Our History …
In 2009, a group of concerned citizens (many of whom were instrumental in putting together the multi-service building that houses United Way and other community service organizations) began praying and talking extensively about Greenwood’s need for a homeless shelter that could serve both the city and its surrounding neighborhoods. As they began talking among themselves, and with others, more and more people began to realize the important local challenge presented by homelessness.
In the winter of 2010-2011, St. Mark’s United Methodist Church and 170 sacrificial volunteers opened a cold weather shelter, initially planning to operate each night the temperature dropped below 32 degrees. But, 32 degrees is pretty chilly, and in February of 2011, St. Mark’s reset the standard for opening the shelter at 40 degrees. During the four cold weather months, the church provided 474 night’s stay for 38 different men; some came every night the shelter was opened, others for only a night or two. The next year, Main Street United Methodist Church opened their doors to provide cold weather shelter for women and children. However, the church found this to be a challenging process. Sadly, many women stopped coming because they had no place to go the next morning, and the women’s shelter services were eventually discontinued. In January of 2013, Pathway purchased part of the Abney Memorial Baptist campus and renovated it for a men’s shelter. We then became the new hub for homeless men in need of cold weather shelter, absorbing St. Mark’s ministry and partnering with them to maintain our volunteers.
In April of 2014, with the completion of the Furnishing a Future shop, Pathway took the next step by asking Ken Kelly (the VP of Adult Ministries at Miracle Hill Ministries in Greenville, SC) to come in as its new Executive Director. Coming on board in July of 2014, Ken immediately began the process of transitioning to a Men’s Crisis Shelter offering 24/7 services to men 365 days a year. With meager facilities and furnishings, the decision was made to open with only 10 available beds. Within 30 days the facility was maxed out. As of November 2015, Pathway has provided cold weather shelter to 37 men and 11 women, and regular shelter to 74 men along with case management and job skills training. Unfortunately, we have also had to turn away a significant number due to the lack of bed space and adequate staffing to care for more.
Looking to the future, we are presently expanding the men’s shelter by renovating the education wing of the former Abney Church building. We anticipate being able to house 24 to 30 men in the new dormitory area once the work is completed. Our plans also include a 6 bedroom house on the Parham campus to provide a temporary home for the Greenwood Pathway House Women’s Shelter. Donations to assist us in the God given endeavor to care for the least of those among us are greatly appreciated.
For information on donating click on the Donate Tab above.