Rob Rikoon (right) works on his new sculpture at Haywood Street.


Picture above, Rob Rikoon (right) works on his new sculpture that will be installed in the Haywood Street gardens! Stay tuned for updates.

With Buncombe County Covid rates dropping to moderate, we are pleased to update our mask policy. Wearing masks, inside and outside, is now optional at Haywood Street. We ask that you consider your health and that of others. If you are feeling unwell or have factors that increase your risk of illness, mask wearing may still be appropriate.


– Is your church or civic group thinking about a clothing drive? Haywood Street’s God’s Outfitters is in need of a range of items. Even with generous clothing donations received on Tuesday and Thursday, our closet is often empty by the next day. Donation drop offs are welcome every Tuesday and Thursday between 10 and noon.

– As we move through Lent and look ahead to the celebration of Christ’s rising on Easter, the kitchen is preparing for the feast. Full plates of ham and the fixings will be prepared for 600. Please consider supporting the Easter Feast by donating to the Downtown Welcome Table.

A Reflection From Lorili:


The Spirit of the Welcome Table

Each Wednesday the table is set to live our mission: Relationship, above all else. Companions and staff are encouraged to take time to share a meal with others at the Downtown Welcome Table. After all, breaking bread together is an open invitation for beginning a friendship. 

As a child, I was horribly shy.  As an adult talking with new people is still outside my comfort zone. Yet, stepping outside your comfort zone can be a surprising blessing. 

It started a few Wednesdays ago; I left my office and headed downstairs to the Welcome Table for lunch. There at a small table sitting alone, I noticed a woman quietly eating her lunch. I asked to join her and she nodded. I introduced myself and she smiled, but didn’t share her name. We sat in silence, until a companion I know came over and we greeted each other with a hug. When I rejoined my dining partner, she smiled and stated, “You must be good friends.”  This started a conversation about the Downtown Welcome table being more than just lunch. That Haywood Street is about relationships, connections, and welcoming. She shared that she is guarded when meeting new people. I nodded with understanding. Our conversation wandered around a bit, at one point she stopped and asked my name, I told her and she said, “I’m Maggie.” We continued our wandering conversation and I was filled with that warm feeling of making a new friend.

This past Wednesday, I had the pleasure of lunching with Maggie again. Her warm smile greeted me this time. She was less cautious this time, and we started chatting easily. At one point in our conversation, Maggie stated, “Oh I can’t believe I said that” and glanced away. I was puzzled. Maggie is very soft spoken, and the dining room can be loud. Perhaps, I misheard. I leaned in and looked her in the eyes, which seemed a bit tearful. Then she told me she had not said those words aloud before. Without thinking or censoring herself, Maggie had shared one of her most secretive truths. 

At that table, Maggie felt safe and comfortable to share a personal and private story with me. I felt honored, humbled, and blessed. 

As I reflect on this experience, I am still touched. A few weeks earlier, Maggie and I were strangers—from different worlds with diverse backgrounds and experiences. Today we share a special kind of relationship based on kindness, respect, and trust.

The transformation from strangers to sharing exceptional moments amazes me, yet it happens frequently here at Haywood Street. The Downtown Welcome Table serves up more than just warm tasty food to satisfy a physical hunger. It also feeds the spirit and soul with warmth.

At Haywood Street, Jesus shows up at lunch.