As the unexpected rising river flood waters caused by Hurricane Florence continue to cause many families to become temporarily homeless on the Grand Strand, these people are having to shell out sometimes large amounts of money spontaneously just to find immediate shelter. If they aren’t lucky enough to get to one of the cheap weekly rental motels, they’ll probably have to spend a lot of money on a condo for a few days. Chances are, they may be dipping into money that they didn’t really want to spend, such as funds they had set aside for food. If you are in need of emergency groceries, you can go to Helping Hands at 1411 Mr. Joe White Avenue in Myrtle Beach.
Some people think that you have to actually be experiencing full Grand Strand homelessness in order to obtain services from this agency, but that’s just not true. All you have to be is honestly in need of help, and they’ll do the best they can to assist you. I recently found out that if you are a person with a disability, then you could come in more times for groceries in a span of two months. A person like me who is single with no disability who is just very low on funds after Hurricane Florence is only allowed to get groceries from Helping Hands once every sixty days.
When you first get to the office, you sign in on the sheet and have a seat until they call your name, which is normally just a few minutes after you get through the door. They’ll then call you up to the desk to give them your address, along with the number of people in your household. Then, they’ll give you a sheet that has lists of food on it where you can check off what you want. At that point, you’ll wait in the lobby until one of the caseworkers calls your name. When they do, you’ll go to the back with them for a few minutes and sign one more sheet, the one that has your last visit to Helping Hands for groceries recorded. In my case, my sixty days had passed, so I received a little square piece of paper with a number written on it. When they called it, I went to the back and got the groceries the nice ladies so graciously provided me with.
In the past, even if I was homeless on the Grand Strand, I always had a place where I could go cook on a stove. It’s better if you’re low-income with a stove when getting food from Helping Hands, because they’ll give you better groceries. Plus, being able to cook will allow you to prepare sometimes larger servings of food, and your food will last much longer. For example, in addition to the cookies, bananas, canned goods and starch items that I received, I was provided with uncooked chicken, sausage, and beef patties.
If you haven’t been to Helping Hands in a long time, you’ll notice a change in the building when you get there. The entrance is not at the front of the building anymore, it’s on the side through that door where you used to be able to go in to use the phone. You’ll see it, because now they have a security guard outside, something that I’ve never seen before in all the years that I’ve went to Helping Hands. Their offices are also totally remodeled to better serve the low-income and homeless on the Grand Strand.