Updated summer 2020:
This Spring we, like you, had to make a number of dramatic changes to our practices and routines. Although our entire ministry is built around sitting close, sharing a meal, and touching the very people society calls untouchable, we closed our dining room on March 15th in the name of safety and converted the Downtown Welcome Table to an outdoor, to-go, dining experience.
Thanks to many financial and in-kind donations, dedicated staff, a small group of low-risk volunteers and an inspiring commitment from local restaurants, vendors and food relief programs, we have been able to distribute 1,500 nutritious, home-made meals outside weekly for nearly three months. In April we established protocols for safely operating Haywood Street Respite and expanded to provide longer term shelter to Friends with significant heart and lung problems. Soon after, we launched online worship and adapted our clothing ministry to employ a ‘personal shopper’ model that allows us to meet urgent needs.
Each action followed many staff conversations, weekly phone calls with Buncombe County public health and organizational partners, and an effort to collect input from the community as often as possible. Please know that we value your input and are always happy to hear from you.
We are excited now to share our plans for the summer. This month we will install semi-permanent tents in our parking lot. The tents will provide relief from rain and days of oppressive heat as we prepare to host meals outside all summer long — with plenty of space for social distancing. The tents will also support outdoor worship services, 12-step meetings and other fellowship and recovery-oriented activities that can help combat challenges associated with isolation and provide new opportunities for companion involvement.
We hope this snapshot of updates helps you feel more connected to what is happening at Haywood Street. To ensure that our community stays fed, sheltered, clothed and connected, please continue to give as you are able.
ALL ARE WELCOME!