MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) — Myrtle Beach city leaders and members representing dozens of local organizations met with community members Thursday to discuss homelessness in the region.
Without exact data, the Myrtle Beach Area Homelessness Coalition estimates more than 800 people are homeless on the Grand Strand and in the Pee Dee, with a large majority in Horry County.
The coalition meets every third Thursday of the month at Seacoast Vineyard Church to discuss strategies and solutions in regards to homelessness in the area. Thursday’s meeting focused on community outreach and spreading awareness.
Myrtle Beach Police Chief Amy Prock led the creation of the group. Prock said more awareness is key to the group’s success.
“It not only helps educate but it also helps those who want to help our homeless population,” Prock said. “It also gives them an outlet of understanding how they can help as well, how they can be involved. We all want to be able to work together.”
Community members were invited to attend, ask questions and also pitch ideas. One attendee was Weslyn Lack-Chickering, a life-long Myrtle Beach resident and owner of Lack’s Beach Service.
Lack-Chickering said she did not know about the coalition meetings until she voiced concerns about homelessness in the city at another meeting. She called Thursday’s coalition meeting “enlightening.”
“It was very helpful in helping me move to take more of an active stance in the community instead of being so bitter and angry,” Lack-Chickering said.
Another community member pushed to get involved is attorney Scott Joye. He helps homeless people through the process of securing the proper identification.
“What I want people to understand is that it doesn’t take a lawyer to help them get these types of identification to help them get employed, but without them, the chances of them getting any meaningful employment are slim to none,” Joye said.
Joye said the coalition is always looking for more people interested in helping alleviate homelessness.
“This program is here to help people,” Joye said. “The more people we have to help people, the more people we can help.”