News and Updates

November 3, 2023

Companion Orientation

The next companion orientation will be Monday, November 6th, at 5:00 p.m. Please invite any friends, family members, or colleagues that you think would be interested in getting involved at Haywood Street.

Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week

TOGETHER is at the heart of our mission statement:  Relationship, above all else.

Hunger & Homelessness Awareness Week is a national campaign seeking to draw attention to these problems and their solutions.

Our approach is to shine a light on these issues and on the ways in which local nonprofits and faith communities are working TOGETHER with city leaders to address hunger and homelessness in Asheville. 

To see participating partners and a list of events, click HERE.

Kick-off Event with City of Asheville Homeless Strategy Division

Debbie Alford, Homeless Strategy Specialist for the City of Asheville will be at Haywood Street to present “Understanding Homelessness & Your Personal Response.”

This will take place from 9:00 - 10:30 a.m. in the sanctuary. Following the presentation, representatives from partner organizations will be onsite, sharing information about their programs and how to get involved.

All are welcome to join us for this event.

Fresco Speaker Series in November

Another event for Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week is the next Fresco Speaker Series, which will feature fresco model James Blount, Pastor Brian Combs, and principal artist Christopher Holt. Join us for the discussion on Tuesday, November 14th, at 1:00 p.m. in the Sanctuary.

For more information, contact Fresco Host, April.

Congratulations, Alli and DJ!

Haywood Street had the opportunity to celebrate the marriage of two of our beloved congregants, Alli and DJ, on Tuesday afternoon!

Thank you for letting us be part of your special day. We love you both!

Call for Blankets and Sleeping Bags

Last winter, we were thrilled to have received such an incredible response to our call for blankets and sleeping bags. We plan to collect blankets again throughout the fall and winter months so we can continue to help our friends stay warm.

If you would like to donate blankets and/or sleeping bags, reach out to Community Engagement Coordinator, Tiffany, for more details.

On-going opportunities to participate at the Welcome Table:

  • Have a meal! - Join us on Sunday or Wednesday to enjoy a meal with our community!

  • Dining Room Clean Up - As always, clean up is one of the places that we need companion support. We promise to make it fun! On Sundays, we need companions from 10:00-12:00, and on Wednesdays from 12:00-2:00

  • Kitchen Clean-Up - On Sundays from 10:00-12:00 and Wednesdays from 12:00-2:00, we would love for a couple of companions to help us clean up the kitchen and help serve the folks who come in during that time for a meal. You can sign up for this role on the sign-up sheet below!
Sign Up

Haywood Street in Photos

Staff teamwork in the kitchen!

Jinnia and Rebecca preparing the wedding cake.

The beautiful bride!

Weekly Ministry Opportunities:


Sundays at 11:00 and Wednesdays at 12:30 p.m. in the sanctuary

Tuesday Haywood Street Holy Ground Keepers:

8:30 a.m. in the parking lot. Walk the grounds of the church campus and our local neighborhood, cleaning up along the way.

Tuesday Prayer Group: 12:30 p.m. in Room 6. Gather for a time of communal prayer.


Wednesday Art Ministry: 8:30 a.m. in the Sanctuary. Join us for a time of fellowship, prayer, and art-making.

Thursday Card Making: 10:00 a.m. in the Sanctuary. Gather together to make cards for our community and friends in prison or in the hospital. 

Weekly Sermons

Read each week's sermon and previous sermons on the sermons page of the website.

Community Resources

Click below to see a list of places in the community to donate and find clothes, and when recovery meetings are held.

Click Here

Fresco Viewing Hours:

Sundays 9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.

Monday-Thursday 10:00 a.m.- 2:00 p.m.

By appointment, contact April at


Take a Step Closer

By Lead Storyteller, Melanee R.

The sounds of yelling and stuff being thrown interrupt whatever quietness ought to be in a place as sacred as Haywood Street. Yet, I can’t bring myself to tuck away in a coffee shop or in my home when it’s time to write. When the sounds distract me from the stillness of my office and irritation begins to surface, the chaos produced by the poverty all around reminds me to listen. It reminds me to lean forward with the consolation that this is the same world Jesus fell in love with. Irritation doesn’t disappear, but I am reminded to look deeper.

At Respite, hope is poured out carelessly. So, if the chaos takes too much, I’ve learned it’s a good place to begin that deeper look in. I stopped by this week to see Gina and found her sitting on her bed reading a devotional. Gina has a warmth and vitality that’s unparalleled.

No stranger to pain, abuse, or loneliness, Gina has two decades' worth of a story that outlines a health and medical nightmare by anyone’s standards—repeated denials from insurance for required medical procedures,

eviction due to the inability to work compounded by paused disability checks, and appointments that are canceled and rescheduled and canceled again, leaving her to exist another day in pain and discomfort. Meanwhile, our government is pouring $140 billion more into housing subsidies for homeowners than it is into basic healthcare or affordable housing that would bring Gina some relief (1). This alone ought to be enough to show that poverty doesn’t exist because people aren’t collaborating or working hard enough to end it but rather because we live in a world that benefits from it and allows it to continue.


The system we’ve created has failed Gina and people like her over and over again. But, to my astonishment, Gina refuses to lose the fight despite all the challenges. “I’ve come too far to give up now,” she’ll say to me. “And I couldn’t have done it without the support around me.” This is when I can see that dancing on the tear-stained pages of her story is a profound capacity to love the world as it is and to do so persistently. Maybe this is all it takes to stand up to something as big as poverty or homelessness—being a supportive presence, taking a step closer, and refusing to give up.

I’ve come to think that Jesus’s closeness to all the world’s hurts and hard-to-sees made him love it even more. By moving nearer to the person covered with skin lesions and dining at the table with a prostitute, Jesus was acknowledging their experiences and decisions. With a gaze irritatingly persistent, he saw their suffering when others refused to.


Out of obedience and with determination, relationship, above all else, is a radical act of compassion and resistance. Moving

unapologetically towards the ones impoverished and excluded and opposing the social norm of looking away, we can be taught, through people like Gina, to love the world as it is and take a step closer.


  1. Desmond, Matthew. Poverty, By America, (New York: Crown, 2023).
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A witness to include the most excluded, Haywood Street not only welcomes every child of God–especially sisters and brothers of every mental illness and physical disability, addiction and diagnosis, living condition and employment status, gender identity and sexual orientation, class, color, and creed–but we celebrate your presence, certain that the kingdom of God is coming closer because you are here.