Swain Scholars study homelessness
Swain and Scholars: Benefactor Kenneth Swain with (from left) Nancy Phillips, Emma Kroger and Kerry Dittmeier
Emma Kroger, Nancy Phillips and Kerry Dittmeier, all juniors who are members of CCU’s Swain Scholars program, are investigating the perceptions people have about homelessness in Horry County. They have developed a survey, engaged agencies that deal with the homeless, and gone out into the field to meet and listen to stories of homeless people. Their goal is to bridge the gap between the perceptions and the reality of the homelessness phenomenon.
Part of the mission of the Swain Scholars program is to partner with community agencies in researching health-related issues and implement community health programs, according to program coordinator Sharon Thompson, professor of public health at CCU.
The students became interested in homelessness issues after learning that Horry County is ranked second in the state for the largest homeless population and first for the highest population of unsheltered homeless individuals.
One part of the project is an outreach program called “Souls without Solace,” which involves collecting stories from homeless individuals.
The students have been documenting each story to create an outreach project to share with the public. CCU’s Athenaeum Press will collaborate with the scholars to turn their project into a more visual experience in print and digital media.