The Sisters of Charity Foundation of South Carolina recently awarded its Community Enrichment grants for 2017. The Foundation awarded $420,000 to 22 organizations in its 2017 Community Enrichment grant funding. Palmetto Place received $15,000 in support for the Unaccompanied Youth Program. The Foundation’s mission to address poverty in all of its forms is reflected in its decision-making around Community Enrichment grants. These grants are designed to provide financial support to organizations whose services go beyond meeting fundamental needs and will help lift people out of poverty. To see the full list of organizations that received funding click here.
Funding will support the Palmetto Place Unaccompanied Youth program which provides shelter and services to teens who have been forced to leave their families and to teens who have never had a family support system. One of the most common barriers seen in this population is the limitations placed on a minor because of their age. At 16, if the youth doesn’t have a parent or legal guardian, it is unlikely he/she will have copies crucial documents needed to gain employment and further an education such as a birth certificate, Social Security card or school records. Not having these documents can cripple the youth’s steps toward success. Additional barriers a homeless minor may face include obtaining a bank account, building credit to one day rent a or buy a car, and/or obtain a driver’s license. With 17 beds, the Unaccompanied Youth program (UY) not only provides food, clothing and shelter for teens, but also prepares them to live independently and reach self-sufficiency. Through the UY program, teens learn the life skills that are necessary to meet their goals for education and employment. This includes sessions on applying for jobs and to colleges, making and managing money, meal planning and grocery shopping on a budget, and many other skills. A lifetime without support and structure can leave a teen underqualified for even the most basic jobs preventing them from ever breaking the cycle of poverty. Palmetto Place not only offers safety and support, but the skills for these youths to grow into successful independent adults. (Charleston, Richland, Sumter, Aiken, Bamberg, Calhoun, Clarendon, Fairfield, Florence, Greenville, Greenwood, Horry, Kershaw, Laurens, Lexington, Newberry, Orangeburg, Saluda, Spartanburg, and Beaufort Counties)