HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WMBF) - New Directions, a group of homeless shelters in the Grand Strand, is currently handling its first positive COVID-19 cases.
A sanitation technology company in Little River is stepping up to try to keep the shelters open to accept new clients.
“I ran into a young man I know is homeless,” said Cindy Bycer, Shipping Supervisor for Paradigm Convergence Technologies. “I asked him if he had a place to go. He said, ‘No, the shelters are full.’”
Bycer says hearing about that man, who shares the same name as her son, Chase, really struck home, especially during the pandemic.
When she found out New Directions had to stop taking more clients into their homeless shelters because of some positive tests, Bycer said she felt like she had to do something.
She went into work the next day on a mission.
“I just felt that we have the capability and opportunity to do something really good for people that are in need,” said Bycer.
At her request, Paradigm Convergence Technologies decided to donate three electrostatic spray guns and 40 gallons of disinfectant to New Directions to use at the shelters.
New Directions Executive Director Kathy Jenkins says the new equipment will be an improvement on the supermarket supplies they’ve been using.
“The sprayers have the capability of spraying the top of the surface and attaching underneath, so we know that everything, top to bottom will be disinfected,” said Jenkins. “That’s something we couldn’t do with what we currently have to use.”
The disinfectant is hospital grade and non-toxic, so clients can return to their rooms immediately after spraying.
The shelters have operated at a little under-capacity since the start of the pandemic.
Jenkins thinks the ability to clean more completely and efficiently will allow them to accept a few more clients at a time.
“This is going to be monumental in helping us navigate through this pandemic,” said Jenkins.
Paradigm Convergence Technologies gave New Directions a month supply of disinfectant, with a promise to re-supply them as long as they need it, which means more beds could be available soon.
Bycer hopes one of those beds could be for Chase.
“That young man, that I keep running into in Myrtle Beach, Kathy said if I can get a little more information and he wants help, she’ll make sure he’s taken care of,” said Bycer.