Oak Tree Farm

Oak Tree Farm symbolizes strength of character and courage. Oak Tree Farm will be an affordable housing community designed for individuals with autism and intellectual disabilities. The community will include access to transportation, life skills training, an amenities center, a swimming pool, on-site laundry facilities, and more. Oak Tree Farm will provide housing for adult individuals with autism and related disabilities. 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.
Many of these individuals are unable to work and rely solely on SSI. Individuals who are able to work can often work only part time due to issues related to their disability. In addition, due to issues related to their disability, this population is frequently only able to work in minimum wage, entry level positions. People with disabilities are vulnerable to poverty. According to the Horry County Analysis of Impediments to Fair Housing Choice 2014, in South Carolina in 2011, 30.2% of people with a disability aged 21-64 were living below the poverty line. Only 28% were employe

Renderings / Floorplans

Oak Tree Farm FAQ’s

  • What Is Oak Tree Farm?

    Oak Tree Farm is an interdependent low-income housing development exclusively for people with autism, intellectual disabilities, and developmental disabilities. There is currently a 5-bedroom duplex onsite and the Chapin Health and Wellness Center and 3 apartment buildings. Each of the apartment buildings will house 24 people in 1-, 2-, and 3-bedroom units. Each bedroom is lockable and will have its own private bathroom.

    Oak Tree Farm is designed for people who are mostly independent. They can stay alone at home for days at a time. They might need help with meal planning or grocery shopping, but they prepare most meals for themselves. They can take medication without help, but they might need assistance with loading a pillbox and reordering prescriptions. They might have a part-time job but need help with getting back and forth. There will be no direct care staff to help with transportation or activities of daily living, so families will be required to have a plan for assisting their tenant with anything they cannot complete themselves

  • Where is it located?

    Oak Tree Farm is located on Oak Tree Farm Lane in Conway, SC.

  • Can we visit? Can we tour an apartment?

    Now, we don’t have any vacant apartments, but you are welcome to examine the floor plans available on our website. Curious future residents are welcome to stop by and look at the current buildings and with permission from a current resident we will be able to show you what the apartments are like on the inside. We will be starting new buildings and visitors are not allowed to walk around the active construction site or its surroundings. You are welcome to park in the lot left of the entrance and walk on the sidewalk and paved road. If you would like to look at photos documenting the second phase that was completed in April, 2024, we have started a Google Photos album here.

  • What is Oak Tree Prep?

    This is a mandatory 8-week twice weekly class that meets both online on Zoom and in person at one of our Oak Tree Farm locations. Oak Tree Farm Prep allows us to provide skills instruction through the lens of living independently, with roommates, and in a dynamic and exciting campus environment. By the end of classes, attendees will have a greater understanding of the skills, hard work, and patience that will be required to live with very few supports. At the same time, staff are able to assess future resident’s readiness, aptitude, maturity, and initiative to live by themselves. Upon successful completion, the Oak Tree Farm Prep attendee will be able to apply to live at Oak Tree Farm and receive other services through our organization, such as housing case management and mental health counseling. They will also receive a housing waitlist number, which identifies their position in waiting for a vacancy. As this move-in dates approaches, they will receive updates for staff and invitations to enroll in other programs to help hone their skills and further prepare for their success at Oak Tree Farm.

Application Process

  • How do I apply?

    There are a couple of steps.  First, we ask people to complete our “Oak Tree Farm Survey” found here.  You can enter the contact information and other details of the person interested in living at Oak Tree.  We will then use this information to send out project updates, helpful community referrals, and invite people to our Supportive Living program.

  • What is Supportive Living?

    This is a mandatory 8-week twice weekly class that meets both online on Zoom and in person at one of our Myrtle Beach locations. Supportive Living allows us to provide free skills instruction through the lens of living independently, with roommates, and in a dynamic and exciting campus environment. By the end of classes, attendees will have a greater understanding of the skills, hard work, and patience that will be required to live with very few supports. At the same time, staff are able to assess future resident’s readiness, aptitude, maturity, and initiative to live by themselves. Upon successful completion, the Supportive Living attendee will be able to apply to live at Oak Tree Farm and receive other services through our organization, such as housing case management and mental health counseling. They will also receive a housing waitlist number, which identifies their position in waiting for a vacancy. As this move-in dates approaches, they will receive updates for staff and invitations to enroll in other programs to help hone their skills and further prepare for their success at Oak Tree Farm.

  • I filled out the information on the website. Did that go through? Am I now on the waitlist and if so, where am I?

    If you submitted information for either yourself or a family member, we are now tracking that on our Interest List.

Construction and Buildings

  • Did OTF break ground yet?

    As of March 2023, construction is well underway!  After the foundation to the first apartment building was poured, crews immediately began framing and they are now working on the second story.  Updates from the builder suggest that they will start roofing in very early April.  Work on the next building will start soon thereafter.  If you would like to see construction photos, please check out our Google Photos album!

  • When will OTF be completed?

    The apartments and health and wellness center will be completed around January/February 2024

  • Will there be security systems for each apartment?

    We are currently looking into camera systems outside of the buildings or at the entrance of the community. Home security will not be provided. If families would like to install a small aftermarket security system (ex. Ring doorbell mounted outside of the door), they are able to at their own expense.

Apartments and Units

  • Are the apartments furnished? Can you bring your own furniture?

    SOS will be providing living room furniture, kitchen appliances, and other needs, such as dishes and pots/pans, and silverware. There will be a small refrigerator, microwave and small sink in the bedrooms, other small appliances will not be provided.

    Residents will furnish bedroom furniture and bathroom supplies. Well before moving in, we will provide a list of what is supplied and what residents would need to bring.

  • How will we know if our furniture will fit?

    You are welcome to look at the floorplans located on the Oak Tree Farm webpage.  These are also able to be downloaded for ease of use.  The majority of Oak Tree Farm residents will be in a two-bedroom apartment and each bedroom is 175 square feet.

  • What if something breaks?  Will the resident be responsible?

    Residents will be coached in how to perform maintenance chores, such as changing light bulbs, replacing batteries in their smoke detectors, and exchanging HVAC filters.

    As other issues occur, residents will be able to complete a maintenance request towards needs in their apartment.  Examples range from the dishwasher not draining properly or the toilet running after it has filled. Tenants will not be liable for routine maintenance or unforeseen problems. If there is a maintenance issue that is the clear result of negligence or unintended use, residents may be held at fault and liable for repairs.

  • Will there be inspections?

    Yes, there will be quarterly inspections of resident’s units. We will be monitoring apartments for general upkeep, pests, and to determine if there is anything that needs to be fixed or replaced. Inspections are also used to ensure that there are no lease violations. These may include tobacco use within the apartment, the presence of unauthorized guests, etc. Notices of inspections will be sent to the residents in a timely manner prior to the inspections being completed. The residents don’t necessarily need to be at the apartment when inspections are being completed, but it is highly encouraged.

  • Will there be fire drills?

    Yes, there will be fire drills, and there will be smoke/carbon monoxide detectors throughout each apartment. Staff will test these quarterly to ensure they are working properly.

Oak Tree Farm Staff

  • What staff will be onsite?

    Staff offices will be located at the front of the property at the Chapin Health and Wellness Center. The Oak Tree Farm Program Manager will be based there throughout the week. SOS Care will also have a Housing Case Manager, Recreation Coordinator, an Independent Living Skills Coordinator, as well as mental health counselors and a visiting nurse throughout the week.

  • Who is the Oak Tree Farm Program Manager?

    The OTF Program Manager is responsible for the daily managerial oversight of the housing facilities, the programs held onsite, and the SOS Care staff based there. They are responsible for providing support towards tenant leasing, housing waitlist, and property maintenance. And helps residents make connections with other residents, community resources, and potentially their families. Most times this is seeking assistance from the case manager regarding benefits, food assistance, transportation, employment, etc. Cathi Brong is the Oak Tree Farm Program Manager, and he can be reached at cbrong@sosCareSC.org or 843-907-5552.

  • What is a Housing Case Manager?

    A staff member that helps residents make connections with residents, community resources, and potentially their families. Most times this is seeking assistance from the case manager regarding benefits, food assistance, transportation, employment, etc. This is a free service for all OTF residents. Housing Case Manager is Mallory Laravie and she can be reached at mlaravie@sosCareSC.org or 843-603-1399.

  • What is a Recreation Coordinator?

    Oak Tree Farm will have a recreation program onsite and they will be working to provide almost daily activities designed to get residents out of their homes and participating in social events with one another. The majority of these will be held on the property and they might range from cooking lessons, video game tournaments, yoga lessons, movie nights, pool parties, scavenger hunts, and more!

  • What happens if there is an emergency? What will someone do if they are locked out in the middle of the night?

    There will be a caretaker who will live on-site and will be available after business hours and on weekends for things that the on-call team needs additional help. If someone should be locked out of their apartment, this staff member will be able to let them inside. If a tenant reports that an appliance has stopped working, the resident may file a maintenance request for follow-up on the next business day.

  • Will there be staff available to assist the residents with their medication, laundry, grocery shopping, or meal preparation?

    No, there will be no direct care onsite to assist people with activities of daily living. Oak Tree Farm is designed for people who are mostly independent, perhaps 65-70% able to meet all their overall needs. SOS Care is planning a Supported Living complex at Oak Tree Farm in the future. This will provide 24/7 staffing for residents who require additional assistance, but this facility will not be operational for a couple of years.

Leases/House Rules

  • Can parents/guardians co-sign leases?

    No, unless the parent or guardian still has guardianship rights for the resident.

  • How long can someone live at Oak Tree Farm?

    That depends on their goals, which will be something that is discussed prior to moving in. For some, Oak Tree is a short-term solution. They are interested in developing skills and meeting new people with the eventual goal of having an apartment of their own. Other people may not have a plan to move out. They know that OTF would support them to live independently in the community and that is the only goal for the moment. In either case, there is no time limit in living at Oak Tree Farm.

  • Is there a curfew?

    No, but there is quiet time that begins at 10:00pm.

  • Can residents spend nights away with family?

    Yes. Many current Oak Tree tenants spend weekends away with their family or travel out-of-state for the holidays.

  • Can residents invite other residents to their apartments?

    Yes, of course. You can invite friends and family members to come join you to hang out in your apartment. You can have guests over for dinner or to watch a movie.

Room Selections

  • How many bedrooms are per apartment?

    In each building there will be 2 one bedroom apartments, 8 two bedroom apartments, and 2 three bedroom apartments. All bedrooms are lockable and have their own private bathroom.

  • Will residents be able to choose who they want to live with?

    Residents among the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd 24 groups can all chat with each other and determine if they may want to be roommates. Residents can request who they may want to live with.

  • Who selects roommates?

    Starting in January the team has been asking future residents for updated income verification documents. One component of pairing people will be based on income and a formal questionnaire sheet asking resident preferences to best match roommates.

  • How will apartments be selected?

    People who require accommodations will be assigned apartments first based on specific needs (ex. Someone who struggles with mobility needs to be on the ground floor).

Benefits

  • When should we apply for the Housing Authority Voucher?

    Once approved, mainstream housing vouchers must be used within 90 days. Because of this fact, we are asking future Oak Tree Farm residents to wait until 30-45 days of moving in until they apply for this federal benefit. SOS Care and the Housing Authority of Myrtle Beach are working together to better organize this process. Anyone who is interested in more information is welcome to contact their offices and please identify yourself as working with Oak Tree Farm.

  • How do we apply for SNAP benefits?

    You are able to apply for SNAP benefits in a couple of ways. The most traditional method is to apply in-person at your local county Department of Social Services office. In Horry County, they are available in Myrtle Beach or Conway and those offices can be found on this website. You can also apply online through the DSS Benefits Portal found here. You should also know that if you are already eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI), you are eligible to receive SNAP benefits without applying at the DSS office. You can find more information about that on the “Help for the Disabled” website.

Rent and Utilities

  • How much is the rent?

    Rent 475.00 for a three bedroom, 575.00 for a two bedroom and 875.00 for a one bedroom a month and this will include electricity, water, and trash collection. There is a housing voucher that residents can apply for which will help cover a portion of their rent.

  • Is the internet an additional utility bill?

    OTF will have internet available, but it will only be enough for operations and maybe for residents to check emails (not a strong source of internet). If you want a higher speed internet then yes it will be an additional cost. Cable is not provided, but can be obtained and paid for separately by the apartment residents.

Transportation

  • Will there be a sidewalk down from OTF to Hwy 501?

    Yes, the City of Conway has confirmed that they will be building a sidewalk that connects housing developments up and down Medlin Parkway. This will occur as quickly as Oak Tree Farm and these other developments are being built and coming online.

  • What transportation is available for OTF residents?

    SOS Care employees will not be driving any residents to the grocery store, it is the resident’s responsibility to figure out how to go shopping. Some options for transportation include:

    • Coast RTA
    • Paratransit
    • Uber
    • Another resident who has a license
    • Parent/guardian
    • A local community volunteer
    • Walking
    • Bicycle
  • How far is the closest bus stop?

    There is a bus stop near the mailboxes inside of OTF, the OTF bus route is on route one.

Employment

  • Will OTF have a list of potential employers in the community for residents?

    SOS employment services can help make connections with employers in Conway. Job coaching services can be available through a waiver or $125 a month for our adult programs (independent skills, recreation, employment services).

  • Will there be opportunity for employment at OTF?

    The answer right now is we are not sure. A lot of employment opportunities at SOS for adults with disabilities are volunteer (more aligned with job training).

Pets

  • Are animals allowed?

    Yes, animals are allowed! There is a $150 pet fee, which is waived if the animal is a support animal (documentation is required). All animals must have proof of up to date vaccinations. Dogs must be at least one year old. Residents must be able to properly care for their animal - feed, walk, pick up after, etc, and their animal cannot interfere with the peaceful enjoyment of others in the community (such as excessive barking, aggression, etc). New residents will need to be paired with roommates who are agreeable (and not allergic!) to having pets in their apartment.

OTF Activities and Events

  • Is there a staff person in charge of events and activities?

    Oak Tree Farm will have a recreation program onsite and the Recreation Coordinator will be working to provide almost daily activities designed to get residents out of their homes and participating in social events with one another. The majority of these will be held on the property and at the Health and Wellness Center. These might range from cooking lessons, video game tournaments, yoga lessons, movie nights, pool parties, scavenger hunts, and more! Enrollment in the Recreation Program is not included in the lease and will require an additional monthly fee.

  • Will the Health and Wellness Center be built at the same time as the apartments?

    Yes. The aim is to have the health and wellness center completed and staff in place prior to any tenants moving in.

  • What will be at the Health and Wellness center?

    There will be a gym, kitchen, modular spaces, sensory and recreation rooms, as well as a pool in the rear of the building (lifeguard not provided). Our staff offices will be based through part of the building, too.

  • What will be on the walking trail?

    The walking trail will be around the community and it will be incorporated into our health programming at OTF. We are not sure about the length of the trail at this time, but this will be posted.

  • Will SOS Care have opportunities for residents to go to CCU for events?

    Essentially, yes. The SOS Care van will be at OTF and can be used to go to CCU for events based on the number of residents who may be interested in an event. However, the resident is responsible for obtaining their own tickets and other expenses.

  • Are there opportunities for networking between future residents?

    For future OTF residents we will have meet and greets when new building open as well as a committee to welcome new members. We consider it a priority for people to have the opportunity to get to know one another well before they move to Oak Tree.

  • Will there be field trips?

    It has not been discussed at this time.

    SOS FAQs

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Autism Services Provider - SOS Care