MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) – The New Directions Men’s Shelter is expanding.
The long-awaited construction is expected to begin Monday. The plan will add more than 70 beds and six bathrooms to the existing 90-bed shelter.
“We’ve known from the very beginning that we were eventually going to need to finish out this space,” Kathy Jenkins, the executive director of New Directions, said. “We looked at it several different times over the years and the time just seems to be now.”
Jenkins said the shelter operated on a waitlist of 40 to 50 people before the pandemic, and while its numbers dipped during the lockdown, they are starting to tick back up now that unemployment benefits are expiring, and stimulus payments are drying up.
“Last fall we went through the bid process, and we found contractors who were interested in paring this project down into something maybe a little smaller than our initial dream, then we selected a contractor and then it was about raising the rest of the money,” Jenkins said. “Once we knew what this is going to cost us, how do we go about, in this environment, raising the money to do that? We had the money around the first of this year.”
The original construction bid and project cost are fully funded, but shelter leaders are asking for donations for unexpected costs that may come up during the building process as they’ve already run into an issue with the water main.
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