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Emily Pearlman Abedon
Of all the superlative labels attached to Charleston—“most polite city,” “best place to live,” “top spot to visit”—the least talked about may be the only one that really matters: “most homeless.” A study conducted for the Conference of Mayors revealed that between 2010 and 2011, of 29 U.S. cities surveyed, Charleston had the greatest percentage increase of families experiencing homelessness—150 percent. The following school year (2011-2012), Charleston County School District documented 700 homeless children in its classrooms. Here, we move beyond the statistics by meeting two local families whose road to the American Dream took an unexpected detour through homelessness.