For friends at risk of or currently experiencing homelessness, The Street Dog Coalition will be at Haywood Street this Sunday, June 12th, from 9:00 am – 12:00 pm.

Haywood Street Respite is in need of some items! To support and donate to the respite, check out our Amazon wishlist.

Don’t forget to stop by French Broad Chocolates! Through June, funds raised from the sale of their bumper stickers are being donated to Haywood Street Respite.

SAVE THE DATE! This year’s Golf for Awareness tournament is set for September 16th. More information to follow soon.


  • UPCOMING: Mark your calendars for a Companion Fellowship Event Tuesday on June 21 in the dining room 5:00pm-7:00pm. Dinner will be provided! More information to come.
  • Art Room Companions Needed! – The I Am Home Art Project is in need of weekly companions. Click here to learn more about the project and how you can get involved!
  • Mark your calendars for July 11th! Haywood Street will be holding a community viewing of Theirs is the Kingdom. More details to come.
  • NEW MINISTRY UPDATES – Starting the week of May 1
    • Sunday Bible Study – 11:00am in the sanctuary
    • Tuesday Prayer Group – 12:00 in the sanctuary – Gather for a time of communal prayer
    • Thursday Card Making Group – 10:00am in Room 1 (off the main lobby) – Gather together to make cards for our community and friends in prison or in the hospital.

Breathing Space by Melanee Rizk

The smell of corned beef stew has been wafting around the open doors of the Respite. I sat outside on the patio with Joe while Jason slept in the chair beside me, burned out cigarette hanging from his lip. Dave, one of our friends at the Respite, decided to go shopping and make dinner for everyone. He starts chemo treatments on Monday for cancer that started in his liver and has since spread to other parts of his body. “He’ll probably let you have some if you want,” Joe tells me when I ask what’s cooking in the kitchen. As I talk with Joe, Jason stirs quietly beside me. Despite his body failing him, I can’t help but notice how at ease he seems on the patio with the chatter of people all around him.

If you look up other words for respite, you’ll see that synonyms for it are downtime, interruption, letup, and breathing space. Breathing space is my favorite one, I think. The friends who come into the Respite probably haven’t had much breathing space before arriving here. Most of the time, they’ve been trying to just survive and make it from one day to the next. They’ve been living in survival mode, and the thing about survival mode is that it isn’t meant to be a long term state of being. Our bodies are designed to kick into it during emergencies. When this happens, stress hormones increase, causing our digestive systems to slow down and send that energy to other parts of our body. Our heart rate increases, resulting in quickened breathing. When this becomes someone’s state of being, rest is impossible.

This is what I think of as Jason sleeps in his chair and as Dave stirs his homemade stew in the kitchen, the fast breathing finally interrupted by the invitation to rest, to stay, to just be.

I’m quickly learning that what the Respite offers is truly invaluable. Above being a place to heal from illness and injury, it is a place where people are told they matter. They are told their lives are important, and they are invited to belong, to be loved, and to love.

Don’t just take my word for it, though. See and hear for yourselves.

Haywood Street Respite video