HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WBTW) – A Horry County shelter is gearing up to help those who may lose their home once the federal eviction moratorium ends.

The eviction moratorium, which is set to expire on July 31, will not be extended and New Directions of Horry County says it’s already seen more people coming to the shelter to get help.

With the pressure of seeing new people coming in, Kathy Jenkins with New Directions said they are trying to get the expansion of the men’s shelter finished as soon as possible.

The expansion was expected to start a few weeks back but officials said they ran into a problem with a water main so now the construction should start Monday.

“We have really been trying to get this project underway. Once they get started, the construction company has estimated that it will take 6 to 8 weeks. We don’t have to worry too much about the weather except with regard to the water main. We are just trying to be prepared as best as we can,” Jenkins said.

Jenkins said painting the inside of the shelter is the first step of the expansion project. The shelter operated on a waitlist of 40 to 50 people before the pandemic.

While its numbers dipped during the lockdown, they are starting to tick back up now that unemployment benefits are expiring and stimulus payments have run out.

“There has been stimulus money. There have been extra unemployment benefits so just in the last month or so, we have seen a number of new people coming in joining our program,” Jenkins said.

Jenkins said with the expansion, there will be room for more than 70 beds and 6 bathrooms. That way the shelter can help as many people as possible.