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 employed.
Visit our facebook page for construction status update
Renderings / Floorplans
- Apply to Live @ OTF
- Oak Tree Farm FAQ Tab
Oak Tree Farm FAQ’s
Oak Tree Farm is an interdependent low-income housing development exclusively for people with autism, intellectual disabilities, and developmental disabilities. At the moment, there is a 5-bedroom duplex onsite and by early 2024, this will expand to include 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 are able to 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.
Oak Tree Farm is located on Oak Tree Farm Lane in Conway, SC.
At the moment, its apartment buildings are under construction and there are no apartments to tour, but you are welcome to examine the floor plans available on our website.
Curious future residents are welcome to stop by and take a look at the progress so far. Visitors are not allowed to walk around the active construction site or its surroundings. We also request that you do not disturb the duplex residents. 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 progress, we have started a Google Photos album here.
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.
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.
If you submitted information for either yourself or a family member, we are now tracking that on our Interest List.
Construction and Buildings:
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!
The apartments and health and wellness center will be completed around January/February 2024
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:
SOS will be providing living room furniture, kitchen appliances, and other needs, such as dishes and pots/pans, and silverware. There will be a refrigerator and small sink in the bedrooms, but a microwave or other small appliances will not be provided.
Residents will furnish bedroom furniture and bathroom supplies. Well before move-in, we will provide a list of what is supplied and what residents would need to bring.
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.
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.
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.
No, there won’t be fire drills, but 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:
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.
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. Paul Icatar is the Oak Tree Farm Program Manager and he can be reached at [email protected] or 854-855-0303.
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 [email protected] or 843-603-1399.
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! Enrollment in the Recreation Program is not included in the lease and will require an additional monthly fee.
SOS Care will have an employee who will live on-site and will be on-call after business hours and on weekends. 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, this staff person will be able to respond accordingly, document the incident, and file a maintenance request for follow-up on the next business day.
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 of their overall needs. SOS Care is planning for 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 online for several years.
No, unless the parent or guardian still has guardianship rights for the resident.
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.
No, but there will be House Rules on when disruptive activity and noise across the property will need to stop.
Yes. Many current Oak Tree tenants spend weekends away with their family or travel out-of-state for the holidays.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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:
Rent is estimated to be approximately $500-$525 a month and this will include electricity, water, and trash collection. There is a housing voucher that residents can apply for which covers 70% of rent (leaving $150 a month for rent).
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.
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.
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
- Another resident who has a license
- A local community volunteer
Estimated to be about a 12 minute walk, the stop is close to the front of Conway High School. We are hoping to have a bus stop in front of OTF, but we do not have a say in regard to which route the OTF bus stop will be on. The OTF bus route is determined by the city.
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).
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).
Animals are allowed, a pet policy is being developed. Most likely there will be a pet deposit and description of the pet (breed, size, weight, etc). Support and services animals will be allowed. Service animals are exclusively dogs for someone with hearing or vision issues, any other animals would be considered support animals. What documentation regarding a support animal is not clear at the moment, but may just include any documentation stating that the animal in particular is a support animal.
How many pets are allowed? TBD (most apartments only allow 2 or 3 animals per apartment)
OTF Activities and Events:
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.
Yes. The aim is to have the health and wellness center completed and staff in place prior to any tenants moving in.
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.
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.
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.
There are near-monthly Zoom calls for families and future residents to attend and catch up on the latest Oak Tree Farm news. In-person meetups will be scheduled quarterly for families and future neighbors to meet each other. We consider it a priority for people to have the opportunity to get to know one another well before they move to Oak Tree.
It has not been discussed at this time.