Gilliard pushes for help for the homeless

By Valencia

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) - State Rep. Wendell Gilliard took to the podium in North Charleston City Hall, to ask officials for one thing, a hand for the homeless.

"In the state of South Carolina, you're talking 6,000 to 7,000 homeless people. In the country, we have 700,000 homeless people," said Gilliard. "And to add insult to injury, 200,000 of that population are veterans."

Gilliard brought a man to the meeting who knows the struggle of homelessness.

From afar, Moses Brunson seemed to fit in with everyone else in the room. He was well-spoken and concerned about his community. The only difference: Brunson doesn't have a home.

"I live on the street," Brunson said. "And, I have no avenues to get off the streets at this point except for coming to meetings like this and hoping that you all will support the problem and not look down on it."

Brunson's story was personal motivation for Gilliard.

"How dare we. The most powerful country in the world -- we shouldn't have no homeless population nowhere in this state," said Gilliard.

City and police officials attended the meeting in hopes of putting an end to the epidemic.

"I introduced three bills this session. They fell by the wayside. I informed them that I will be pre-filing those bills again. We must be persistent," Gilliard said.

Gilliard said this meeting was just the beginning, to helping people like Moses get back on their feet.

"I don't know what to do," Brunson said. "I don't have all the answers. I can only give you what I have and what I have is what the problem is."

Thankfully, Brunson now has a troop of people helping him to search for an answer.

Gilliard says he will push for legislation at the state and federal levels, until laws are passed to help alleviate homelessness.{}{}