Many folks around here who are living in poverty will sometimes go through small stints of homelessness in Myrtle Beach. I know I have, and after dealing with so many crooked landlords and bad jobs here, I have come to realize one thing… although I love Myrtle Beach, Myrtle Beach doesn’t love me back. Ok, maybe that is too harsh. No, I shouldn’t say that, because, when I needed certain people who were not a part of my professional life (like my friends and family) they were always there when everyone else was trying to knock me down. One of these people is my boy Al, and when I saw him on the Coast RTA bus this morning he was doing what I’m in the process of doing right now, which is moving away from Myrtle Beach.
When I left the Magistrates Office on 21st Ave., I walked to the bus transfer center, which is only like a mile or so away. When I got there, I saw a bunch of people that I always do on the way to their jobs, many of whom are among the working homeless in Myrtle Beach, and live at the weekly rental hotels that are not far from the bus stop. When I was about to get on the bus to Conway, I saw my boy Al, who had his luggage with him. When I asked him why, he told me that he was moving from the beach because the late rising waters of Hurricane Florence had flooded out his house, and it was unrecoverable.
I’d talked to Al a week or so ago, and he had been paying rent at a weekly rental motel. That day I was out and about in Myrtle Beach at the Aquarius Motel, looking for the victim who’d came to my bond hearing and told the judge I was innocent of assaulting him so that I could get his contact information for when I found a good lawyer. The thing was, I was staying out in Longs with my family, and my only ride back was my brother-in-law, who didn’t get off work until like 9 p.m. So, I needed a place to crash that afternoon. Al said that I was more than welcome to come by his spot when he got off work at 5:00. Things worked out where I ended up leaving the beach early, and I never came by Al’s. But it was good to know that I still had real friends and family who actually cared.
Al was on the way to the SC Works office in Conway to handle some business. Afterwards, he was going to catch a ride to Florence. “I got up this morning, thinking I could simply just come down here to the unemployment office, so I could take care of my unemployment benefits,” he said, “My job done laid us off, and it never hurts nobody to have a backup plan. So, I get down here, and the government office is closed, no response.”
A lot of things were happening to Al all at once, just like it was for me when I was almost out in Myrtle Beach homeless when I was wrongly evicted from the Aquarius Motel a couple of weeks ago. “Man, my house is under the damn water from the hurricane, plus I let somebody fix on my fucking car, and now my damn car down now. Ain’t no going back to the house. How do I feel? Shit, like I gotta start over a-damn-gain, that’s how I feel, fam. My house was outside the Conway area near Bucksport.”
When a hurricane hits, God doesn’t care if you’re black, white, brown, whatever. It was the worst time for the storm to happen though, being that it’s the dead season on the beach, and the low-income residents in the area are already struggling without a natural disaster adding to their troubles. “I was staying in hotels up until I got laid off the other day,” Al said. “I’m pretty much done with that, tired of spending up money in those high ass hotels. I’m going to take this time to check in with family while I’m in transition. When February hits, I’m right back at it, fam. Ya’ll keep ya’ll head up out there, and keep believing in God, man. No matter what.”
Al just got some land, and is going to be just fine. That goes to show that, just because many of us are currently going through a small gap of homelessness in Myrtle Beach, there are still lots of wonderful blessings going on in our lives, we are moving forward, and God is still providing, every day.