Here at The Beginning Place, we see the value in everyone. We want to be a catalyst for positive change, and since our beginnings in 2014, we’ve been driven by the same ideas we initially founded our Nonprofit Organization upon: support, empowerment, and progress. Learn more about our mission, our vision, and how we go about making the changes we want to see.
The Beginning Place is a non-profit founded by a local business woman Ursula Kershaw that began in 2014 and obtained 501(c)(3) status on January 1, 2018. It was created to assist in ending homelessness in Charleston, SC. Charleston has a total of 461 documented homeless individuals, ranking high on the list of cities in South Carolina that have a growing homeless population. Studies show there are just as many unaccounted homeless individuals. Homelessness happens for various reasons such as lack of income, unsustainable housing, lack of education, lack of sustainable employment, mental health, and the list goes on.
The Beginning Place was created to bridge the gap for such an epidemic as this. The organization will provide transitional housing and several programs and services that will promote sustainable healthy lifestyles. Statistics prove that without healthy life skills, over half of the individuals will return back to homelessness. The Beginning Place provides a long list of programs and services. The following is a list of our core programs:
Transitional Housing: Individuals will be housed for six months. The houses will have comfortable beds, a full kitchen, several bathrooms, and a living room area. In order to sustain housing, the occupants are required to successfully complete all programs they are assigned.
Nutrition: The Beginning Place has partnered with Nigel’s Food and Tracy Davis. The owners of Nigel’s are Nigel and Louise Drayton. They own two Soul Food restaurants in Charleston with over 20 years of experience in SC. Tracy Davis is a retired U.S. Army chef with over 10 years of service. They all have committed to providing three meals a day and prepare the menus on a monthly basis. With their contribution, everyone will receive nutritious meals every day.
Substance Abuse Program: It has been proven that individuals who are homeless may suffer from substance abuse. Upon enrollment of transitional housing, an assessment will be completed to determine if they need substance abuse rehabilitation. Charleston Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation Center will offer a 12-step program with required participation and completion in order to maintain housing eligibility.
Job Placement: Without sustainable income, upholding a lifestyle is hard to accomplish. The Beginning Place has partnered with Staff Zone Temporary Agency to provide employment. In order for occupants to secure their placement at the housing facility, they must maintain employment.
Medical and Dental Treatment: Homeless people need medical and dental treatment required for optimal health. The Beginning Place has partnered with MUSC to assist in setting up clinics to provide medical and dental treatments.
Education: Studies show that homeless individuals may not have the education needed to advance. We have partnered with Trudy Dukes, a retired high school teacher that has been teaching the GED program for 10 years. Trudy will administer the program so that basic requirements are met to sustain employment.