Sea Haven, Inc.

City: 
North Myrtle Beach
State: 
South Carolina

Organization Name:  Sea Haven, Inc.

City, State:  North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

Website:  www.seahaveninc.com

Contact Name:  Christina B. Jackson

Title:  Executive Director

Phone Number:  843-399-4045

E-Mail Address:  cbjack@sccoast.net

Facebook url:  https://facebook.com/seahaveninc

Twitter url:  https://twitter.com/seahaveninc

Which RHY funded program do you currently operate?  Sea Haven Transitional Living Program and Sea Haven Basic Center Program.  The Sea Haven Street Outreach Program was just awarded funding for the 2016-2017 cycle after three years without funding.

How long has your agency provided RHY services?  Sea Haven has been in operation for over 36 years, with the RHY Basic Center in operation for over 20+ years and the Sea Haven TLP and Street Outreach in operation for over 15 years.

Briefly describe your service area:  The program service area for Sea Haven includes the entire Grand Strand in North Myrtle Beach and Myrtle Beach, Horry County and surrounding counties, and rural areas more inland from the coast.

What are some of the aspects of your program that you would highlight as successful?  The Sea Haven Street Outreach Center has not received RHY funding for the past 3 years; however, Sea Haven has sustained the program providing full drop in services, outreach efforts, case management, and referral services.  In conjunction with the Transitional Living Program, Sea Haven has established more than just a ‘drop in’ center for youth to include:

  • Increased safety plans and alternatives to leave the streets by tracking the number of contacts during outreach efforts ultimately encouraging the youth to come to the center;
  • Increasing outreach efforts to include a new bicycle outreach effort in order to get to youth faster and easier along the beach and boulevards;
  • Housing opportunities through a HUD CoC Rapid Re-Housing Project which covers rental assistance for up to one year for a minimum of 10 youth, and has provided a position for a Housing Case Manager who works to establish relationships with local landlords, realty companies, and other housing units and works closely with youth to sustain housing units after the one-year period;
  • A strong partnership with the Sisters of Charity Foundation to provide rental and security deposits for housing; (approved grants for 2016 and 2017)
  • Vocational Job Readiness Program where numerous partnerships have been established with local businesses to provide paid apprenticeships for youth, giving hands on experience in the work force;
  • Opportunities to showcase talented youth through a partnership with Hootie and the Blowfish Foundation to purchase musical instruments, giving youth the opportunity for music lessons and amateur night performances at a local Fresh Brew Coffee House. 
  • The opportunity to host a 2nd workshop about human trafficking and exploitation of youth titled “Our Youth are not for Sale”.  Sea Haven also participated in a community forum in October 2016 with the Attorney General and other experts in the field of Human Trafficking.

The Sea Haven Basic Center has currently moved to a newly constructed home where the youth will have over 7 acres of land and more privacy during h/her stay.

A sponsorship “Adopt a Room” program was launched and every room in the new house was adopted with new furniture and items.  The program is licensed for up to 16 beds.  The community support is overwhelming for all of the Sea Haven programs.

Sea Haven has recently implemented a tutoring project through the Dept. of Education Title 1 program and has seen a definite increase in the performance of youth after entering the program.  A Job Readiness component currently provides information for those youth who will not finish high school or attend college.

As a result of Sea Haven’s ongoing long time membership with the local Continuum of Care, ECHO (Eastern Carolina Homelessness Organization), Sea Haven has received funding through HUD and the Emergency Solutions Grant.  HMIS training and technical assistance is consistently provided for all Sea Haven staff with constant communication about data reports and needs for the program.  Sea Haven is participating in the Coordinated Entry System and the Sea Haven TLP/SO is currently an access site for the CES.  Staff are trained to administer the V-SPIDAT screening tool for those youth referred through the CES.  Sea Haven has maintained an outstanding working relationship with the local CoC and their response to the needs of the organization have been amazing.   Sea Haven would like to spotlight our outstanding Continuum of Care (Eastern Coalition Homelessness Organization) which covers over 12 counties in South Carolina.

What are some of the challenges you have faced as an RHY Grantee?  The biggest challenge Sea Haven has faced is not receiving the SO award for the past 3 years and still scoring high in the competition.  However, through constant awareness campaigns and social giving campaigns, Sea Haven sustained the SO program that is so needed in the area and the only one of its kind in South Carolina.  Other challenges over the past years, have been the lack of housing for youth which is why Sea Haven applied for the HUD CoC FY 2015 funding and recently renewed the application FY 2016. 

Please share a short story of success, keeping in mind the confidentiality of all involved.  Staff met Sarah (19) while living in the woods with her boyfriend.  After their tent city was destroyed by the city, Sarah lived in a storage unit for about one month.  After saving enough money to move to apartment, she is paying her own rent (received Sisters of Charity grant for rental and utility deposits), graduated from high school, taking some college courses and working.  Staff have reconnected Sarah with her father who is fixing up a vehicle for her because she currently rides a bicycle (given through the bicycle program at Sea Haven) everywhere she goes.  She is preparing for her driver’s license test through a program that provides major discounts for Sea Haven for Driver’s Ed training.  Sarah is amazing and willing to do anything to help the program out.  She is our first “Youth Ambassador” who peer mentors with other program youth.  Sea Haven is currently working on a plan to have Sarah work in the Basic Center alongside veteran staff because she wants to learn to help other youth.

Sadie (age 19) was left in a hotel room by her mother and brought to Sea Haven by the motel staff.   Sadie was very willing to work with the program and began working and currently lives in her own apartment and will be starting college next semester at Horry Georgetown Technical College.  She is preparing for her driver’s license test and has already purchased a vehicle with the guidance of Sea Haven.

Sea Haven would not have the access to affordable housing and rental assistance without the partnership with the local CoC and funding from HUD and other funding sources.

What information or experience would you be willing to share with other grantees?  Sea Haven is open to sharing any information or experience in order to help another RHY agency excel in meeting the needs of youth.  Most importantly agencies need to understand the importance of a sustainability plan, resiliency, effective outreach efforts, and focusing on the specific mission of the organization.

What information would be helpful for you to receive from other grantees?  Sea Haven is currently experimenting with different ideas to keep the Basic Center alive and motivated to go beyond just providing emergency placement.  We would love ideas on how agencies are doing this keeping in mind a smaller budgeted organization and short term placement.  

Sea Haven Staff

Sea Haven Staff II