Organization seeks to give convicted felons a second chance

Joy and Craig Walker of Florence

Joy and Craig Walker of Florence have founded Palmetto Housing and Rehabilitation (PHAR) in an effort to give men and women convicted of federal crimes a second chance at life.

The husband and wife entrepreneurial team operates several businesses in Florence and found themselves with a proposition to help convicted felons.

"God put some people in our place that actually were retired, and they were like you know Craig and Joy you guys need to think about opening for inmates who've been released from prison. You know they said there's so many and not a lot of facilities in South Carolina," said Joy Walker.

They first scoffed at the idea, but then realized it was needed, and it was their way of giving back to those in need.

"That's our goal right now to show people that there is life after death. That's basically what prisoners think when they get out, that there's nothing for them," explained Joy Walker.

Craig Walker said, "We know that there's many jobs and opportunities that they're not gonna give individuals a second chance. Through our program, we have opportunities to give a trade give continuing education."

PHAR is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization that is headquartered in Florence.

The Walkers have established a board of directors for the organization that includes Florence School District One Board of Trustee Rev. Terry Law, Florence Housing Authority Assistant Director Hazel Mouzon, Attorney Charlie Blake Jr., and Cheraw Housing Authority Manager Esperone Huggins.

The Walkers' goal is provide a halfway house to help inmates transition from prison back to society.

PHAR currently provides therapy services, educational services and job assistance.

"We wanted to do something different that gives young men and women the opportunity to grow within themselves," said Craig Walker.

Its motto is "Leave no human being behind, you can go far with PHAR."

PHAR is grassroots and is in need of volunteers and donations to build the organization.

You can contact the Walkers by calling (843) 900-4562 or by email at