Horry County homeless shelters prepare for colder weather, increase in people

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HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WBTW) — With the cold months ahead, homeless shelters in Horry County are working overtime to provide the resources needed to those without a home.

They said during these upcoming months, they tend to see an increase in the number of people they take in. 

“We are adding as many as 74 beds up here which will help us immensely in the winter months,” Kathy Jenkins, CEO of New Directions, said.

New Directions of Horry County said it’s developing waiting lists and emergency overnight visits to help with the demand of homelessness in the area.

“I think we are seeing the homelessness increase across the country, I think everything that’s gone on in the past year and a half has just accelerated,” Jenkins said.

According to Jenkins, when the winter months hit, they tend to see more people come in for emergency overnight visits. 

“If the weather is bad enough for people to absolutely be off the streets, they’re gonna come to us whether they’re interested in our longer-term program solutions or not,” she said.

Traditionally, they keep a waiting list of 40 to 50 people at their men’s shelter, however that number could soon rise.

“The important thing is to be able to accommodate the people who are trying to get in here, who are trying to get more help,” Jenkins said.

The organization is preparing to open the second floor of its men’s shelter which will provide 74 additional beds to the existing 90 bed shelter. This will help with the demand for a safe place to live, especially during the colder months. 

“Sometimes it’s 30 days, sometimes its a year, they can live with us on our property and hopefully reach that permanent positive solution,” she said.

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