Becoming homeless in Myrtle Beach can be depressing, and I don’t wanna bring anyone down if they are having a good day. So, if you just don’t care to read this, then don’t…I’m writing this post for therapeutic reasons. But I do wanna say thank you to my friends on Facebook for the responses, advice and phone calls when I began to have the very real symptoms of depression. It helps knowing that people are praying for me. I have been messed over by job after job, landlord after landlord, roommate after roommate all this year, and it took a major toll on my mental well-being. People don’t always realize how evil enemies can be, especially when they see you out here doing things legally, you’re Black, and you’re strong.
Like many of you, I’ve been stolen from, lied to, and left for dead, all this year, while struggling to just keep a roof over my head. It’s been like this since a landlord at Wood Villas II in Atlantic Beach tossed me out back in February 2018 just because she promised the internet worked (it didn’t), knowing I needed to work from home and that was my only income. When I started giving her rent money consistently and not leaving the house for an outside job, she suspected I was selling drugs, just because she wasn’t open minded enough to realize that a Black man could actually be making money from home as a writer. When I first moved in, I showed her my tax returns from writing from home for the last three years, my PayPal receipts, everything.
About a week after moving in, she started turning the internet off everyday (lied and told me it was the weather that knocks it off and on), knowing I needed it to make rent money. When me and my neighbors found out that it was her cutting it off (some of them were going to school online and needed it too), she felt like she was busted, and sent a cop up to each of our apartments around noon one Monday and said we had to be out by 5pm, no warning whatsoever.
Man, I had sixty dollars in my pocket, and I couldn’t waste it on a cab back to my old neighborhood because I may have needed it for a room to avoid becoming completely homeless in Myrtle Beach when I got back on that side. If I could at least get one that night, I’d have time to straighten things out and contact friends and family the next day. I had to walk from Atlantic Beach to Myrtle Beach with all my belongings in a backpack. That shit was exhausting, and took four hours. A few cousins in Myrtle Beach let me stay with them a couple weeks, and then another friend let me crash for a while, giving me time to wait on an opening at the New Directions men’s homeless shelter on Osceola Street. I stayed there at the shelter for two and a half weeks, saved up enough to get a little apartment at Foutainbleu Inn on Flagg Street that needed weekly rent, and I held it for about four months.
By this time I realized I wasn’t going to be doing any writing until the fall when I got my rent paid way up and gave myself enough time to sit down and actually get back into my writing business again. But I was relying on a temp job out in town at People Ready Staffing to take care of that weekly rent at Fountainbleu. And, even though I had a few jobs to offer me weekly or bi-weekly pay, the greedy landlord didn’t want to wait on a paycheck that long, so I was stuck working temp jobs that paid daily, because they would throw me out if I didn’t have money for them every single Friday. As hard as I was working, I couldn’t save hardly anything. On top of all that, the roommate that I had at the time starting to try to sell drugs and move dumb ass crackhead bitches into the apartment, and I wasn’t planning on going to jail for nobody. So, I moved out a few days ago.
I got some family who are supposed to be trying to look out for me for the next few weeks til I can stack some bread and get another spot. But they live out in the country and all the good jobs are on Myrtle Beach. I have an interview this morning at a promising job on the beach, but my biggest issue is trying to figure out how I’m going to get to that job everyday, being that I rely on public transportation and none of the busses seem to run on the schedule that the job is going to be hiring me for.
The thing is, I’m not the only one going through homelessness in Horry County. Myrtle Beach homelessness that occurs because of greedy, spiteful landlords and evil hiring job managers just goes underreported, very underreported. Myrtle Beach is not really set up for the average working local person, and its been like that for years. For example, public transportation via Coast RTA only runs til about 7:30 at night. If you work a night job, say, down at the hospital, depending on where you live you may have to catch the 7:30 bus back home. But, for example, the daily paying temp People Ready gig I had helping in the kitchen at the hospital wants you to work til about 8:15 or 8:30. Then, when you have to leave early because 7:30 pm is the last bus, the lazy supervisors take it as you wanting to leave early. Then, they want to fire you because you can’t stay as late as they need you to.
That is exactly what happened to me. The last bus left at 7:30 p.m. from the hospital, and they wanted me to stay until 8:15. I asked would they give me a ride, and got no response. The hospital is on 82nd Avenue. I lived on 28th at the time. I’m not walking from 82nd to 28th Avenue. That would take hours, plus a cab will cost $35 to get from the hospital to 28th. If you are on that temp gig in the kitchen, and you only made $55 that shift, why would you want to spend $35 getting home? I got a ride with a coworker and stayed til after 8:00 pm whenever I could, but when I couldn’t I jumped on the bus.
Some people who don’t know a damn thing about Myrtle Beach think that the automatic solution is to just buy a car. But, think about it. That can make you even more financially trapped, especially if you’re a low-income worker. Now you are stuck with a car payment and insurance and, if you’ve got to pay all your rent by yourself and you’re working a low-income job, you might end up sleeping in that car, because now you’re in the situation where you have to choose between an apartment and driving because of your limited finances. I know plenty people in Myrtle Beach right now who are diligently working 40 or 50 hours a week, but who are sleeping in their cars, parking in different places every night, worrying about whether or not the police are going to wake him or her up and take them to jail for falling asleep in public.
The real solution is to get the public transportation better set up around here so that the local people can keep a job all year, or at least have a better means of getting back and forth to one. I mean, just take a look at Indeed, Craigslist, and all those other job sites. Most of the good paying jobs are in North Myrtle Beach, and the Coast RTA bus doesn’t go any further north than the hospital on 82nd.