Rebecca, 64, grew up in East Hampton, NY before coming to Myrtle Beach almost 30 years ago. After moving to North Carolina for a marriage that ended in divorce, she came back to the beach and began renting a room. Paying $400 a month to rent a room and doing housework to make ends meet, Rebecca lost her housing when her landlord decided to move and sell the property she was living in. Hopeful, she found another job and planned to use her social security check to keep a roof over her head at a hotel. That didn’t work out, as Rebecca’s living expenses soon exceeded her income and she became homeless. “I was out on the beach for almost two weeks with my luggage… I would sleep all day on the beach and then get up and walk the beach all night long to keep safe.” A community member noticed Rebecca was living on the beach, took her to the Police Station, and the MBPD connected her with the Woman’s Shelter.
After coming to our shelter in May 2019, Rebecca immediately got to work getting a reinstated ID, applying for food stamps, and getting a part-time job. Within a few months, she moved into Snug Harbor, our transitional living program for women. Although she made tremendous progress in a short period of time, Rebecca wasn’t without her setbacks. In the spring of 2020, she was unable to start a new job due to COVID-19. That job ultimately fell through, but after a few months she was able to regain employment. Of her challenges she says; “my life has not been a bed of roses but what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”. In August 2020 after working and waiting several months, Rebecca moved out into her own apartment. “I’ve never lived by myself… Even now that I’m in my 60s, I wanted a better life and a place to call my own, something to be proud of. Now, having successfully escaped homelessness, her desire is that others will do the same. “I cannot stress enough how grateful I am for your program. The program does work if you work the program… A lot of people don’t know better because all they know is the streets. It’s hard to break the cycle, that vicious cycle. I’m proving that you can do it. I know the struggle I went through. But I made it, I’m proud, and I thank New Directions.”