New homeless youth shelter to be completed next month - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

New homeless youth shelter to be completed next month

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Only 30 homeless youth facilities received government funding last year, and Horry County’s Sea Haven group was not one of them. While nearly a quarter of South Carolina’s homeless population lives in Horry County, Sea Haven is the only nonprofit in Horry County that provides emergency services for homeless youth ages 13 to 21.  Sea Haven Executive Director Christina Jackson says despite their work, there is still a shortage of housing and resources for young people in the area.  

By the end of December or January their new shelter will be built in Little River.  This new home will house 16 youths compared to their current shelter which houses 9. 

From January to September Sea Haven has seen 77 new homeless youths at their center and over 200 repeat visits.  But they can see up to 500 youths on any given year.  Their goals for all that come in are… productive reintegration into the community, through furthering education or permanent employment, and self-sustainability. Most of the youth at Sea Haven’s transitional living program have been on streets for a couple of years as a result of domestic violence, abuse, or neglect.

Andy Whipple is the Outreach Coordinator for Sea Haven. He physically goes into the streets and local community to find homeless youths, give them food, and tell them about their programs.    He says the prevalence homeless youth in the area often go unnoticed because these young people blend in and try to hide their situation.

For the holiday season, Sea Haven is making handmade wreaths in exchange for donations on their GoFundMe page.

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