmington area Shelters
Transported 17 homeless to Horry County area Shelters
Purchased 6 Bus Tickets
Provided Propane for 2 seniors
Provided 2,762 meals
Provided 43 bagged lunches
Distributed 43 Sleeping Bags
Distributed 420 Blankets
Distributed 3,120 diapers
Distributed 487 Coats

For more information on the homeless in Brunswick County or to offer a tip, please contact Brunswick County Streetreach at 910.842.2711 or email at bcstreetreach@gmail.com