NEWBERRY — A future haven on O’Neal Street for women and children in transition from life crises to self-sufficiency has made progress since last summer but it is still in a state of development.
House of Sweet Transition is a program under a non-profit organization — Women on a Mission — founded by McKeva Kinard-Shelton.
“The progress (since last summer) has been slow but productive,” said Shelton. “We’ve received the 501(c)(3) status in November last year when it was finalized.”
A 15-member committee, including Shelton, meets a couple times a week at Aveleigh Presbyterian Church in Newberry.
The group has grown from just a few women with a vision and mission.
Shelton said that the committee is diverse and the members represent a variety of different denominations as well as backgrounds.
The committee includes Gwen Senn, George Burk, Amy Hopper, Mary Harmon, Denise Smith, Malcolm Malone, Trey Taylor, Velma Gifford, Mary Lane Ard, the Rev. Elaine Eskew, the Rev. Rosette Gallman, Glendale Bishop, Katina Mitchell, Sonya Praylow-Tucker and Shelton.
In addition to securing the 501(c)(3) status, Senn added that they have taken care of the legal aspects which include inspections, logistics, zoning, etc.
“We did a lot of searching for the requirements for a home like this,” Senn said. “We’ve also applied for grants on a state and federal level.”
Shelton said men and women are invited to be a part of the process in providing a safe haven for women and children.
“One of our goals — and God is doing this — is pulling people from all different backgrounds to meet the needs in the community,” said Shelton.
The home is dedicated to Velma Gifford, who wanted something like this in Newberry for many years.
“Velma was one of the first to take interest in the project and had been praying about it for 10 years for Newberry County,” said Shelton.
Mary Lane Ard dedicated the house to the organization because she wanted to sell it and wasn’t going to do anything with it.
Donations to the Women on a Mission organization for the home can be made at any First Community Bank in Newberry. Volunteers are always needed.