As proud members of the Greenwood community, ID Shop partners with
local organizations to better serve the population living here. Learn more about Greenwood Pathway House’s mission to help the homeless, how ID Shop supports their cause and how you can help.
In the winter of 2011, a mother and child experiencing homelessness came to Dr. Jack Parham for help in finding a place to stay. Dr. Parham and his team were able to connect her with a known shelter organization in nearby Greenville, South Carolina, but saw the need for a similar organization in Greenwood.
The team identified St. Mark’s United Methodist Church as an optimal location, and arranged facilities within the location to serve the community. Greenwood Pathway House was born.
ID Shop, a family owned company that has lived and worked in Greenwood for over 30 years, wanted to help. To honor Pathway House’s contributions, ID Shop has donated name tags, badges, lanyards and other products to the organization over the past several years. ID Shop’s principal owners have also often contributed food and funding for residents.
In 2014, Ken Kelly was hired as the Executive Director, after having previously worked as VP of Adult Ministries at Miracle Hill Ministries in Greenville. He brought Chuck Taylor with him as part of the growing leadership team.
As demand grew, the team decided to move Pathway House into a stand-alone facility. The nearby Abney Baptist Church was in the process of relocating, and its existing campus was up for sale. Pathway House initially shared the space with Abney Baptist and took over the entire space once the church relocated.
Initially the shared-space facility was set up to serve men, but in 2016 that changed for the better, as Pathway House demonstrated a growing need to serve families, including women and children.
Starting with a well-organized but small number of beds, Pathway House operated out of the original fellowship-hall of Abney Memorial Baptist Church until the day construction began on a new facility.
In a few short years Ken Kelly, his wife Cindy, Chuck Taylor and one resident supervisor were able to grow the facility from 8 beds to 30 for men, plus a new facility on campus for 12 women and 6 children.
In August 2019 Pathway House opened its standalone facility and now operates a very popular thrift store which helps in a variety of ways, including job training, community involvement, volunteerism and fundraising.
After expertly shepherding Pathway House through its formative years and relocating it to a standalone facility that serves families and not just men, its original operational directors Ken and Cindy Kelly decided to retire.Following a thorough executive search in 2018, Anthony Price accepted Pathway House’s invitation to assume the position of Executive Director and CEO. He has skillfully managed significant restructuring and additional growth, including new innovative client programs. By the end of Summer 2022, Pathway House will have 24 full-time employees who serve homeless men, women and families with 80 to 90 beds.
Through its missions, Pathway House focuses on providing spiritual health and counseling services to all of its residents. As a Christian organization, Pathway House has proven very effective in assisting residents with all aspects of their lives. Although every person has a unique story and reasons for experiencing homelessness, Pathway House makes it their mission to assist each and every resident in their path to a new, better-adjusted life in the community.
Each resident is encouraged to stay on-site and to participate in a variety of programs for as long as they need, with the average stay being 12 months. The organization offers a stable base of faith and support for the homeless with convenient medical facilities nearby that offer substance abuse, medical and psychological services.
When asked about the timeline for the experience one might encounter as a resident, Chuck Taylor said, "We think of initial progress when an individual or family works with us for 90 days in our facility. That said, when a person achieves a sustainable situation it can be and often is near 12 months when things start working well and we consider them able to "do life" on their own again. This is of course a subjective thing because the condition of homelessness is related directly to individual persons and each circumstance or trauma is unique. We work on the individual’s relationships first, as many persons experiencing homelessness have very few interpersonal or full-trust relationships. We try not to push people out the door on a timeline because our goal is to have them build themselves over whatever timeline they need in order to get a stable foundation in life. We do not necessarily start the conversation with "let’s get you a job" because this is not usually the root of the issue. If a person has a job, they may still be dealing with the root cause that is affecting them and causing their condition."
Pathway House benefits all of the individuals and families in the program, and they love working with donors from all communities.
They operate a website and have a strong social media presence, which is where the organization typically calls on the local community to help with specific needs. Local or regional donors can fill these requests with time spent volunteering, by making deliveries or even using Amazon Smile to allocate a portion of each purchase to Pathway House as a charity.
Pathway House is building 12 cottages with plans for additional phases to house more families in need.If you or someone you know is interested in helping Pathway House, please visit their website or social media pages to learn more about this high-quality organization that positively affects so many lives.