Haywood Street’s core programs provide a platform for the ministry of relationship. We define this simply as the act of “being with”, which speaks to our deepest identity. In contrast to traditional “doing for” ministries, a relational ministry requires spending time together by talking and listening, serving and being served, and giving and receiving. This is the basis for our unique and transformative Companion Ministry. Companion is a word we use in place of Volunteer.
Companions are those who offer their time, energy, or simply their presence to our community. Because we are not a ministry where “the haves” help “the have-nots,” the invitation to be a companion is not relegated to those with homes, wealth, or mental health. The only requirement is to have the willingness to recognize the humanity and dignity inherent in each person encountered by stepping out of the comfort zone of likeness in order to see the child of God in the person most unlike us.
Acknowledging that all have gifts to offer, and all have needs to receive, we strive to disrupt the “us” and “them” structure of our economic and class-based society by inviting housed and unhoused alike to prepare the meal together and then join each other at the table.
If you are accustomed to only serving others, you are invited to be served. If your gifts have been overlooked or dismissed, you’re invited to participate. Because we know that in this world full of division, we all need a place with a little bit of holy chaos where each of us will be seen.