The ambitious effort that would combine dozens of resource groups under one roof for people in the area who are in need or homeless is closer to completion.
Pathways Community Center board on Nov. 16 closed on its 546 S. Cherry Road site, a former school turned business center.
Pathways will provide 30-40 full-time, part-time or by request tenants serving clients starting next spring. Tenants will include Renew Our Community, The Haven, York County Public Library and others. Services include help with food, clothing, housing, medical care, substance abuse treatment and transportation.
On Tuesday, board members celebrated a funding drive spurred by a challenge.
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Andrew Cope with JM Cope Construction put up $100,000 if the community could match it. As of this week, the community did.
“Any company that has had success realizes that it’s a team effort, and a lot of people believing in you,” Cope said Tuesday afternoon. “Before you can accomplish something, you really have to have people believe in you, and paying it forward is something people have done for us. And we want to do that for other folks.”
Pathways incorporated in January. It’s board first met a month later. Since then Pathways has become a registered nonprofit, began a fundraising campaign and contracted to buy the 4-acre, 40,000-square-foot Cherry Road property.
Board members went to neighborhood groups, and civic and business leaders to find contributions. The now $200,000 is part of about $1.5 million raised so far for the $3 million project.
“We called on people we knew, and they have stepped up,” said Charles Price, Pathways chairman.
A loan from South State Bank allowed Pathways to move forward with purchasing and renovating the building. Renovations could begin before the end of the year. Tenants will move in as sections of the building are complete. Price said he anticipates an April 2019 grand opening.
“We’re on a fast track, and have tons of work to do,” he said.
Mayor John Gettys said the Pathways site helps Rock Hill and York County.
“If we can all dedicate ourselves to doing one thing every day to better the lives for more of our people, we all come out better,” Gettys said.
With York County growing as fast as it is, Pathways board member Lee Gardner said homelessness is a growing issue.
“For us it’s huge, and we need a solution,” Gardner said.
The Pathways project began from a study a decade ago identifying homelessness and related services as a need in the area.
One problem, the study found, is people lacking basic needs had to travel across the county for varying services. Often, Price said, clients need assistance from multiple agencies.
Beginning next fall, they will know exactly where to go.
“When folks who are in need, need service of any kind, they can come to one location,” Price said.