Friends and Neighbors of the Frazee Center,
Ten years ago, we mortgaged our home, sold a business, and with lots of help, purchased and began renovating an old church at 37 Pinckney Street. We named it the Frazee Dream Center. To our delight, this building quickly became “home” to not only us, but hundreds of children in the adjacent neighborhood. After many days filled with the love, laughter and tears of children, staff, volunteers and mentors, we grew fond of this place and it became so much more than just a building.
Over the past ten years, thousands of folks have entered our doors, supported our cause, given of their time, talent and treasure to love the Frazee children and thus we have experienced tremendous change. The Frazee Center currently funds and operates a full year pre-school, an elementary after school and summer camp, a middle school leadership program, several sports teams, a counseling center and Mentor Upstate that boasts almost a thousand mentors and a thousand students who meet together over three counties each week. A couple of years ago, we dropped the “dream” in our name because we were no longer dreaming for change. Our students were not only beginning to make their own plans for success, but making the choices necessary to reach their goals. Their dreams are becoming reality.
Our great city has also seen much change in the past decade. Downtown Greenville has exploded with commerce and the population has grown by leaps and bounds. With this growth, property values have risen, low income housing has become more difficult to find, and the number of at risk children who live within walking distance or a short drive of The Frazee Center has become less and less. We have learned that close proximity to the center is vital to the children’s attendance.
We realize the current growth and housing trends close to Frazee will continue. We know that our opportunities to serve children with the most need will decrease. After much re-search and counsel, and in order to prepare for the future, we have decided to sell the building on Pinckney.
With that said, we want to address a few questions that have and/or may arise:
- We are not in any way being pressured to leave by the city or our neighbors. On the contrary, both have been incredibly supportive in our efforts to train children to work hard, respect authority, love everyone and forgive quickly.
- We have not been given an offer we can’t refuse from a developer. While we are open to different ideas, our hope is to sell our facility to a church or other organization who will continue building into the community we love.
- We will not personally profit from the sale. The building is owned by the Frazee Center.
- We aren’t moving far! We are looking at property within 3-4 miles of our current location and hope to build quickly.
- For Frazee students, still in close proximity to our current location, we will provide transportation and support as we continue those relationships.
Looking forward, we hope to build our growing family of children, staff and supporters for the next 8 to 10 years. We are still energized by this thought, but know that our energy, if not our passion, will eventually wane. Our hearts’ desire is that putting down roots in a new facility and a new neighborhood will give our successors a solid foundation and sustainability long after we’re gone.
Mark Ratchford, a trusted friend, with KDS is handling the sale. If you have any other questions, we would love to answer them to the best of our ability. We value deeply the relation-ships that have been developed over the past ten years and hope that they will continue as we take this next leap of faith.
Jenny and Matt Reeves