Greenville Co. law enforcement launches hotline to help homeless

GREENVILLE CO, SC (WSPA) – Law enforcement agencies in Greenville County are teaming up with homeless shelters to set up a new hotline to help those in need.

The new campaign is called 23 H.E.A.R.T. The hotline is a direct link to Greenville County homeless shelters and other resources.

H.E.A.R.T. stands for Homeless Education, Assistance, Reduction, and Transition.

Both law enforcement officials and homeless shelter workers say the biggest issue starts with getting rid of pan-handling.

Master Deputy J.R. Brown with the Sheriff’s Office says most homeless people who ask for cash, use it to buy drugs or alcohol.

“It breaks my heart to know that [alcohol and drugs] is what they’re spending it on,” Brown says.

Martine Wilder, the community relations coordinator for the Office of the Sheriff, says giving homeless people cash does more harm than good.

“It’s basically enabling them to continue their life on the streets, which is not helping anyone,” Wilder says. “It’s not helping Greenville County, it’s not helping the businesses that have to deal with the homeless people forming camps, littering, loitering.”

With the help of the new hotline, Wilder and Brown hope homeless people will be able to move from the streets to a permanent home.

To call the hotline, simply dial 864-23-HEART or toll free 833-23-HEART. For more information on the program, click here.