Clean of Heart opens in Grand Strand

MYRTLE BEACH—Homeless people along the Grand Strand now have a permanent place where they can wash their clothes and enjoy a hot shower.

Catholic Charities has officially opened the newest branch of its popular Clean of Heart program in Myrtle Beach. The outreach, which offers laundry services and showers for homeless men and women, first opened in Columbia in 2011. Since then it has served hundreds in the capital city.

Myrtle Beach was chosen for the new location because of the area’s growing homeless population. This is fueled by people who are drawn to the beach and who come in search of jobs in the tourist industry, which are often low-paying and temporary or seasonal.

Clean of Heart is located at 1005 Osceola St., adjacent to New Directions for Men, an established agency that works on a long-term basis with the homeless.

Bishop Robert E. Guglielmone led the official ribbon-cutting ceremony on Sept. 5, and the facility opened its doors to serve its first clients on Sept. 10. Michele Borbely, disaster case management supervisor at the Pee Dee Office of Catholic Charities in Conway, said the first day of operations went smoothly. The facility washed four loads of laundry and provided three hot showers for clients.

Borbely noted that the addition of Clean of Heart to the list of services for the homeless is especially important along the Grand Strand, because studies show that about 10 percent of the homeless population in South Carolina on any given day can be found in Myrtle Beach and Horry County.

Clean of Heart is open 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Thursday. To make an appointment for laundry services, call 843-531-5535, extension 44. Clients may also stop by the facility to see if walk-in appointments are available, or to make a future appointment for service.

Photo provided: Bishop Robert E. Guglielmone cuts a ribbon at the grand opening ceremony on Sept. 5 for a new Clean of Heart facility in Myrtle Beach.