Haywood Street’s Community Residency program is designed to equip mission-minded individuals for effective and transformative ministry WITH the poor.

Haywood Street is a United Methodist mission congregation that recognizes “Table” as its central metaphor.  At altar table or dinner table, in the meeting room or around the picnic table, this diverse faith community is thriving in part because of its emphasis on authentic relationships and mutual service. Around 450 gather each Wednesday for lunch and breakfast on Sundays at the Downtown Welcome Table. Pre-COVID, this was a sit-down meal served family style in our dining room. Those gathered around the table included individuals carrying all their worldly possessions in ragged backpacks as well as privileged professionals, stay-at-home moms, students and the working poor. During COVID, meals have been distributed to-go style from our parking lot with activities such as clothing distribution and outdoor worship happening alongside. We anticipate moving back indoors will be a gradual process beginning later this Spring and continuing through the summer.

In addition to the Downtown Welcome Table, core Haywood Street programs include God’s Outfitters clothing closet, a vibrant community garden, and the Haywood Street Respite, where eight homeless adults at a time can stay on a short-term basis after being discharged from the hospital to finish getting well. While Haywood Street Respite follows an evidence-based model with a proven track record of success, its design as an intentional community is what sets it apart from other respite care programs in the U.S.

The Community Residency includes an opportunity to live in community at Haywood Street Respite while gaining hands-on ministry experience through active participation with the Downtown Welcome Table and other Haywood Street ministries. The resident will be an integral member of the staff team, working side by side with other staff and volunteers (companions) to cook, serve and clean up from the twice-a-week meals and ensure that the ministry embodies a “with” approach in everything that happens on campus.

Who should apply to Haywood Street’s community residency program?

  • College students seeking a meaningful “gap year” experience
  • Seminary candidates looking to strengthen their capacity for incarnational ministry with and among the poor
  • Anyone desiring an extended mission immersion experience that affords opportunity to learn practical skills and theory for successful ministry WITH the poor

Room, Board & Requirements:

  • Meals as well as lodging in a private room (shared bath) in the Haywood Street Respite are provided.
  • Resident receives a monthly stipend.
  • Resident will have assigned responsibilities and serve as an integral part of the Downtown Welcome Table and other ministry work teams. This will include hauling boxes, sorting and hanging clothes, chopping vegetables, mopping floors, washing dishes. It also includes full participation in weekly planning meetings and discussions with other staff regarding challenges and opportunities associated with urban ministry, as well as mentoring from one of Haywood Street’s pastors.
  • Overnight presence on campus is expected three or four nights a week, except during vacation weeks (2 weeks per year).

“Raw, welcoming and authentic, Haywood Street is a community of Christian faith – a fellowship of table, worship and mission – that affirms the sacred worth of all. Houseless and housed, sober and intoxicated, illiterate and educated, lost and found. A disparate blend of people seeking communion with God and one another.”

To apply, please submit a cover letter along with answers to the following questions:

  • What attracts you to the residency program at Haywood Street Congregation?
  • What do you hope to gain from participation in Haywood Street’s residency program?
  • Describe an experience in which you had to work as a member of a team to solve a problem.
  • What is one question or concept that is challenging to you in your faith life?
  • What is your understanding of grace?
  • Describe a relationship you have had with someone who is living on the margins.

Materials may be submitted by email to:  haywoodstreet@haywoodstreet.org

Please also provide two letters of recommendation from people who know you well enough to address your honesty, integrity and capacity for personal relationships. (these can be mailed to: Haywood Street Congregation, PO Box 2982, Asheville NC 28802)

Application Checklist
Cover letter
Question responses
Two Letters of Recommendation

This is a one year position, with a start date around the end of May/beginning of June. We are currently accepting applications for the 2021 -2022 program year.

Contact Laura at laura@haywoodstreet.org or 828-575-2477, ext. 104 with questions.