An 18-month project that will turn tragedy into hope culminated Wednesday when Faith Home, a Christ-centered treatment facility for alcoholics and drug addicts, opened the doors to the new Noah’s Ark dormitory on the main campus in Greenwood.
The 5,820-square-foot facility will house 180 men each year as they seek to put their lives back together after suffering the effects of alcoholism and drug addiction. But the project began in an unusual fashion.
Harrison Greenway was Faith Home alum, going through the program twice before finding freedom form his addictions in 2011. On Feb. 24, 2013, Harrison was tragically killed in a motorcycle accident in Greenville County. He had been clean for more than a year. It was during the aftermath of his tragic death that Harrison’s father, Jeff Greenway, was given a spark.
“I asked for memorials to be made to the Faith Home instead of people sending flowers,” Greenway, an accountant with local firm Elliot Davis, said. “One of my clients told me that memorials were good, but the money would eventually go away. He said we needed to do something that would last.”
Eighteen months to the day, a ribbon was cut in front of a new dormitory. Residents are expected to begin moving into the new facility in November.
Greenway said he knew Faith Home was a special place the first time he set foot on the campus.
“When I first got involved with Faith Home, I found out it was the best kept secret in the state of South Carolina,” Greenway said. “This project with these people out here (at the Faith Home) has taught me a lot about building relationships that will last a lifetime.”
Design work began on the project almost immediately after Harrison’s death. Greenway, however, was not satisfied with just building a new dormitory. He wanted it be paid for without the Faith Home having to contribute the first penny. So Greenway went to work raising the funds for a project which fell just shy of $1 million. Thanks to the many contributions and donation of services and building materials, Noah’s Ark accomplished that goal, though the project needs about $150,000 to finish up which includes a $100,000 endowment for operation of the facility.
Opening up the new dormitory has been highly anticipated for all those connected to the treatment facility, not only for the immediate need for more beds, but also the long term gain.
“This is a day we have looked forward to for a long time,” said Fred Thrailkill, chairman of the Faith Home board of directors. “There is no place on earth like Faith Home. This is a place for healing and setting people free. We feel this new facility will propel Faith Home down the road through many generations.”
Aline Barnes, affectionately known as “Mama” by anyone and everyone even slightly associated with Faith Home, has served at the Faith Home since 1966 and has lived at the facility since 1971. Her husband, Danny Barnes, founded the Faith Home along with Rex McCravy. Following her husband’s illness, retirement and subsequent death, Barnes took the reigns as executive director of the facility. Barnes said she does not see a building when she looks at the dormitory, but rather she sees hope.
“I look at that building and I don’t see a building,” Barnes said. “I see families put back together. I see marriages restored. I am so grateful for the many people that made it possible.”
There is no mention of Greenway or his son on the dormitory, something Greenway was insistent upon. The building, however, is in the shape of a cross as a reminder of his son.
“I asked God why he let Harrison go through all that and get better only to take him,” Greenway said. “And God said to me as clear as you and I are talking right now, ‘I could have taken him in the valley and you would have had an old, rugged cross to carry the rest of your life. I took him on his way up the mountain so you could carry a torch of glory.”