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Wednesday, 18 June 2014 13:36

Prison conversion project needs votes

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Haywood Pathways Center, the working title for the trio of Christian ministries working to make the old prison in Hazelwood into a center for restoration, has made it to the top of the pack in an online contest to win $50,000 and the help of celebrity house-flipper Ty Pennington to complete the project. The Haywood project garnered the most votes in the first round of Guaranteed Rate’s Give Back Challenge, which drew 300 entries from 49 states. Voting has just opened for round two, which includes the top 50 projects. 

Now, the project has three weeks to make it into the top six for the final round of voting. Each top-six project will win at least $10,000 toward its goal, but the grand prize is $50,000 and the help of Pennington and his crew from the TV show “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.” 

Haywood Pathways Center’s vision is to turn the abandoned low-security state prison that sits next to the new Haywood County Sheriff’s Office and county jail into a hub offering a soup kitchen, homeless shelter and halfway house for people recently released from jail, with all services using a Christ-centered approach. The group expects the price tag to convert the facility to run about $300,000. They’re hoping to raise the money and open the facility by Nov. 1. 

To see the project description, video and to vote, click the link on the group’s Facebook page, www.facebook.com/haywoodpathwayscenter. Voting is open through July 8.

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