haywood countyHaywood County’s Hazelwood prison conversion project has been selected as one of 50 semi-finalists in the Guaranteed Rate/Ty Pennington Ultimate Neighborhood Giveback Challenge. The project plans to recycle and restore the old Hazelwood prison and convert the facility into a center of community care that will house a halfway house, homeless shelter and soup kitchen. The project, the brainchild of the Sheriff himself, demonstrates how government, non-profits, churches, businesses, and community members can work together to make a significant impact in a community.

The Guaranteed Rate/Ty Pennington Ultimate Neighborhood Giveback Challenge is a nationwide search for people and organizations that are leading projects that make a real and meaningful impact in their communities and neighborhoods. One grand prize winner will receive $50,000 and Ty Pennington’s help on site for a day, while 5 other projects around the nation will receive $10,000. Winners will be selected based on the impact the project will have on the community, ability to execute, and the number of votes received.

The project, currently dubbed Haywood Pathways Center, has already raised more than $60,000 in funding and has commitments from 1,000 volunteers to help with the conversion should they win. To learn more about the project and to cast your vote, click here. Supporters can then like the Haywood Pathways Center Facebook page or donate funds to the project online, an action that will demonstrate its community support. The second round of voting is open until July 8. The six semi-finalists will be announced on July 15, and the grand prize winner will be chosen on Aug. 1.

The Haywood Pathways Center will be a place that transforms lives. This unique and innovative example of how government agencies, non-profit organizations, churches and businesses can come together to change a community will serve as a model for others across the nation.