Anne Marie ("Annie") Maertens, MSW
Our Assessment Center houses our foster care entry services in partnership with Prisma Health and Greater Greenville Mental Health to provide medical and mental health exams when children enter foster care. As we embark on transitioning the Assessment Center into a full Family Resource Center, we have added family mediation, kinship care support groups and navigation services, with plans to incorporate developmental screenings, parenting classes, and other family strengthening services. We believe that families have inherent strengths and abilities to give children safe & stable lives. We leverage their love and elevate their abilities to minimize trauma to children.
Residential Youth Services
Smith House Foster Care Group Home
The legacy program of our Residential Youth Services is Smith House, which was founded in 1986 to provide a home for teenage girls in foster care. Today, we prepare 10 youth aged 12-21 who have been hurt in their homes to be the successful dreamers, doers, movers, shakers & leaders for the future. We specialize in serving older teens who are likely to age out of foster care, and focus on independent living skills and normalcy Residents of Smith House have been referred by the Department of Social Services, but may voluntarily remain at Smith House by choosing to stay in foster care after turning 18. We also have an Alumni Cottage for former Smith House residents who are no longer in foster care to ensure their safe and successful transition to adulthood.
Our foster care youth at Smith House are just like any other teens - they want to feel safety, acceptance, normalcy, and hope. If you would like to help support our Smith House residents' goals and normalcy activities like birthday parties and holiday meals , please click below.
Residential Youth Services
Emergency Youth Homeless Shelter
The latest program of our Residential Youth Services is our emergency homeless shelter for youth aged 12-21. Our shelter for 12-17 year-olds is a federally funded "Basic Center Program" (BCP) that offers warm beds and hot meals for up to 21 days for youth who may have run away, whose parents are facing eviction, or are experiencing homelessness for any other reason. According to the 2022 State of Homelessness Report, "family shelter capacity is limited and many shelters will not allow adolescents boys to shelter with their families, most families with children and youth in homeless situations stay temporarily with other people, in motels, or substandard housing. These situations are very unstable, often unsafe and overcrowded, and put children, parents and youth at-risk of abuse and/or trafficking." The report also shares that 2,757 youth between the 6th and 12th grades experienced homelessness in the upstate.Youth aged 12-17 may contact our shelter 24/7 at (864) 551 0751 for assistance and possible intake. Youth in crisis may also contact our Safe Place program 24/7 at (864) 516 1216 for immediate help. Our Safe Place partners include QuikTrip, the Caine Halter YMCA, and Greenlink Transit. Trained staff at those locations connect youth "in need of a safe place" with Pendleton Place. After launching our BCP, we expanded our shelter services to 18-21 year-olds through private funding, as roughly a third of youth aging out of foster care experience homelessness, and more than two-thirds of youth experiencing homelessness have mental health concerns. Our goal is to provide temporary shelter and ongoing support to youth who are searching and scared.
Community Youth Services
Street Outreach Program
National data indicates as many as 30% of persons experiencing homelessness are under the age of 24. Many young people experiencing homelessness have left the foster care or juvenile justice system without a permanent family or other connections, while others find themselves on the street because of family conflict or rejection. Our Street Outreach Program (SOP) is federally funded and works to engage with youth who may be living on the streets or structures not meant for human habitation, in encampments, in their cars, or between friends' homes. Our SOP services also include our drop-in services three days per week, where youth experiencing or at risk of homelessness can access food, showers, laundry, and social support. Our drop-in services are housed at our Youth Resource Center (YRC), which also include a resource closet for clothes, hygiene products, and information. The YRC provides support, outreach, and access to resources, which we use the acronym SOAR to describe. SOAR864 is our youth-oriented outreach program designed to be inclusive and accessible to youth up to the age of 24 who could benefit from the YRC and SOP.
Community Youth Services
Until we can permanently end youth homelessness, we will continue to work toward reducing the number of youth experiencing homelessness by providing transitional housing options for youth. Our housing options include federally-funded rapid rehousing, youth transitions, and transitional living programs designed to provide safe, stable living accommodations with basic life-skills building, educational opportunities, and employment preparation services. All of our housing programs require application and approval, but are designed to set youth forward on an empowerment and success pipeline.