More than 20 people removed from homeless campsite in Myrtle Beach, city documents show

Published: Jun. 5, 2023 at 9:02 PM EDT|Updated: Jun. 5, 2023 at 9:17 PM EDT
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MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) - More than 20 people were removed from a homeless campsite on 17th Avenue South, near Robert Grissom Parkway in Myrtle Beach, according to city documents WMBF News obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request.

The documents also state, plans are underway from the property owner to clean and undercut the lot, and service providers were also notified to help with assistance.

Meanwhile, staff at Myrtle Beach shelters say summertime is the time when they will see an uptick in the number of people living on the streets.

“People think that it’s the cold weather that is most difficult for people living on the streets, but it’s not,” Executive Director of New Directions, Kathy Jenkins, said. ”You can stay warm, you can add more coats, more blankets, you can build a fire, but if it gets to be 90 degrees, you can’t stay cool.”

Jenkins added it also has to do with summer rates.

She explained what typically happens is people decide to move to the area after coming to visit. However, the higher summer rates are what usually get them.

“The biggest issues that we see during the summer, is there are people that try to relocate and they don’t make it here. They get here and they can’t afford to live here with the higher rates in the summer. And maybe they didn’t plan well and they end up homeless,” Jenkins added.

For those people, Helping Hands, a Myrtle Beach non-profit works with them to prevent that from happening

Chairman, Paul Flood, said their non-profit mainly works as a preventative measure for the community.

“We try to help people before they become homeless. So, we help with rent, utilities, some prescription drugs some bus cards. We can help people with driver’s licenses, social security cards, birth certificates,” Flood explained.

In an effort to get more information, WMBF News reached out to the City of Myrtle Beach officials and the Myrtle Beach Police Department.

A spokesperson from the Myrtle Beach Police Department told WMBF News, they could not provide any information on the removed homeless campsite. We were not told why.

A spokesperson for the city of Myrtle Beach told WMBF News, ‘being without a permanent place to live isn’t a crime’, but ‘people camping on someone else’s land’ is illegal. That spokesperson added, “Other resources are available to them besides trespassing and no sanitary sewer system.”

Myrtle Beach law states people can’t legally spend the night in the woods.

Those without a home also can’t spend the night on the beach, in someone’s car, or really any public or private lots.