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The Mayor’s Commission on Homelessness and Affordable Housing (MCHAH) will host a telethon on May 8. The Homeless to Hope Benefit Telethon will run between 12 p.m. and 8 p.m. on a variety of outlets, including radio, local TV news, and social media.

Proceeds will benefit the Homeless to Hope Fund, which supports services that help individuals transitioning out of homelessness. Donations will go to the Navigation Center, a resource center for people experiencing homelessness.

The telethon will include performances from Charlton Singleton, Shovels & Rope, Manny Houston, Lee Barbour, Kanika Moore, and plenty of other local and national artists.

The Homeless to Hope Fund began life in 2016 to assist homeless individuals and families throughout Charleston, Summerville, North Charleston, and Mt. Pleasant.

In 2018, the Homeless to Hope Benefit Concert began as a way to raise support for the foundation every year. While a traditional benefit concert was originally planned for 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic pushed the concert to different avenues.

God’s Hot Dog Ministry, a free service that provides warm meals to the homeless, and Hope to Home Furniture Resource, a furniture provider for individuals that have recently secured a place to live, will be honored with the 2020 Homeless to Hope Award.

An estimated 4,172 people are homeless in South Carolina, the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness reported in 2019. Over 12,000 students experienced homelessness over the course of the 2017-218 school year.

Homeless individuals are experiencing new struggles during the COVID-19 pandemic, as well. The Center for Disease Control notes that the homeless are a particularly vulnerable group. Many are older, have low access to medical care, and will not be able to follow hygiene consistent with the CDC’s recommendations, among other problems.

In response to the new complications, the City of Charleston is attempting to implement plans that can help test and quarantine unsheltered individuals who are experiencing possible COVID-19 symptoms.