A New Direction for Horry County’s Homeless

Poverty and homelessness are ongoing challenges within Horry County. According to the South Carolina Coalition for the Homeless’ 2013 Point in Time Count report, an estimated 51,367 county residents live in poverty, and upwards of 3,200 are homeless annually.  Though many agencies and organizations throughout the county have been working individually to address these challenges, there has been no collaboration among groups – until New Directions was formed this past June.

“The City of Myrtle Beach invited the area’s organizations devoted to ending homelessness
to come together, share resources and streamline services,” said Kathy Jenkins, executive director of New Directions. “The Homelessness Coalition, comprised of area nonprofit board members, local churches and local foundations, led to the creation of a single organization that brings all of the others together to address homelessness throughout the county.”

That organization is New Directions, which was formed through the merger of Myrtle Beach’s three shelters: Life Line Safe House for Victims of Domestic Violence, the Center for Women and Children and Street Reach. United, these organizations are now taking a more comprehensive and case-centered approach to meeting the needs of those who are currently homeless, at-risk of becoming so or were previously homeless within the county.  The mission is to break the cycle of poverty and homelessness.

New Directions is in a unique position to better serve those who are or may soon find themselves in need. It has built a strong foundation through the merger of its three shelters, and also has created connections with other organizations within the county, enabling New Directions to point people to the agencies best suited for their individual needs.

New Directions

At the core of New Directions’ strategy is a service model that centers on individualized case management.

“This means more than just sitting down and assessing the needs of individuals,” Jenkins explained. “It is about assessing the needs of individuals on a personal basis, and helping them navigate past obstacles that prevent them from getting out of the cycle of homelessness and poverty. It’s about helping them reach their full potential.”

New Directions identifies new clients through a variety of means. Those who frequent the shelters and referrals from other agencies, such as Helping Hand, make up a good portion of the agency’s clientele. A partnership with the Housing Authority of Myrtle Beach also refers individuals who are at risk of becoming homeless, which helps provide an early prevention measure that can be the difference between transitional housing and time spent out on the streets.

How it Works

As an overarching agency managing challenges facing the homeless population, New Directions provides coordination of services through local partnerships. It also helps prevent redundancy in services by keeping track of services each shelter resident and non-resident client is receiving.

Clients are guided from the second they complete the process of central intake, which takes place at Helping Hand. Once a client is entered into the system, a New Directions support specialist is assigned to their case and helps identify the client’s needs, whether they be related to food, shelter, education or employment. From there, referrals are made and the support specialist follows their client’s progress as they try to get back on their feet, obtain gainful employment and beyond.

Clients are often referred to Street Reach Enterprises. This temporary labor program  provides homeless and unemployed individuals with opportunities to gain work experience. Jobs include providing landscaping, laundry services, and other short-term labor opportunities with the City of Myrtle Beach, several local hotels and restaurants.

For single mothers and women, The Center for Women and Children provides up to two years of transitional housing and helps them prepare for a life after homelessness. For victims of domestic violence, Life Line Safe House for Victims of Domestic Violence provides a temporary refuge in a neutral environment designed to help individuals recover and gain the necessary knowledge to better their situation. Classes in conflict and anger management, establishing healthy relationships, self-worth and financial literacy are accessible.

Enabling clients to gain stronger literacy skills, complete high school credentials, learn English, obtain citizenship and break free from substance abuse are vital in New Directions’ effort to permanently better the lives of those in need.

How to Help

nd_article_pic_2New Directions recently opened a new office on Lumber Street in Myrtle Beach. Conveniently located between their three shelters, this office provides a home base for support staff and a meeting place for individualized case management. The hope is that it will provide a welcoming environment for shelter clients and those who are either already homeless or who are at risk of becoming so.

“I’m personally enjoying what I am doing,” Jenkins shares. “It is so wonderful to be a part of this new approach to ending homelessness in Horry County. I personally invite anyone who wants to help New Directions grow and prosper to get involved with helping out in  any of our three shelters. We are always looking for assistance in helping support those
individuals in our shelters reach their full potential.”

To contribute your time or find out more, please contact New Directions at 843-945-4902 or Kathy.Jenkins56@yahoo.com.

3655 S. Hwy. 17 Business, Murrells Inlet, SC 29576

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Fundholder Alert

To guarantee that your grants are distributed by the end of the year, please submit your requests by Friday, December 9th at 3:00p.m.

If you have any questions, please contact Shawna Mosley-Foster at 843-357-4483 or shawna@mywcf.org

12/09/2022
3:00pm

Dennis L Wade

Dennis Wade is a native of Lancaster, SC and a graduate of the University of South Carolina. Mr. Wade has been President and Chief Executive Officer of The Jackson Companies since 2001. The Jackson Companies is a diversified tourism, hospitality and real estate development company located in the South Strand of Myrtle Beach. For more than five decades, the Jackson family has instilled philanthropy and community service into their multifaceted group of businesses. Dennis is a graduate of Leadership Grand Strand XIX and a Waccamaw American Leadership Forum Senior Fellow. He currently serves on the Coastal Educational Foundation Board of Directors, the Board of Visitors for the Wall College of Business at Coastal Carolina University, and the Conway Medical Center Board of Trustees. He is also chairman of the Board of Directors of Coastal Carolina Bancshares, Inc. and a director of Coastal Carolina National Bank. Dennis and his wife, Marie, have two children, Erica and Taylor, and have called the Grand Strand home since 1997.

Allen Jeffcoat

Allen Jeffcoat has been practicing law in Myrtle Beach since 1977. His areas of practice include real estate, estate planning, probate administration, environmental law, corporate and business law, and bankruptcy.  He serves as an expert witness in cases in these areas of practice. He is licensed to practice law in SC and NC. He has served as chair of the Real Estate Practices Section of the SC Bar.

Allen’s relationship with Waccamaw Community Foundation began many years ago, when he would advise his estate planning clients to invest their funds to benefit their philanthropic interests, such as education, the arts, and environmental protection. After working alongside his clients and WCF, Allen joined the Foundation’s board of directors in 2007 and served as director until 2016.

In addition to his professional to his professional interests and his involvement with WCF, Allen has a history of supporting coastal and statewide conservation efforts. In 1985, Allen joined the South Carolina Nature Conservancy board of trustees, and fulfilled a variety of leadership roles- including a stint a chairman— from 1987-1989. Allen also served on Governor Carroll Campbell’s Freshwater Wetlands Forum, and continues to apply his experience in environmental and real estate law to help preserve and protect natural resources and ecosystems vital to the local community.

Allen is also a founder and first president of the YMCA of Coastal Carolina.

Allen has resided in the Grand Strand since 1977 with his wife, Mary. They have two grown children and a granddaughter.

Tim Whitten

Tim@mywcf.org

843-357-4483

A native of Alabama, Tim received his bachelor’s degree in business administration from Auburn University and a master’s degree in religion from Lenoir-Rhyne University. He brings to WCF a background in grant writing and in disaster recovery most recently serving the South Carolina Conference of The United Methodist Church.

Tim resides in Galivants Ferry with his wife Julie and their four children.

Phillip Anderson

Director

Phillip Anderson is a Senior Vice President & Senior Lending Officer for Asheville, North Carolina-based HomeTrust Bank, serving the coast of South Carolina. Throughout his 22-year banking career, he has served in commercial banking, trust administration, retail banking, and market leadership roles with mid-size and regional banks in South Carolina and Georgia. He has always embodied the community banking model of building strong local relationships and being active in numerous non-profits and promoting their causes.
 
He is a graduate of Mercer University in Macon, GA, the Cannon Financial Institute’s Trust School, The Stonier Graduate School of Banking and Wharton Leadership program. He is also a graduate of several Chamber of Commerce Leadership programs over his career.
 
Phillip resides in Pawleys Island, South Carolina, with his wife Mary Beth and daughter Carolina. In his free time, he enjoys spending time with his family, reading, and playing golf.

Ellen Barney Sycks

Stewardship & Communications Officer

ellen@mywcf.org
614-893-7998

Ellen serves the Foundation as its Stewardship and Communications Officer, responsible for communicating with fund holders on a regular basis and providing advice when needed, particularly around fund development as well as relevant field of interest information.

A native of Hillsboro, Ohio, Ellen provides more than three decades of non-profit leadership experience, focusing on creating major gift and planned giving opportunities to support organizations’ programs, special projects and capital campaigns. Ellen received her B.A. in National Security Policy from The Ohio State University. She lives in Murrells Inlet with her husband Jay and their two cats, Mabel and Murray.

Chris Hanna

Director

Chris Hanna is a Senior Broker Associate with Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Advantage. Born and raised in Myrtle Beach, he started in the real estate business in 1993. Chris is a member of the Coastal Carolinas, South Carolina and National Associations of REALTORS and is an active local community member as well, having served on various boards such as the Horry County Zoning Board of Appeals, the Coastal Carolina Athletic Foundation, and Horry County school district Carolina Forest Advisory Board. He is a member of the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce, Myrtle Beach Area Hospitality and Oceanview Baptist Church. Chris is a graduate of Socastee High School in Myrtle Beach, and he received his Bachelor of Arts from the University of South Carolina at Coastal Carolina in 1992.

Rick Elliott

Director

Rick Elliott is president of his family business, Elliott Realty, one of the most prominent real estate companies in North Myrtle Beach. As a native of Horry County, he has always made giving back to the community a part of his approach to business. Each guest who stays with Elliott Realty is given the option to add an additional $1 per night to their bill to be donated to the Elliott Realty Charitable Community Fund at Waccamaw Community Foundation, which invests in causes throughout the surrounding community. Rick brings this commitment to community philanthropy to his service on the Waccamaw Community Foundation Board of Directors. He has also served as the chairman of the North Myrtle Beach Chamber of Commerce.



Tyler Easterling

Director

Tyler Easterling is a native of Marietta, Georgia and has resided in Georgetown County since moving to the area in 2002. Tyler is the president and COO of The Brandon Agency, an integrated marketing agency headquartered in Myrtle Beach. She is the current board chair for Coastal Montessori Charter School and serves on the boards of Helping Hands of Georgetown and Young Presidents’ Organization Southern 7 Chapter. She is a member of the 2018 Liberty Fellowship class.

Tyler holds an undergraduate degree in Journalism from the University of Mississippi and a Masters of Mass Communication from the University of South Carolina. She is an active member of Duncan Memorial United Methodist Church and enjoys spending time with her husband, Marshall, and two daughters, Julia and Anne Marshall.



Terri DeCenzo

Director

Terri serves as executive director of Women in Philanthropy and Leadership for Coastal Carolina University (WIPL). She is married to Coastal Carolina University President David A. DeCenzo, and when he joined the university in 2002, she became passionately involved with the life of the university, taking an active role in issues relating to student government and NCAA athletics, among others. Previously Terri has served on the boards of the American Red Cross and the Foundation for Georgetown Hospital System and was an adviser to the Safe Families Initiative that established Family Justice Center of Horry and Georgetown Counties. In 2016, Terri was awarded the Order of the Silver Crescent by South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley. A graduate of St. Joseph Hospital School of Nursing and Towson University, she spent most of her career practicing in critical care. The DeCenzo’s have four children: Mark (his wife Jen), Meredith (and her husband Ryan Daley), Gabriella and Natalie; and one beautiful grandson, William Mason Evans.


Executive Director, Women in Philanthropy and Leadership for Coastal Carolina University (WIPL)

Dr. Tracy Bailey

Director

Dr. Tracy Bailey earned a Ph.D. in Education with a specialization in Language and Literacy at the University of South Carolina in May of 2013. She is a Teaching Associate with Coastal Carolina University teaching Intermediate Literacy Development and Instructional Practices for Early Literacy.

Dr. Bailey began her career in education as a high school English instructor and has worked in both rural and urban educational settings. After realizing the impact professional development and community literacy had on her personal and professional growth, she wanted others to experience this. She is the founder and executive director of Freedom Readers, Inc., a nonprofit company dedicated to promoting literacy. Tracy seeks to instill in teachers, students, and the community at large the belief that every student can learn and every learner has the responsibility to pass on new knowledge to another.

Dr. Bailey earned her BA from The College of Charleston- majoring in English Education- and a Masters in Secondary Education from Coastal Carolina University. She is married to award-winning writer, Issac J. Bailey, and is the mother of two wonderful children, Kyle and Lyric.



Brent Groome

Chair

A 1987 graduate of UNC Chapel Hill, Brent came to the Grand Strand area in 1989. After a 31 year career with HTC (Horry Telephone Cooperative), he retired in 2021.  In addition to his current role with WCF, he also serves as a member of the Board of Commissioners for HGTC. He is also active with his church; serving as a Sunday School teacher and congregational song leader.  He and his wife, Dana, live in the Conway area.

Shawna Mosley-Foster

Service and Operations Officer

shawna@mywcf.org
843-357-4483 x200

Shawna, a native of Jamaica, NY, has more than 15 years of experience working in the hospitality and tourism field. Since relocating to South Carolina in 2004, she spent a few more years working with a local hospitality company before joining WCF’s staff.  While a native New Yorker, Shawna has a rich heritage right here in the Waccamaw area. Her mother was born and raised on Sandy Island, and her father is from Bucksport. She enjoys cooking, stargazing with her family, cruising and once retired….RVing! Shawna and her husband are empty nesters and resides in Myrtle Beach. 

Mike Mancuso

Executive Director

mike@mywcf.org
843-357-4483


Mike is a veteran business leader with more than 30 years of experience as an innovative problem solver and change agent for nonprofit, banking and small business organizations. Mike is a skilled economic developer with background in community development, downtown redevelopment, industrial development and strategic planning. His passion is helping Communities and Businesses thrive and grow. Most recently Mike served as the President and CEO of the Triangle East Chamber of Commerce & Economic Development Foundation in Johnston County, NC and as Executive Director for the Sustainable Opportunity Development Center, Inc in Salem, OH. Mike and his wife Christine make their home in Little River, SC. They have 3 children and 5 grandchildren living in Charleston, SC, Atlanta, GA, & Austin TX. Mike enjoys boating on the ICW, tinkering in his workshop/garage and spending time with family and friends.