In 2009, a group of concerned citizens began praying and talking extensively about Greenwood’s need for a homeless shelter that could serve both the city and its surrounding neighbors without resources.  As they began to confer with a broader number of people, they all began to realize the important local challenge presented by homelessness and its associated problems. 

Cold Weather Shelter Opens

Cold Weather

In the winter of 2010-2011, St. Mark’s United Methodist Church assembled about 170 volunteers and opened a cold weather shelter to operate each night the temperature dropped below 40 degrees. The next year, Main Street United Methodist Church opened its 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 at night because they had no place to go the following morning— and the women’s shelter services were eventually discontinued. In 2013, Pathway purchased part of the Abney Memorial Baptist campus and renovated it for a men’s shelter, which then became the new hub for homeless men in need of cold weather shelter.  

Furnishing a Future Opens

Furnishing a Future

In April of 2014, Pathway House began its Furnishing A Future program for homeless men. Our on-campus workshop helps homeless men learn work ethic, psychological resilience, woodworking and refurbishing skills, providing a platform that is both therapeutic and practical. 

Furnishing a Future established a partnership with Main and Maxwell in 2017 to sell items from the program. Main and Maxwell is an art gallery in Uptown Greenwood that specializes in handcrafted art, pottery and jewelry. This partnership provides income for the Furnishing A Future program and gives the men the pride of selling their work in an art gallery. You can learn more about Main and Maxwell at https://mainandmaxwell.com/

Ken Kelly

Eight Beds Open Year Round

In July of 2014, Pathway took the next step by hiring Ken Kelly (the VP of Adult Ministries at Miracle Hill Ministries in Greenville, SC) to come in as its new Executive Director.  Ken immediately began the process of transitioning to a more comprehensive shelter offering 24-hour services to men 365 days a year. With meager facilities and furnishings, the decision was made to open with only 8 available beds—within 30 days the facility was maxed out.  After months of sustained data collection, it became apparent that the local need for homeless beds and services far exceeded the supply.

New Dorm

The Shelter Expands

In 2015, Pathway purchased the remainder of the Abney Memorial Baptist campus to expand the Shelter for Men and to add a Shelter for Women and Mothers with Children. Renovations started on the main building in September of 2015 and the new dormitory for men was opened in June of 2016, named in honor of the late South Carolina jurist, Judge Curtis Shaw.  This new men’s facility provides beds, showers and laundry appliances for 29 men.

Womens Shelter

New Women and Children's Shelter Opens

Construction began in November of 2016 on the Shelter for Women and Mothers with Children and the new building opened six months later. The Shelter for Women and Mothers with Children has 6 semi-private resident rooms providing beds, showers and laundry facilities for 12 women and 4 children.

Receives Accreditation

Both shelters provide a safe place to stay and the support needed to transition from life on the streets to ongoing self-sufficiency. By October of 2017 the Shelter for Women and Mothers with Children was operating at full capacity.  Hence, Pathway began looking for a way to develop additional income streams to support an expansion of beds and homeless services for mothers and their children.  

After considerable deliberation, the prospect of supplementary income generated by a thrift store operation sounded appealing to the Pathway board of directors. An opportunity soon arose, thanks be to God, for Pathway to purchase a large tract adjacent to its campus. 

Many Greenwood natives would recognize this property as the former home of the Davis Buick auto dealership, with its large building on South Main Street—ideal for a thrift store— and providing an appealing and highly visible presence for the ministry on a busy thoroughfare.   

At this point, Pathway’s venerable executive director, Ken Kelly, saw this as an appropriate time to pass the torch to a younger CEO, who could shepherd the expanding Pathway House ministry into the future. After an extensive executive search, the Board asked Anthony Price (Executive Director at Haywood Christian Ministry in Waynesville, NC) to come in as its new lead executive, so that Ken Kelly could begin his transition to retirement.

Coming on board in October of 2018, Anthony immediately began the strategic planning process to expand the ministry to meet the needs of the homeless in our area.

Pathway received their first GuideStar Platinum Seal of Transparency in October of 2018 and their accreditation from the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability in November of 2018.

The Pathway Thrift Store Opens

Thrift Store

Renovations on the old Davis Buick building started in December of 2018 and were completed by July of 2019. The Pathway Thrift Store opened in August of 2019 and provides income to support the mission of Greenwood Pathway House. Our thrift store also helps homeless women learn work ethic and retail skills through the Clothing a Future Job Readiness Program.


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Pathway Village

Pathway Village Opens

In November 2020, Pathway’s Board of Directors approved its most ambitious undertaking so far, approving plans and launching a capital campaign that would eventually result in Pathway Village. The Village concept consists of three incremental phases, each containing 12 cottages furnished for a single parent with up to 5 children. Phase One is now complete; the other two phases will come later.

The village is supported by a new common area structure known as the Hub Building, comprising a full commercial kitchen; a dining facility that serves as an activity room and learning center when not in use at mealtimes; the Family Ministry manager’s office, and a laundry facility for the Village residents.

Ministry Metamorphosis

Pathway Village crowns what could be loosely described as a “ministry metamorphosis”, borrowing a term from biology signifying a change of form or structure after hatching or birth.

In addition to “brick & mortar” growth, we’ve developed in some other important ways as well. We’ve refined our methods and approaches to lifting folks out of homelessness and ensuring, as best we can, that their independence sticks. We’ve firmly rejected an easy approach that is always ineffective: the familiar one that gives handouts time after time and sidesteps legitimate help. The type of help that we prefer to offer provides safety, stability, and support, while requiring the clients to actively participate in their own life transformation.

We also came to realize that clients who stayed with us for a prolonged period (6 to 12 months) were better able to maintain their independence after leaving. Typically, they had established meaningful trusting relationships with our staff, with local churches, with our regular volunteers, and most importantly, with God.

These strong relationships formed the solid foundation required to support a healthy, well rounded, and independent life. It is apparent that our longer-term clients had far greater opportunity to nurture their faith in God and to establish and confront the root causes of their homelessness.

We discovered that these roots were most often traceable to complex trauma experienced in childhood or as younger adults. Using a variety of resources, we diligently studied and researched the effects of trauma and its connection to homelessness—quite simply, the results demanded action. Our Board voted in September of 2022 to officially transition from a conventional homeless shelter to a homeless ministry, with an emphasis on trauma-informed care and an extended term residential structure.

 By the grace of God, a bare-bones operation providing food and shelter to a handful of homeless men has blossomed into a fully staffed, well-appointed campus providing trauma-informed residential care to over 100 men, women, and children of all ages.