Rex Hodge, WLOS. (2018, March 15)

The Ground is broken on an expansion to Haywood County’s homeless shelter.

The Haywood Pathways Center can currently house men and women, but the new $800,000 addition will exclusively house mothers and their kids. Plans call for a two-story modular building that can shelter 10 families in a secure structure.

The center says the need for the addition is great.

“In the end of last year’s school year, there were 300 counted homeless children in Haywood County schools,” Pathways Executive Director Mandy Haithcox said.

Haithcox said the shelter can help families re-set, and then proceed on with their lives.

“We can help folks with income. We can help with daycare. We can help with life skills. We can help with reconnecting to your faith or your faith community,” she said.

Haithcox said they can also help with avenues to find jobs through places like Goodwill.

The need for a family shelter grew when a local motel, that had housed families temporarily, was demolished to make way for a new grocery store.

A $100,000 Joy W. Pope Memorial Grant is helping to get construction of the modular units underway.

“At this point, we’re fundraising to be able to finish it out once they come and then be able to furnish it, “Haithcox said.

Jared Iraggi came through the Pathways Center when he needed help from depression and substance abuse issues. He says it was vital in stabilizing his life, giving him a chance to reset. He’s now living on his own and starting his own furniture business. He says mothers and kids need the same chances.

“It was huge for me,” he said. “Be such a good thing for families, too. It’s nice to see that they’re doing it.

Haithcox said the family shelter should be up and running by fall.

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