According to 2013 census data, St. Stephen has a small population of 1,762. Despite this slight number, there is great need in the Berkeley County community. Two Foundation grantees, Fair Haven Home for Men and Sumpter Free Health Clinic, are addressing these major needs in this tight-knit community.
Fair Haven Home for Men:
For over 20 years, Fair Haven for Men has provided aid, housing and spiritual guidance for at least 70 men. The program accepts men from different walks of life who need help. Whether it be drugs, homelessness or incarceration, Fair Haven welcomes men who are willing to partake in hard-work and fellowship in order to achieve recovery for a new life.
The Sisters of Charity Foundation of South Carolina funded the Healthy Bodies in Recovery program at Fair Haven. This allowed for the organization to buy new mattresses and sheet sets for the participants to have restful nights in order to wake refreshed and ready to work.
Through its different programs, Fair Haven encourages men to build on faith and learn vital skills for their future such as budgeting and people skills. By the end of the program participants are working within the community toward self-sufficiency.
“It takes patience for the men to get to the end of the program,” Jeff Krontz, Director of Fair Haven Home for Men, said. “When things are tough I tell that that it took a long time to get themselves in trouble, and it’ll take them a long time to get out of it.”
Fair Haven Home for Men’s current dwellings can only house five men at a time, and interest in the program is so constant that Krontz has created a waiting list. With the success of the current program, growth is on the horizon. Krontz has secured a piece of land in St. Stephen where construction has already began for a new center with greater capacity.
“There is no shortage of need in this community,” Phyllis Young, Fair Haven Home for Men Consultant & Grant Writer, said. “It is critical that our vision become a reality soon.”
Sumpter Free Health Clinic:
The clinic is functions due to compassionate volunteers who dedicate most of their time to the organization. Retired doctors, medical school students and community members all work together to keep the Sumpter Free Health Clinic running.
The clinic offers a variety of services ranging from women’s health to prescription assistance to general health screenings. If a patient’s illness is too severe for the clinic to handles, they are sent to the hospital. For most patients at the Sumpter Free Health Clinic this is easier said than done.
“In this economically depressed area there is no transportation for people,” Libba Carroll, President, said. “Some people have to pay for a ride just to see us. It’s hard to send them on another visit.”
On top of transportation, many patients struggle to pay for their prescribed medications. Due to the rising costs of generic medication and the financial needs of the clinic’s patients many cannot afford their medication.
“Some people have to choose whether to eat or to get their prescriptions,” Carroll said. “The grant from the Sisters of Charity helped us address this the best we could.”
The Sisters of Charity Foundation of South Carolina funded the Sumpter Free Health Clinic’s Prescription Assistance Voucher Program. The clinic gives vouchers for medication for acute medical needs. For those who need long-term medication the clinic receives from drug companies or WellVista, but it can take up to 45 days. The voucher system allows medication to be provided as needed.
These organizations are rural and mostly run off of the kindness of volunteers and the community. Through their work these organizations continue to address the needs of those who need it most, and continue to make great impact within Berkeley County.