I remember back in late 2012 when I was like semi homeless in Myrtle Beach and living at this weekly rental motel called Shady Rest. It’s located at 19th Avenue South and Ocean Boulevard in Myrtle Beach. I’d gotten into it with a roommate that I had up the street at Beach Walk Motel, they’d moved out, and I was left with too much rent to pay for that large two bedroom apartment by myself. If it was the summer, I would have been able to do it. But it was the dead season, and I wasn’t making enough money that time of year. I turned in the key at the front desk and started looking up and down Ocean Blvd. for smaller rooms since the homeless shelters were packed full as usual, and because Beach Walk didn’t have any small rooms vacant that I could move into.
The old motel wasn’t anything fancy to put it lightly. But, when you’re out in Myrtle Beach damn near homeless, you gotta find someplace to go. I mean, I was working, and I had money coming in. It was just hell trying to find an affordable room for rent! I got to Shady Rest, and the old white lady behind the counter said the rooms were $150 weekly with no deposit, which was an attractive deal, being that most weekly rentals wanted a big deposit upon moving in. I remember only having about $100 in cash on me, and I told her I could have the rest to her in a day or so. At the time, I had a gig doing door-to-door canvassing with Weed Man Landscaping, and I had just started making okay money writing, like a few hundred bucks a month.
It was only her in the office behind the desk, along with this very old white man who sat in this chair all day looking around the property from that same chair, in that same spot, every day (I found out later that he was the guy who owned the place). Being that they were letting me stay there being short $50, I was grateful. I introduced myself, and told them both where I worked, just making conversation and letting them know that I wasn’t a drug dealer or doing anything illegal to make money.
When I told them I was canvassing that was acceptable, but when I said that I also wrote articles for money, they looked at me funny. I remember the old man, who had to be in his late seventies or early eighties, saying to me with his old-timey, deep southern draw, “Well that ain’t no jooobb!” But, if it had not been for that $100 of writing money, I wouldn’t have had that room right then and there, and they wouldn’t have let me in. I look back on it today, and realize that he was actually right, it’s not a job, it’s a career, a passion, a Gift from God, one that’s allowed me to make money when I needed it when no jobs were hiring in Myrtle Beach.
The lady behind the desk told me that no visitors were allowed. I said, “What?” She reassured me that tenants could actually have visitors, but that lots of traffic wasn’t good. Anybody that knows that side of the beach knows that there is a lot of prostitution around there, drug dealing etc. She said that they just put that rule in place, just in case anything was to happen. That way, the hotel could cover its ass, and couldn’t be held responsible for anything illegal that happened there. But, in actuality, anybody who lived there could have company. I was like “Okay, because I have a girlfriend, and family who may come by from time to time.” She told me that wouldn’t be a problem, so I got my room key and went upstairs.
What I saw over the next few weeks made me feel like I was living in a homeless shelter in Myrtle Beach. And, I got to witness it a lot during the hours of 9 to 5 when that office at Shady Rest was open, because I was actually at home during those hours writing articles for online clients to pay my rent. Every time someone would walk up on the property, the old lady at the front desk would run out of the office and say “Whoa, Whoa, where you going?” The person would say something like, “I’m going to visit so and so…” and she’d be like, “There are no visitors allowed here.” I stayed there for as long as I had to, but then I left Shady Rest as soon as possible, especially after talking to the neighbors and many of them telling me that they’d been staying there for years and never were able to take visitors, at least not without some type of hassle that made their visitors feel uncomfortable, like they were being watched the whole time they were there.
If somebody’s paying you rent, what right do you have to tell them them that they can’t have visitors? There are also a lot of people in and around Horry County on Craigslist who rent rooms out of their homes, and put on the Craigslist post that there are no visitors allowed. Let me be clear…not no overnight guests, I mean no visitors AT ALL. What kinda shit is that?? In my opinion, if you don’t trust a person enough for them to have visitors, then you shouldn’t be renting them the room. I’ve rented out rooms before, and I never have done anything like that. You should look at their character, see that they are a legit, working, decent person, and not take their money then try to make them live a enclosed life, like they are an animal or something.
I just wanted to tell y’all that there are places like that down here. So, when you come to Myrtle Beach, be sure that you know the exact rules of the place that you are gonna be living in before you pay for it, especially if you’re renting the room long-term. There are some controlling people with weird mental issues down here.
This was my first post in weeks. Happy New Year y’all. Just because I took a holiday break, don’t think I’m not still focused on the issue of Myrtle Beach homelessness; everything is still rolling.