Shelter reopening for homeless families after renovation - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Shelter reopening for homeless families after renovation

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - New Directions is giving one of its facilities a fresh start to eventually help homeless families do the same.

"The before and after of this place, and it's not even done, has been incredible," said Lauren Galloway, the facility's residential case manager.

Myrtle Beach Haven was open for seven years on Campbell to serve homeless families. New Directions closed it August 1 to start renovations. 

The building will be renamed New Directions for Families. More than two months worth of work has gone into making it a better facility.

People who live at New Directions for Families will live in updated rooms with new beds and they'll be able to use renovated common areas with new furniture.

"It looked like it needed a facelift," said Kathy Jenkins, executive director for New Directions. "And I believe that's what we've done."

The program will serve all kinds of homeless families.

"Just picture the child who goes to school and he can't have friends home in the afternoon," Jenkins said. "He doesn't want to have friends over the in afternoon because then he has to tell people he doesn't have a home."

New Directions is also partnering with Hope House to provide shelter in this facility for unaccompanied boys. High school girls are in the process of moving to transitional housing at New Directions Women in Transition.

Jenkins said the majority of the demand in the community comes from women and children.

She said the facility should hold up to 60 people and it will relieve some of the burden currently on Life Line, which serves women and children in crisis. Life Line will be able to further concentrate on helping single women because mothers and their children can go to New Directions for Families.

Life Line gave up its safe house denomination, however, Jenkins said this is what single mothers in the community mainly need.

"I've got one waiting to come in here who is living two doors down from her abuser," Jenkins said. "She's a victim, but he'll never come looking for her."

Jenkins said she has a waiting list of people ready to move in when the facility opens its doors, which should be Friday.

"This is a huge need in this community and people need hope and people need change and they have to go somewhere where people are willing to give that to them," she said.

Adults at the facility will be required to take part in New Directions work programs. The shelter will be open at all times and families will receive three meals a day, Jenkins said.

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