NEWBERRY — The key was turned on a dream that has been two years in the making with the official opening of the Women on a Mission’s House of Sweet Transition.
A dedication ceremony was held Saturday at the home, located at 704 O’Neal St.
“This is an uplifting time for all in the community,” Trey Taylor said in his introduction.
The Rev. Elaine Eskew said a prayer of dedication over the home among friends and community members to make the building holy ground. Eskew said she was thankful to dedicate the home for so many hurting people who were looking to transform their lives from despair to hope.
“I thank God for the privilege to serve Him, and thank McKeva for her continued vision,” Eskew said.
McKeva Kinard-Shelton, Crystal Glenn and Glendel Bishop are women with a mission which coincidentally goes along with their organization, Women on a Mission.
Shelton, who works for the Newberry County Sheriff’s Office, founded the organization to help young women facing a crisis or going through a situation.
The house was donated by Mary Ard, who told Shelton she wasn’t using the house and wanted to give it away.
Shelton said the group and home will help women with self-esteem issues, job and life skills, depression, suicide and more.
Velma Gifford, 70, found out about the project through an article in The Newberry Observer and made contact with Shelton.
Shelton said Gifford brought so many people into her life to help her complete their vision and that she will forever be changed because of that.
“We’re finally here and praise God for it,” Gifford said.
With the help of many churches, groups and individuals, the House of Sweet Transition will be available to help those in need.
“We’re all one church,” said resident Clyde Ward. “I’m impressed that so many people from so many churches got together and we did it. We all got together as Christians and one church and it happened.”
Mayor Foster Senn referenced Proverbs 11:25: “The one who blesses others is abundantly blessed;those who help others are helped.”
Senn said the house was a blessing to individuals in need and was a statement of what can happen when people come together for a cause.
Although rain threatened to dampen the event, Shelton said she talked with the devil that morning, letting him know the dedication would be held, even if it rained or stormed.
Shelton compared the House of Sweet Transition to the difference between how the world sees us as people, and how God sees us.
“Sometimes people look at us and want to cast us away, but He (God) sees what other people don’t,” Shelton said.
The home has an office area where intake forms can be taken plus has several upstairs rooms that Shelton said can house up to 12 women.
Shelton said they are looking for another home for men who are in transition, whether coming out of prison, or going through difficult times.
Another goal is for a pre-trial intervention program for trial offenders. Shelton said she is looking for an alternative for DJJ to deter youth from going down the wrong path.
“I look forward to what’s next,” Shelton said.