HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - Each year Horry County gets about $2.5 million from the federal government for community development block grant funds, which are split up into projects throughout the year.
Right now there are a lot of projects in the works, including some public service projects involving local non-profit homeless organizations. New Directions, Street Reach, and the Myrtle Beach Housing Authority are some of the groups that apply for funding.
One project is called the Emergency Solutions Program. It provides grant money for a "rapid rehouse." If you are homeless or in danger of being evicted, the department can put down money for the apartment rent, utilities, and any back rent or back utilities. According to the rules, the department can pay for up to 18 months to help you get back on your feet.
"We get only $200,000 a year," says Diana Seydlorsky, the department head for CDBG. "So it goes really fast. But it's a great program. Mostly we'd like to get them up off the street, because that's the most dangerous for them. But certainly we don't want them going on the street either. So we try to help them."
Seydlorsky says the funding can easily run out in six months, because there is such a high demand for this help in Horry County.
Another project that this year's funding is supporting is the upgrades to the Racepath community in Conway. That includes the work being done with The Father's Place to rehabilitate the old police substation, which the non-profit group is moving into. Crews are in the midst of rehabbing the substation now. The building will get a new roof and some other new upgrades. The group trains fathers and mothers for the work force.
With the funding the plan also includes putting a park right behind the substation. It will be a public community park, but it will also be a training grounds for workers at The Father's Place to learn landscaping skills. So they will make and maintain the park.
"We still have work to do," says Seydlorsky. "There's different owners that own different lots back there that are from out of state. So we have been working hard to contact them and see if we can go ahead and purchase that property and tell them what we're going to do with it. So I think it'll be great. It'll be really nice for that neighborhood."
This is a three-year project. There is also housing rehab funds from the city of Conway that will be used to target the homes in the neighborhood.
There are other projects in the works including upgrades to the Racepath neighborhood and community center in Myrtle Beach, street upgrades in Conway, and home rehabs throughout the county.
If you are wondering if you qualify for any of the grants, call 843-915-7033.