Myrtle Beach hosting meeting with faith-based community to address city’s homelessness

01/07/2014 4:20 PM

01/07/2014 4:20 PM

The city of Myrtle Beach is hosting a faith-based homelessness support services meeting Wednesday as a way to inform the community about the city’s approach to homelessness, and to urge churches and other faith-based organizations to participate in support services for the homeless.

In the fall of 2011, those who provide services to the homeless in Myrtle Beach began to work to consolidate efforts, resulting in the establishment last year of New Directions of Horry County Inc.

The Center for Women and Children, Street Reach Ministries and Life Line, the domestic violence agency that replaced Citizens Against Spouse Abuse, combined resources to form the New Directions operating board.

The meeting is a continuation of the city’s efforts to get homelessness in Myrtle Beach under control, assistant city manager John Pedersen said.

“The idea is to go back, at least to the faith-based community, and make sure they know the strategy,” he said.

Clergy and staff from more than 20 area churches are expected to participate in the discussion with Mayor John Rhodes and representatives from New Directions.

Pedersen said the discussion also will include the city’s desire to track services given to those in need through an identification card that hopefully will be scanned at each place they receive help.

The city began using the cards in 2012, with those requesting services from partner organizations being sent to Helping Hand of Myrtle Beach to be entered into the system.

The meeting will be held 10 a.m. Wednesday at the Myrtle Beach Train Depot, 851 Broadway St.

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