Where can you go if you’re homeless in Charleston?

Local News

CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) — Police are beginning to evict homeless people from camps on publicly owned property in downtown Charleston and Kanawha City.

But the question now is where are these people going to go?

Can’t nobody judge us; nobody knows why… each one of us has a story why we’re homeless. We didn’t wake up one morning and say `I’m gonna be homeless or I’m going to be a drug addict today.

Cora Grass, Homeless Woman.

The homeless can go to shelters like Roark Sullivan Life Center or Crossroads Shelter which provides food, water, shelter, showers, and even laundry services.

“A lot of people that are experiencing life in encampment have been given the opportunity to be in shelter and linked with a necessary service, however they have refused the criteria,” said Jessica McGuire, CEO Roark Sullivan Life Center.

But in order to be admitted into one of these public facilities, a homeless person must be sober and stay that way.

“Anybody that is willing to sit with us and discuss, over an intake process of what their history is, where they currently are in reference to addiction. We can go ahead and house them, give them a shower, get a hot heal, sleepover, talk about it in the morning, and get them to step with a positive foot-forward,” said McGuire.

This makes it very difficult for many homeless people who are addicted to drugs.

“I feel like I’ve been taken advantage of because we are helping the same people. I can’t go out and do outreach with new people because we are housing the same people that need recovery and need treatments,” said Natalie Casdorph, Case Manager.

But there is hope on the way.

“We actually have partnered with Aspire Family Wellness and we will be linking all of our 106 population with their peer support drug counseling services as well as individual therapy,” said McGuire.

This is not a permanent solution, but the organization says it is a step in the right direction.

Follow Katie Park on Facebook and Twitter to stay up-to-date with her reporting for 13 News!

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