Horry County breaks ground on Loris homeless shelter expansion

An expansion at the North Strand Housing Shelter will add 37 more beds to the facility by Spring 2015.

Diana Seydlorsky, Horry County’s director of community development, said the new two-story, 5,000-square-foot facility will replace the existing 16-bed shelter, which will be converted into affordable housing.

Ground was officially broken Wednesday for the new addition, which will be on S.C. 9 next to the existing shelter, targets the needs of homeless families and veterans.

“They’ll end up getting income from that to help with the homeless shelter,” Seydlorsky said.

Horry County Community Development provided $375,000 and the State Housing Trust Fund chipped in $300,000 combined with loans and donations to make the expansion happen.

The new shelter will include a large meeting room, dining, storage, bedrooms and bathrooms. The facility is designed to facilitate on-site case management, and life skills training.

Seydlorsky said the county chose to expand in Loris because of the shelter already in place.

“We expanded here because there is already an existing shelter,” she said. “We also help Street Reach and New Directions, which are also homeless agencies. Being the county, we just spread it out all around. I think it will be really good here because there are a lot of people living in the woods. We watch them just come walking out of the woods. So, I think this will be a really good area.”

Worldview Ministries and Home Alliance Inc. also played roles in the expansion.

Michael Bolch, CEO of the Worldview Ministries’ board of directors, said organizers sought guidance from God throughout the process of planning the new shelter.

“Every step of the way we prayed,” Bolch said. “We asked for God to open doors and we asked for God to slam doors in our face if we were headed down the wrong path … From the beginning, we committed ourselves to making this a place for God’s betterment.”

Seydlorsky said the three-year process to secure the funds was all worth it now that progress is being made.

“It’s a wonderful feeling,” she said. “We feel real blessed to be part of this and very thankful that we are part of this.”