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Rock Hill's Only Homeless Day Shelter Is Closing Wednesday -- But Help Is Close By

Mark Rumsey
The "Homeless Jesus" statue is outside St. Alban's Episcopal Church in Davidson.

The only homeless day shelter in Rock Hill will close its doors Wednesday night, but another group has stepped up so people served by the shelter will have somewhere to go.

Iris Smalls-Hubbard, executive director of Renew Our Community, said social services nonprofit Pathways will take over the operation on a day-to-day basis.

“I have been in discussion with the Pathways group and so they have stepped up and said they will not let the doors close," Smalls-Hubbard said. "It will not be open under ROC (Thursday) morning, but the day shelter will be open."

ROC moved to its new location in June at 546 S. Cherry Road -- also home to Pathways, a Christian-based nonprofit.

The ROC homeless shelter, a nonprofit and crisis assistance center, opened in 2011 and serves about 125 people a day. Smalls-Hubbard says they’re closing the doors because their main source of funding -- individual donations -- are down. The lack of funding also forced the nonprofit to shut down its clothes closet and thrift store earlier this summer. 

"I think as the community has grown those particular dollars have just been stretched," Smalls-Hubbard said. "And I think that we as a small community ... we are limited in the amount of dollars that we have to give to all the agencies that need it."

Smalls-Hubbard said without the "social emergency room," many people -- including the elderly, unemployed, mentally ill and newly released inmates -- will simply have nowhere to go. 

ROC is the only day shelter and the main source of shelter for women in York County. A night shelter is available for men, and there are some transitional programs, but nothing like ROC.

Smalls-Hubbard has been on the job since July. She said even with the reorganizing and cutbacks the funding wasn't there to stay open.  

Sarafina Wright is the "All Things Considered" producer for WFAE 90.7 Charlotte’s NPR Source. Before coming to WFAE, she worked as a political correspondent for EBONY.com, staff writer at the Washington Informer and editor-in-chief of the WI Bridge in Washington, DC. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism from Howard University. When she's not writing professionally, Sarafina can be found blogging at www.sarafinasaid.com or hanging out with her book club, Charlotte West.