Chris Rowland had just graduated from the University of South Carolina in 2019 when he experienced homelessness. After attending Bethel United Methodist Church Men’s Shelter, a partner of Pathways Community Center, he began to learn more about the services Pathways offered for individuals who were affected by homelessness.
Rowland was introduced to the Haven which is a current Tenant at Pathways that offers shelter to individuals in need. “The Haven helped me have a stable place to live as well as being able to work and get back into stability,” Rowland said. While at The Haven, Rowland was able to start working at Dairy Queen with another resident from The Haven. Over this time, Rowland was able to save up and eventually get a job that was in his field of Political science.
Rowland's experience at Pathways helped him to realize how necessary their services are for individuals and families alike. “To be frank, I’ve lived in South Carolina all my life and you do not see a lot of the help that Pathways offers throughout the state. We must have this type of work here,” Rowland said.
Over the past year, Pathways has been able to serve over 600 people and provide the care that Rowland speaks of. The story of Chris Rowland shines a light on how impactful the services are at Pathways and it also reminds us that homelessness can happen to anyone. Not only was Rowland a college graduate at the time he became homeless, but he was raised in an Upper Middle-Class family. Rowland shared how he views life as an interesting 100-meter run. He says, “When that gun goes off, some people can start right then and there, some can offer a five-second head start, and some people haven’t even gotten off the ground.”
From Rowland's trials came triumph, which is a testament not only to the amazing work at Pathways Community Center but to the resilience of Rowland. “Every single person that goes through Pathways will appreciate it more than you would ever believe, Rowland said.”
Editor: Shardai Figgures, Winthrop University student