New Shelter opens for neglected, abused Upstate children

PENDLETON, S.C. (WSPA) – After over 30 years of putting a roof over the heads of thousands of Upstate children, Helping Hands of Clemson has moved out of their old home into a new one.

“We added and we added until we couldn’t add no more. So we just felt like there was a need for something more efficient for the children to come to,” said Jennifer Barbour, the Executive Director.

CLEMSON HELPING HANDSThe shelter provides food, medical treatment and any other needs to children who are abused or neglected.

“They can see there are people out there that want to help them and to show them that they aren’t the only ones in this situation,” Barbour said about their services. “There are other kids too and they are all really closely bonded with each other and take care of each other.”

Their new facility opened Wednesday with all new beds, infirmaries, toys, books and outdoor playground.CLEMSON HELPING HANDS 3

“There is not enough homes for the children in the upstate,” Barbour continued. “It started with some teachers at Central Elementary and it was their dream. Everybody just kind of collaborated together raising funds and whatever we had to do to get the money to build the house.”

Right now, Helping Hands of Clemson has 19 kids in their care that move into the new house Thursday. They can take in up to 40 children, ages ranging from birth to 13-years-old, in DSS Custody from all over the Upstate.

“They are not used to having houses and living in a situation like this,” Leigh Kennemore, the Director of Development said. “So, for them to have everything brand new and have their own bed and own new blankets. I think they are going to be in amazement.”

“The kids have already picked out their rooms and who they want to be in a room with,” Barbour added. “So, it is just exciting for all of us.”

The organization believes the new facility will bring hope to thousands of more kids long after the ones currently in their care have grown up and moved on.

CLEMSON HELPING HANDS 2“They are so ready to move in and we are ready to see them move in,” Janet Stephens, Child Advocate explained. “We’ve missed them!”

The money for the new $1.7 million dollar shelter was provided by grants and donations from the community.

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