t600-David Freeman laying tile in women's dormAs work wraps up at the Haywood Pathways Center, both funding and volunteers needed to help complete the project and meet a projected Nov. 15 opening date.

Individuals, businesses, organizations and churches that contribute more than $3,000 will be listed on a permanent donor board that will be prominently displayed at the project.

Nick Honerkamp, president of the Haywood Christian

So far, the entities that will be listed on the board are as follows:

Platinum ($20,000)

  • Crachiollo Family
  • Guaranteed Rate
  • Episcopal Diocese of WNC
  • Long’s Chapel UMC
  • New Covenant Church
  • Town of Waynesville

Gold ($10,000)

  • Huddle House of Waynesville
  • Mountaineer Publishing, Inc.

Silver ($5,000)

  • Asheville Citizen-Times
  • Haywood Advancement Foundation
  • Haywood Electrical Membership Co-op
  • Laurel Ridge Country Club
  • Waynesville First UMC
  • Bucky & Judy Dykes

Bronze ($3,000)

  • Angels of Mercy
  • Canton 1st Baptist Church
  • Grace Episcopal Church
  • Haywood Insurance Services
  • Haywood Regional Medical Center
  • Jackson Paper
  • Town of Canton
  • Town of Clyde
  • Town of Maggie Valley

The center still lacks the funds to pay for the final phase of construction and cover the first year of operation.

While the projected $342,000 initial cost to complete all three phases of the project is on track, so far, $258,000 has been raised through Haywood Helps.

“Every day we save a little, and every day a new bill comes in we didn’t count on,” said Nick Honerkamp, president of the Haywood Emergency Shelter.

Jim Haynes, the Next Step Ministry official who has been volunteering daily to complete the shelter, noted he charged $5,000 on his personal credit card to get needed materials, and New Covenant Church, which Honerkamp pastors, has incurred $10,000 in credit card bills that will be reimbursed when pledged funds come in.

Haynes said revamping an old building to meet current codes is expensive — about triple what it would cost to meet residential regulations.

However, Sheriff Greg Christopher noted the commercial grade products being used in the building also mean items such as doors will hold up much longer.

“If you would have told me what it was going to cost before we started this, I don’t know if I would have had the faith to do this,” Honerkamp said. “My Jesus has a way to taking me down a road without showing me what’s around the corner.”

Volunteers needed

While the rainy weather in October pushed back the early November opening date, it is a delay in getting partitions to create restroom stalls that is the true holdup for now.

The building won’t be able to pass inspection without the partitions, and it will be two weeks before they will be received and then installed.

Volunteers are asked to show up at the Haywood Pathways Center site at the old prison in Hazelwood between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. Saturday to help finish what is widely known as Haywood’s “Flip this Prison” project.

Last weekend, there was far more work to do than volunteers to do it.

“There’s a lot of hoopla surrounding events like this where the community gets together. But when the dust settles and the rubber meets the road, we need volunteers,” said Haynes.

Beds will be moved from the former homeless shelter at Camp New Life into one of the dormitories, railings will be painted, there’s more mulch to spread and landscaping work to do and the soup kitchen area will be ready for a deep cleaning. This kitchen will not only serve as a place where those who are homeless or recently released from prison will eat, but as a place where community residents can get a hot evening meal.

Volunteers will be needed far beyond the opening date of the center.

“We need mentors for these people,” said Haynes. “We’re going to need financial assistance, but we don’t want to beg for money forever. We’re looking into social enterprise, and if anyone has any ideas that we can get into that are low cost, we’d like them to reach out to us.”

Haynes is also asking for churches to volunteer a week at a time to help with food preparation and cleanup and to help serve the evening meal. He also emphasizes that everyone in the community is invited to join the evening meal and have fellowship with the residents at the center.

The goal is to eventually have the residents at the center prepare their own breakfast, fix a lunch and then head out for the day for training, community service or work.


Lifestyles Editor Rachel Robles contributed to this story.

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