Fort Mill: Local organization helps homeless

Fort Mill: Local organization helps homeless

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by KATIE KILLEN / NBC Charlotte Staff

WCNC.com

Posted on August 5, 2013 at 5:38 AM

Updated Monday, Aug 5 at 6:41 AM

FORT MILL, S.C. -- Homeless people in Fort Mill are getting a helping hand from a local organization.

Renew Our Community  or ROC has a new transportation service.  According to the nonprofit, many homeless people in Fort Mill fall between the cracks, like Lester Frankenfield. 

Frankenfield lives in the woods of I-77. 

"My van broke down.  And I ended up just parking it and using it for my bedroom and then I have some tents," he said. 

Fort Mill doesn't have a shelter and shelters in Rock Hill and Charlotte aren't options.  Every Thursday, volunteers in a van make four stops in the Fort Mill area, picking up many homeless people who live in the woods and even downtown. 

The homeless are driven to ROC Central in downtown Rock Hill.  There they receive counseling, food and even medical help. 

The transportation program started four weeks ago and, so far, volunteers pick up at five people every Thursday, with h the number growing.

Volunteer Kim Vinesette tells NBC Charlotte, many people are unaware of the homeless. 

"People are surprised.  People are fearful, but, the things that lead to people going into the woods [are] loss of job, illness, a car breaks down, a death in the family [and] people not being able to move past grief," she said. 

According to Frankefield, the program is working. 

"The people put their hand out to me and I took it," he said.  ROC Central says they are looking for volunteers to help provide the transportation.  If you're interested, contact them on their website.

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