On Tuesday, Feb 1st, county commissioners unanimously approved $750,000 to go towards Haywood Street’s Community Development project. Click here to view the article.
Click here to stay up to date on details regarding Haywood Street’s Community Development project.
Chris Zaluski’s ‘Theirs is the Kingdom’ documentary is airing on Easter, April 17th on PBS! Click here to read more about the film and the fresco.
The Downtown Welcome Table needs additional support on Wednesdays! Click here to learn about how you can get involved.
A Reflection from Ben, Haywood Street’s Lead Videographer:
A camera is something rarely seen on the campus of Haywood Street. The lens can be an intrusive tool and one that our friends are understandably wary of. When I was given the job, I’ll admit I had my doubts as to what I’d be able to capture. Now, having spent nearly one year here, I can say that the images I’ve gathered, the songs I’ve heard sung, the stories I’ve heard told, have meant more to me than any others.
I think it’s because I know what they’re being put towards: A greater understanding. These pictures and videos I’ve been privileged enough to take aren’t just for likes on social media. They’re meant to open a conversation, to invite new perspectives, and to hopefully change the minds of those who see our friends on the street but might not see the humanity stirring within them. In our friends I see music, art, poetry, resilience, fear, compassion, sorrow and joy. Much like what I see inside all of us.
Although I’ve greatly enjoyed documenting our friends and the various goings-on at Haywood Street, It’s been the “extracurriculars” I’ve benefited from the most. There is one summer day I will never forget and it had nothing to do with cameras, microphones, or computers.
Robert, our Garden Lead, was looking for extra hands to help out with watering and tilling in the garden. The only thing was that I had never actually used a tiller before, but Robert seemed confident that I’d get the hang of it. “Don’t hoss it,” he said. “Let it do the work for you.” After a few strong tugs on the starting cord, I was off. My first few passes went fine and I felt I might escape the task without incident. I was mistaken. When I was nearly halfway finished, the tiller jammed and, of course, my first inclination was to “hoss it.” It sputtered out and began spewing white smoke. I caught Robert’s voice in the background, but I think I was too busy being embarrassed for myself to really hear anything.
All was not lost, however, as Robert eventually got the tiller back working. Now that the dirt had been tilled, it was time to make our seed rows. “I like to do it this way,” Robert said, as he bent down and began moving the earth into narrow mounds with both his arms. As long as I didn’t have to use a tiller again, I’d be happy. So, I got down and stuck my hands into the earth. I crafted seed row after seed row with only the use of my arms and back, sweating profusely and up to my shoulders in dirt. I hadn’t felt better in months.
I wanted to tell this story to say that it’s these moments that matter most, the moments outside of our written duties, that heal our soul the most. If and when I depart from Haywood Street, I’ll remember the conversation I had with a friend sitting on a church pew. I’ll remember the meals I shared with people on Wednesdays. I’ll remember the day I broke Robert’s tiller on that summer day in the garden.