Anthony Price, executive director of Greenwood Pathway House, said the Lakelands Regional Charity Tracker Network will give local health service agencies and churches the opportunity to move the needle on poverty and homelessness by being more connected.

Greenwood Pathway House, Greater Greenwood United Ministry and NewSpring Church have partnered to establish the Lakelands Regional Charity Tracker Network which allows them to share information and resources to help individuals in need.

Price said the agencies have been pushing for the network because of the economic ramifications caused by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Evictions and utility cut-offs are among the problems the community is facing, he said.

“We are helping people work through the things that are holding them back,” he said. “It takes the community working together to get them out of the situations they’re in.”

Charity Tracker is a cloud-based service being used by 1,766 cities throughout the United States to maximize efficiency while helping others. It’s a shared case management application that tracks the assistance history of the people helped and measures the outcomes of the assistance.

“We are very excited about being connected to Charity Tracker,” said Rosemary Bell, executive director of Greater Greenwood Ministry, in a news release about the network. “Not only will we have a database of those assisted through the Crisis Ministry, but it will be a great way for GGUM to share particular crisis client needs with our many partner churches.”

Price said agencies using Charity Tracker saw 18% annual savings because resources and information is being shared. He gave an example of how he could send an online referral to The Salvation Army and have someone visit the nonprofit for an item the Greenwood Pathway House needs but doesn’t have.

“It connects all of us together,” he said.

Residents of Edgefield and McCormick counties will benefit most from the network because they don’t have access to enough donors in their area, Price said. The network will give them immediate access to the help they need.

The network will be funded for the first two years by two people from the community who separately donated.

“We were not expecting it,” Price said. “Our community always steps up to the plate.”

Once the two years are up, agencies enrolled in the network will have to pay so much money per year.

Simon Solutions Inc. — the creator of Charity Tracker — offered Greenwood Pathway House a special program rate that will let up to 50 agencies use the network for the cost of one agency. It costs $7,800 per year for one agency, so if Simon Solutions charged per agency then it would cost $390,000 per year to continue the network for 50 agencies.

Price and Greenwood Pathway House are working to set everything up and get other agencies enrolled.

“We want to make this a reality,” he said. “We’re building something that works for us and is going to make major impact in our community.”

Greenwood Pathway House serves as the network administrator and will be responsible for adding agencies to the network, adding shared assistance categories and performing routine network maintenance. The homeless shelter also serves as the point of contact for the special program rate provided by Simon Solutions.

Agency directors or church leaders can go to gwdpathway.org/lakelands-regional-charity-tracker for information on Charity Tracker and the Lakelands Regional Network. A contact link will be provided for agencies and churches to contact the network administrator if they need more information or would like to join the partnership to fund the network.

Each agency or church will have to designate an agency administrator for the network that will be responsible for joining the network and setting up their page. Agency administrators may visit gwdpathway.org/lakelands-regional-charity-tracker for a link to join the network. The agency administrator will also need to provide their email and information about the types of services they provide.

Contact reporter Jonathan Limehouse at 864-943-5644 or follow him on Twitter @jon_limehouse.