Haywood Pathways Center seeks CEO

By Vicki Hyatt | Apr 09, 2017

The Haywood Pathways Center, Haywood County’s emergency shelter, halfway house and short-term residential program, has grown to the point that an chief executive officer is being sought.

Board Chairman Nick Honerkamp said the organization’s mission statement, along with the overwhelming need to help families with children, demands that a new course be followed. Currently, only adults can stay at the center. Emergency help is offered to families by putting them up in a motel, but that is only a short-term solution.

“We have carefully prayed about our mission statement and our mission statement demands we do much more than we can do on that campus,” Honerkamp said. “To do more, we that need to hire a CEO to move us forward so we can serve everyone struggling with homelessness, including the 400 kids in our school system deemed homeless.”

While the Pathways Center is doing a great job with adults through the programs designed to help clients transform their lives, the largest portion of homelessness are families and children in need, Honerkamp said.

“If any community could solve this problem, we should be able to solve this problem,” he said. “I have complete confidence in getting the cooperation between government, businesses, nonprofits and churches so we can become a model community others can emulate.”

Honerkamp said the board has seed money to initially fund the position, plus a number of ideas on added funds could be raised, but needs someone dedicated to leading the organization in an expanded direction to make that happen.

The board of directors drafted a preface to the job description by stating the organization is not “content proceeding down the path of incremental growth until it reaches a size qualifying it for a CEO position. To do so would require turning a blind eye to immediate needs of persons and families in crisis.

"Instead, the board is opting to hire the person who can fulfill, with excellence, the multiple roles that are required to accelerate HPC’s ability to meet the needs of the many individuals and families currently facing homelessness in Haywood.”

The ideal candidate will be someone who believes in the power of Christ- centered life transformation; demonstrates the qualities of a visionary; possesses the type of personality that thrives on engagement and interaction with people and community organizations; and who can effectively oversee the operations of what is now a small, but growing, and soon to be a much larger, organization serving the needs of the community, the statement reads.

At present, Jeremy Parton has been overseeing all aspects of the center.

“We’re to the point I can’t do anymore by myself,” he said. “To continue to grow, especially in the family piece, we need somebody to lead us in that direction and we need somebody freed from here to walk up Main Street knocking on doors and continuing to form those relationships.”

Parton noted the Pathways Center has always stepped out in faith to accomplish its goals, including in all things financial. A big part of the new position will include fundraising, he added.

The Haywood Pathways Center was formed in 2014 when many circumstances converged — including the need for a new site for the six-month emergency shelter operated during the winter months, the availability of a former state prison that the county was able to purchase for $1 and the need for temporary housing for those released from prison who needed a chance to turn their lives around.