Danja Bethea & Gracie Balogh

(Rock Hill, S.C.) — The Pathways Community Center in Rock Hill has joined with a number of community partners to develop and present an immersive art exhibit, which is intended to raise awareness and break the stigma surrounding homelessness.

The “Humanizing Homelessness” exhibit will be on display May 12-19, from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m, at the Lowenstein Building, located at 300 Technology Center Way in Rock Hill.

Alex Greenawalt, the director of Pathways who has been working to organize the event, was a guest on the Palmetto Report podcast to the exhibit.

“When we talk to a lot of folks in the community about homelessness in York County, you get a lot of mixed responses from people saying homelessness isn’t big in York County, but more so in the Charlotte metro area,” Greenawalt said. “But believe it or not, we actually are seeing a growing trend of homelessness in our community.”

She said the immersive exhibit will give viewers a feeling of what it’s like to be homeless.

“We wanted to use our advocacy, our voices and our connections of the lived experience of the clients at Pathways to do the ‘Humanizing Homelessness’ (exhibit) and really get the community to be aware and feel empathy for these folks, because it could be any one of us that experience a life situation that spirals us into a homeless situation,” she said. “And you’re going to hear about these actual stories at the event.”

Greenawalt said organizers hope the event will serve as a “call to action” to encourage the community to work together to end homelessness in York County.

“Attendees can expect to feel moved in a lot of emotions, because it’s an immersive event that will drive your senses to feel, touch and hear what it’s like to be homeless. By the end of the exhibit, attendees will be called to philanthropy,” she said.

Greenawalt said Pathways works with 15 different nonprofit groups, which offer a variety of volunteer opportunities.