A Brief History
In September, 2013 God called my wife and I to move into the Nicholtown community to be a part of His work in the neighborhood. After several years listening, and participating in the community, we were encouraged by our neighbors to start a ministry serving Middle School and High School students. What began as an open gym basketball ministry, quickly became a holistic afterschool program. In 2019, God provided the resources we needed to purchase a building to house our afterschool program. This was a critical step in securing our footprint and making Nicholtown our home. What we didn’t realize at the time was that God would use that building to rapidly grow our influence in the neighborhood.
Since the purchase of our building, our program has grown by 500%. In the Spring of 2021, we were forced to pause enrollment, and create a waitlist for new students. In an attempt to keep our waitlist manageable, we no longer advertise our services in the neighborhood. But the waitlist is still growing...
How Does This Challenge Affect You?
From Our Students
“If there was no Éleos, me and everyone else would have nothing to look forward to. For some, éleos is the only fun thing to do.” Tameka (17)
“I feel like without éleos In Nicholtown there would be more crimes made by kids. There would be more burglaries and shootings, and for me personally I feel like if I woulda never found Éleos I would have got in sum type of trouble. Out here there’s a lot of risky opportunities for kids and eleos is a welcoming place to the Nicholtown community. They can just help kids find something to do. In Nicholtown it’s a pretty rough environment but over the past years it has been getting better. And there’s plenty more kids that could use the help of eleos.” Jamier (15)
From Our Staff
“It feels like I’m withholding valuable community opportunities and resources from a student who lives in the same community as our current students, it can feel unfair.” Grace Bridger, Éleos Ministry, Program Director
“Sometimes there is tension, knowing that there are so many other students to reach, but not being able to have room for them. There are many resources and activities that we offer and would like to offer but we need the space to share those things with students.” - Zoe Oliphant, Éleos Ministry, Nicholtown Program Manager
What Éleos Means to Our Community.
“Habitat for Humanity of Greenville County is grateful for the work Éleos does in the Nicholtown Community to support youth and families. As Habitat is building homes in this community, we know the programs at Eleos provide our youth with opportunities for leadership development, academic support and increased access to resources that allow them to develop into the successful and well-equipped future leaders of our community. We are grateful for their work and investment in this growing community.” – Monroe Free, Habitat for Humanity of Greenville County.”
The need for Christ-centered, youth services is ever-growing. Despite the problems of gentrification facing the Nicholtown community, there are 29 affordable homes being built by Habitat for Humanity, and an apartment complex with 112 units of affordable housing being brought to the neighborhood over the next several years. All of this is in addition to the affordable housing apartment complexes that already exist in Nicholtown. Our waitlist is growing, not shrinking… but we’re ready to tear it up and invite those students into our program. We just need more space.
We have the opportunity to expand our programs into a facility (here in the neighborhood) that will give us more than 2x the space for programs! Our new program facility will allow us to make room for the growing number of students on our waitlist, along with those students we haven’t yet reached in the Nicholtown community. Our strategic plan outlines a goal to double our serving capacity in Nicholtown by 2026. This facility expansion will give us the room to do that!
Checks can be mailed to 1220 Laurens road Suite B, Greenville, SC 29607
made to “Lead Collective Inc.” with “building fund” in the memo.