GOAL coalition finds solutions for the current housing and mental health crisis, asking leaders to support

Published: Mar. 9, 2023 at 10:29 PM EST
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GREENVILLE, S.C. (FOX Carolina) - A justice group has identified housing and mental health as the biggest challenges facing Greenville today. The group called GOAL, or Greenville Organized for Accountable Leadership, is a coalition of several church ministries in the county. Thursday night, hundreds came together vowing to fight for solutions.

Their message is simple—they want justice. Last fall, in a large meeting similar to Thursday night, GOAL members voted mental health and housing as the top two concerns. After months of researching, 2 separate committees dug into the scale of those issues.

“In Greenville alone, there are 30,000 people who are one missed paycheck away from experiencing homelessness” said Amanda Taylor the Associate Pastor at Triune Mercy Center, and the GOAL housing committee leader.

“72 people a day called the suicide lifeline and got no response in South Carolina [in 2022]” said Mike Hoyt the Pastor at Forth Presbyterian Church of Greenville and mental health committee leader.

Also, GOAL has found solutions. To fill the gap in housing needs, they’re asking both the city and county to contribute $10 million each, towards affordable housing every year. Dedicating 30% of the funding to families making at or below $27,000 for a family of four.

For mental health, they’re asking the state officials to dedicate $3.9 million in the budget towards the 988 call center here in Greenville. So that no more calls go unanswered.

“So we have determined that this is what it takes,” said Taylor.

It’s just the first two steps of a mission dedicated to change.

GOAL’s next big event will be Nehemiah Action on March 28th at First Baptist Church of Greenville. They’re expecting over a thousand people to ask city, county and state leaders to support their solutions to housing and mental health issues.