OLM outreach expands service area to help even more residents in need
CHARLESTON—Our Lady of Mercy Community Outreach is now providing services to those living in areas spanning downtown Charleston to Edisto Island. The convergence of COVID-19 and the rapidly changing demographics of the Lowcountry, especially the rural landscape, has underlined the instability and vulnerability of those living in poverty — and even the middle class.
For over 31 years, the outreach center has offered basic and emergency food, clothing and financial assistance, lunch five days a week (Neighborhood House location only), diverse educational and capacity-building opportunities such as after-school programs, money management, GED and ESL classes, job assistance, OB/GYN services, comprehensive dental care and more.
This expansion will ensure resources are available to those without available access.
The Johns Island location is serving those living in:
- Johns Island: Zip Code 29455
- James Island: Zip Code 29412
- Wadmalaw Island: Zip Code 29487
- West Ashley: Zip Code 29414 (outside of I-526)
- Ravenel: Zip Code 29470
- Rantowles: Zip Code 29470
- Hollywood: Zip Codes 29470 & 29449
- Meggett: Zip Code 29449
- Adams Run: Zip Code 29426
- Jericho: Zip Code 29426
- Edisto: Zip Code 29438
The Neighborhood House location is serving those living in:
- Eastside of Downtown Charleston: Zip Codes 29403 & 29401
- West Ashley: Zip Code 29407 (inside of I-526)
Along with the demographic changes to the services, the organization has also modified the poverty guidelines from 150% to 250% to encompass more individuals and families who may be struggling to pay for necessities such as food, housing and health care.
COVID-19 revealed the magnitude of disparities and inequities that the community faces on a daily basis, and exposed more gaps in resources which the organization is trying to fill.
“The Charleston area is booming with new developments, while many low/working class and fixed-income individuals and families are moving farther out in rural and other areas where the cost of living is lower, but access to community support and resources is more challenging. With this expansion, we will give access to emergency and basic needs, education, employment and health resources to even more neighbors who currently have limited/no resources for support,” said Ericka Plater, executive director of the outreach.
For more information about this expansion and Our Lady of Mercy Community Outreach, go to www.olmoutreach.org/services.