In the middle of the night there are magic moments here at Haywood Street which only a lucky few are so privileged to experience. The sounds of snoring sing serenely as the highway hardly whispers. Almost no one is awake at this time, but what a blessing it is to be.
Most folks in our community might call me crazy if I told them how I really feel, which is that Haywood Street is the most peaceful place on Earth. After three years of experience pulling the night shift, first as a companion, and now as staff, I can say without a doubt that whatever spiritual disruption some may encounter at the Welcome Table is equally matched with tranquility inside Respite.
Having been branded Holy Chaos, few would suspect the stillness that lingers after hours at Haywood Street. In the middle of the night, as the wind blows and whips across the windows with a cold reminder, it is warm here. The lights are soft and the beds are cozy, filled with friends resting and recovering.
In so many ways Respite is the antidote to the biblical story of the Holy Family huddled in a barn, our messiah in a manger. In a world with no vacancies we welcome the most vulnerable, individuals experiencing homelessness who are ill and injured. Everyday we witness quiet miracles when friends come in, become family, and find a home here; all of which is best evidenced by a good night’s sleep.