Family Justice Center asks Horry County to help fund shelter for domestic violence victims

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CONWAY, SC (WBTW) – Representatives from the Horry and Georgetown County Family Justice Center asked Horry County Leaders for help Thursday to fund a new shelter for domestic violence victims.

Family Justice Center leaders have long argued for a shelter for victims of domestic violence to be created in Horry County because right now, the closest shelter is in Georgetown.

During Thursday’s Public Safety Committee meeting, Executive Director Vicki Bourus said the shelter is already nearly full and it’s far for the Horry County victims they serve.

Bourus says on average, the Georgetown shelter serves about 45-50 women every month, and more than 60% of those people are from Horry County.

“It’s frustrating for the clients, and it’s a sad situation here in Horry County because we had services up here for so long and then when that center closed, it was just like a black hole opened up in the county and we haven’t been able to close it since,” said Bourus.

Bourus says she’d need more than $1 million to get started with a shelter in Horry County. Horry County Council member Al Allen admits a shelter is needed in the county, but it will take collaboration for it to happen.

“Staff is going to have to look at and see if there’s a way that through the public and private partnerships because it is something that is needed right now inside of Horry County and it needs to be addressed,” said Allen.

It costs about $350,000 a year to keep the Georgetown shelter open, and Bourus says based on how many clients they serve, Horry County would need a center twice the size.

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