Home improvement expert Ty Pennington arrived in Waynesville, NC to celebrate the first annual Ultimate Neighborhood Give Back Challenge, a nationwide search for people and organizations who are leading projects that make meaningful impacts in their communities. For winning the contest, Haywood Pathways Center received $50,000 plus Pennington’s help for a day at the project site. Nearly 1,000 people worked on-site, located at 141 Hemlock St. in Waynesville, in a day of volunteer service and festivities.
The Haywood Pathways Center is converting the site of a former prison in Haywood County, N.C., into a soup kitchen, homeless shelter and halfway house. The collaborative project between local government agencies, churches and non-profit organizations, which will remodel old prison dormitories into the shelter, seeks to transform lives by providing food, shelter, and a place to help ex-offenders rehabilitate into contributing citizens.Excerpt from Asheville-Citizen Times Article
“Honestly I came here expecting Alcatraz,” Pennington said with a laugh Thursday. “I thought, wow, how are we going to turn this into a warm, inviting environment?””This is pretty unprecedented in my mind,” he said. “I have never heard of anyone doing this, flipping a prison into a shelter or a soup kitchen. But the minute I heard it I thought this is genius… this is making this space be what a prison really should be, which is about rehabilitation instead of just storage.” Read more of the Asheville-Times Article.