Sea Haven, Myrtle Beach police partner to help at-risk youth

Sea Haven, Myrtle Beach police partner to help at-risk youth

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - A new form of help is coming to at-risk teens in the Myrtle Beach area.

The Myrtle Beach Police Department and the Sea Haven shelter have partnered up to provide shelter to homeless teens or young adults found sleeping on a park bench or on the beach.

Christopher Steele, an outreach worker for Sea Haven's Project Lighthouse, said the effort will target youth between the ages of 16 and 21 that police may see several times at night and know they are out on the streets.

Teens who are brought to Sea Haven as part of Project Lighthouse will get a shower, a meal, a place to stay and even computer time to search for a job.

It's considered a drop-in center and is the only one of its kind in the state.

Police and Sea Haven operators will work together to determine when young adults may just need an extra nudge to go back home, back to school or back to work.

The other half of the partnership calls for Sea Haven leaders to help police understand the at-risk youth they work with a little better.

"We get training seminars that tells us how to interview properly with the youth to make them feel at ease with us," Steele said. "And I believe that's something police train for also. We're more youth-centric than the police are, so maybe we can get it and bring it together."

The Myrtle Beach City Council will vote on whether to approve the memorandum Tuesday at 2 p.m., at City Hall.

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