Local shelters preparing for increase even after CDC’s eviction relief

Coronavirus

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW) – The Centers for Disease Control will temporarily stop evictions to keep those facing homelessness inside during the pandemic.

The CDC claims more evictions present “a historic threat to public health” as unemployment rates have skyrocketed across the country.

This is the seventh month into the pandemic without signs of a second stimulus check. Kathy Jenkins, director of Myrtle Beach shelter, New Directions, believes this effort to be helpful considering the shelters have reached capacity.

“We are starting to see some people call who have lost their housing here – lost their jobs,” Jenkins said. “We are trying to gear up – be prepared in the event that there are a lot more people who may be homeless,” she explained.

Under the agency’s order, renters would have to prove they are unable to pay rent and likely to become homeless. They will also have to earn less that $99,000 annually or double that if they are joint-filing.

In hopes to lessen the exposure of coronavirus due to economic hardships, the order will last through December.

With limited funding from the CARES Act, Jenkins said they are trying hard to keep people in their homes by covering rent costs for those in need. “Like all other funding it’s not going to last forever,” she said.

“We are certainly hopeful that it will bridge the gap for anybody who is going to be affected by the coronavirus. We are seeing a lot of people who are trying to come here to start over and we’re just not encouraging that,” Jenkins explained.

All four shelters are operating at a 85% occupancy rate to keep people six feet apart and to make room for isolated areas.

Those facing eviction can also get connected to legal assistance through the South Carolina Bar and South Carolina Legal Services by dialing 1-833-958-2266.

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