MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) — New Directions of Horry County is in the process of moving people into its newly expanded men’s shelter.
The expansion, on the second floor of the shelter, can hold up to 74 additional beds. There are 90 on the first floor.
“I couldn’t even count the months, the days, the years we have talked about this day,” New Directions CEO Kathy Jenkins said. “We are so excited that we have finally opened the second floor.”
The project cost about $200,000, and the organization was able to get the work done with the help of grants and community support.
“We started as the first-ever Bank of America Champions on the Grand Strand with a $50,000 grant,” Jenkins said. “(Beach Church) did a year-end campaign and helped us raise $30,000. We also had several small grants and the rest was all individuals.”
The expansion means there are brand new bathrooms and areas to store clothes, especially important for people staying in the shelter who need to go to work.
The expansion opened just ahead of the holiday season, which can be unpredictable for the shelter. The temperature, though, is predictable.
“We have a lot of cold nights,” Jenkins said. “And people who generally don’t come in for shelter or who don’t come into the program need a place to come in off the streets. And so we’re open each night for anybody who needs to get out of the elements.”
New Directions estimates Horry County’s homeless population is just under 700. It has programs in place to help people who face poverty, homelessness and addiciton.
Fresh off the expansion’s completion, Jenkins said the organization is already in the early planning stages of another project next to the men’s shelter.
“We would like to build a new women’s shelter there, have all of our admin offices, open a day center and have resources come to our clients through the day center,” Jenkins said.
She added that she would like to see that project within the next 18-24 months but noted that that mightbe an aggressive goal.
The shelter is in need of towels, cleaning supplies and laundry detergent. You can look at their website for more information about their services and how you can help out.