Haywood Helps sets mission statement, adopts logo

Jul 03, 2014

The effort to sell healthy snacks to children in the Haywood County school system and market bottled water will be two topics discussed at the Monday, July 7 social enterprise committee meeting for Haywood Helps.

Haywood Helps is an ongoing effort in the county to tackle the underlying issues of poverty.

The major focus for now is converting the former state prison in Hazelwood into a halfway house, emergency shelter and soup kitchen. Other projects to tackle poverty in the community will branch out from there.

Haywood Helps is organizing as a committee within Mountain Projects, a 501-c-3 community action agency that has plenty of experience managing multiple programs.

A fund-raising gala is being planned at Laurel Ridge Country Club on Aug. 28, and the community is awaiting the results of the Guaranteed Rate/Ty Pennington Ultimate Neighborhood Giveback Challenge where the Haywood Helps Hazelwood prison makeover is in the running.   At stake is a $50,000 grand prize, along with help from the Ty Pennington crew to tear down the fences at the former prison and renovate the former buildings to house an emergency shelter, halfway house and soup kitchen.

As of July 3, the Haywood project has 3,300 “likes” on the site’s Facebook page, with the next closest project weighing in at 1,900.

While the Facebook votes are only part of the Guaranteed Rate selection criteria, “it is the only portion we can directly influence,” said Nick Honerkamp, the president of the county’s Haywood Christian Emergency Shelter board of directors.

Honerkamp, along with Patsy Dowling, executive director of Mountain Projects, Perry Hines, executive director of the Open Door, Sheriff Greg Christopher, Jason Ledford, with Next Step Ministry’s halfway house program, and Vicki Hyatt, editor of The Mountaineer, form the guiding coalition for the Haywood Helps effort.

A logo for the effort has been chosen, along with a mission statement that reads: Through Haywood Helps, individuals, nonprofits, the private sector, the faith community, educators and government leaders are united to address the underlying issues of poverty in our community. Available community resources will be used to help those in poverty set goals, volunteer to gain work experience or find employment, including in the social enterprises that will be set up to provide sustained funding for the effort.

Those interested in learning more about the social enterprise effort of the initiative are invited to the 3 p.m. Monday meeting to be held at the Haywood County Senior Resource Center.

Social enterprise is defined loosely as a business that serves the common good. A number of ideas have been discussed that would generate funds, create employment and serve unmet needs in the community.

Anyone with an idea that could fit into this category is invited to the meeting.

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