HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WBTW) — Horry County’s only youth crisis center — Sea Haven for Youth — is better able to serve the community with the unveiling of new outreach tools Friday morning.

Sea Haven unveiled a new outreach van that will allow staff to provide immediate support to youth and young adults ages 12 to 24 who are homeless or experiencing other crisis situations.

Sea Haven was selected as a Bank of America Neighborhood Champion in October 2021. This included a $50,000 grant and an opportunity for Sea Haven staff to attend virtual leadership training from non-profit business experts.

The grant allowed for the purchase of the van and program enhancements. One of those programs is the Project Lighthouse Program, which provides young adults ages 18 to 24 with opportunities to gain life experience and transition to adulthood with sustainable futures.

The President of Myrtle Beach Bank of America, Robin Agnew, said it is great that the money is going towards helping the next generations.

“It’s fabulous that we’re able to take this money and put it to work in something that is near and dear to my heart — which is youth,” she said. “The youth, this is our future, our future of the world, our future of this community.”

The Executive Director of Sea Haven, Curtis Joe, said the van is definitely a needed resource for the county.

“We are able now to go out and get kids that are on the street, on the beach that are in need, in crisis,” he said. “Also go out to spread the word about Sea Haven and programs that we provide here.”

The van addresses one of the biggest problems for the center.

“Sometimes the transportation could be the issue that a child won’t come here to our crisis center to get their issues addressed,” he said. “So now we have this beautiful van where we can go pick up the kids.”

The van allows the staff to provide immediate support instead of waiting for a child to get to the Sea Haven building.

“The van is equipped with two laptops as well as medical supplies, food supplies, literature for kids that are on the street, or kids that we do approach,” he said.

Sea Haven was also presented a check for $20,000 at the ceremony. The check is part of the original grant and will be used to keep the van supplied and hire a new driver.

Joe is thankful for the Bank of America partnership because he has dedicated a large part of his focus to community outreach and partnerships since he started working as Executive Director. He said communities need to come together to support places that take care of the homeless and people going through dark times.

“The goal is to let people know that we are here number one — to help, but number two — that we are here and that we continue to need support from our community,” he said. “It was so good to have the community come out today to witness this beautiful thing.“

Agnew said she was glad she could see the vison become a reality.

“It is so fabulous to help Curtis Joe and his team at Sea Haven make this happen,” she said.