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Colleton vets now have new option in finding housing, free legal help

A Charleston-area service that helps put homeless veterans into housing is now serving Colleton County.

One-Eighty Place is an organization that mostly services veterans in the Tri-County area: Charleston, Berkeley and Dorchester counties. This group of both housing and legal professionals ensure that veterans receive legal benefits and also opportunities for more permanent housing. Recently, the group began reaching out to veterans in Colleton County. Particularly, the One-Eighty Place organization wants to help Colleton County veterans who might need legal services. “We are part of the Homeless Justice Project that provides civil services to those who are homeless or in threat of being homeless. So we do a lot of veterans services, such as child-support modifications and landlord-tenant dealings,” said Mary Vosburgh, a lawyer who directs the agency’s legal services for all veterans. Vosburgh got involved with the organization after doing an internship with them following law school. “I fell in love with it. I just love it,” she said.

According to Vosburgh, she and the group’s legal department can also help local veterans find their property identification, such as a lost birth certificate. Their most common legal aid for veterans, however, revolves around child support, she said. “A lot of our homeless veterans have child-support obligations, but they are not working and cannot meet those obligations,” she said. “We help them get up on their disability, if they qualify, and then set up payment plans so they can meet that responsibility.”

In Colleton County, Vosburgh hopes that more veterans will seek out their assistance as knowledge of One-Eighty Place spreads. “We can help those in Colleton County. They can come to us, or we can go to them, if needed,” she said.

According to One-Eighty Place, only 8-percent of the United States’ population is homeless. However, nearly 33-percent of the nation’s veterans are considered homeless. The facility has two dormitories with beds: one for men, with 14 beds, and one for women, a 10-bed unit. “One-Eighty Place is the only homeless organization in South Carolina with beds dedicated to female veterans,” said Vosburgh.

“Our services are for any homeless veteran,” she said. “There is no real definition of ‘homeless,’ but it means any veteran who is living in a hotel, on the streets, in a car or might be from couch-to-couch. We do the assessment.”

One-Eighty Place is offering free clinics to determine if veterans qualify for assistance. These clinics are held on each Tuesday, from 1-5 p.m., and on Wednesdays, from 2:30-5 p.m. No appointments are needed. “Colleton County needs to know we are here,” she said. “We have very clients there now, and there are people who need these services.”

The center is located at 212 Huger Street in Charleston. For more information, visit their office or call them directly at their housing assistance and Support Services Assistance Line at 843-212-8668.

 

Heather Walters (451 Posts)