BENEFITING: Grand Strand Autism Coalition
Oak Tree Farm will provide a community and housing for individuals with Autism and related Disabilities. Currently these citizens have no access to safe, affordable housing. The community will consist of 28 single-family homes with single room occupancy units in which individuals can rent, live with friends or personal care assistants, and participate in community events. Oak Tree Farm will be close to the Coast RTA bus route so residents can take public transportation to access employment, recreational activities, and other community resources.
Horry County citizens with developmental disabilities have no access to housing in the community. There is a severe lack of safe and sustainable housing for individuals with developmental disabilities in Horry County. SOS Health Care partnered with Coastal Carolina University’s Dr. Stephen Firsing, Ph.D, who is an Assistant Professor of Public Health and a statistician. Dr. Firsing conducted a secondary data study for SOS. In this study, he coordinated with Medicaid and learned that there are over 4,000 individuals with developmental disabilities in Horry County. The lack of resources leaves individuals at risk for placements in nursing homes and other unsuitable living conditions if the caretaker passes away.
Currently, the only way to receive a housing placement for an individual with a developmental disability is through a critical waiting list at the Department of Disabilities and Special Needs. The critical criterion plans only for those that find themselves homeless or soon to become homeless. According to the Horry County Disabilities and Special Needs website, there are only 66 beds in the county to serve what is now a population of over 4,000 developmentally disabled individuals. According to the Horry County Analysis of Impediments to Fair Housing Choice 2014, “Horry County’s vulnerable disabled population is facing a critical shortage of beds, services, and supports.”