It is our mission to provide a safe and caring environment for children and teens who have faced abuse, abandonment, neglect and/or homelessness.
Palmetto Place was founded in 1977 by the members of the Junior Woman’s Club of Columbia (JWC). In the early 1970s they became aware of the unique needs and tragic stories of abused and neglected children who needed support and created a plan to help. In June 1976, a special meeting of the club was called, and the membership voted unanimously for its new project, Youth Resources. By January 1977, a home was purchased in Columbia, and Palmetto Place Children’s Emergency Shelter was born in April 1977. Since the shelter was founded, more than 7,000 of the Midlands abused, neglected and abandoned children have found a safe, nurturing home at Palmetto Place.
In 2012 there was another population who needed support, homeless teens. That year we began our Unaccompanied Youth Program with one teen and shortly after reserved four beds for homeless youth with nowhere else to go. In the last four years we have helped 23 homeless teens become self-sufficient and find independence. The impact we’ve made on these residents is clear, they come back and visit, stay in touch with our house parents, and reach out when they need help overcoming obstacles in their paths.
The Palmetto Place Children’s Shelter is a safe haven for abused and neglected children of all ages from across the state of South Carolina. Our emergency shelter is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and accepts children and teens who are in foster care through the SC Department of Social Services (DSS). Here, children are in a safe and nurturing environment and have access to after-school programs, tutoring, recreational and social activities. The broad range of service offered concentrate on personal healing and development and include medical attention, mental health care, crisis adjustment and transitional counseling. We accept placements through DSS.
Unaccompanied Youth Program:
The Palmetto Place Unaccompanied Youth Program prepares homeless and unaccompanied youth to live independently and reach self-sufficiency. We provide food, housing, clothing and wraparound services for teens ages 15-21 in Richland and Lexington Counties. These teens are referred to the program by school social workers and partner agencies. Teens participating in this program are able to set long-term goals for employment and education and learn the life skills necessary for independence. Many of these residents come to Palmetto Place as a junior or senior in high school and stay through high school graduation. In addition, some of our residents are college students.
Basic Center Program:
The Palmetto Place Basic Center Program allows us to provide additional housing and wraparound services to homeless and unaccompanied teens in the Midlands. Teens in the Basic Center Program spend 21 days at the Palmetto Place teen house receiving crisis management, medical services, comprehensive case management, educational assistance and transitional housing options along with the creation of a safety net and support system.
At the end of the 21-day assessment process, the Palmetto Place staff will be able to graduate teens to the organization’s independent living program, make referrals to mental health care facilities and reunite teens with family or provide other housing options.
The Basic Center Program partners with United Way of the Midlands, Sexual Trauma Services, LRADAC, MIRCI, Palmetto Health and other community partners to focus on mental health, victim’s assistance within law enforcement, career exploration, healthy relationships, sexual health, substance abuse and physical health.
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To learn more about Palmetto Place check out our 2015 Annual Report! This report will provide you with an opportunity to learn more about our accomplishments and challenges and surprising statistics from 2015. Visit this link to view our 2015 Annual Report.