Dignity through dwellings, connection through community.
Recognizing Individual Worth | Respecting One Another | Belonging To Community.
By living into the core belief of relationship, above all else, we found that those living among us who struggle with addiction, mental illness, and homeless need more than a roof over their heads in order to survive and thrive. Having closed on the property at 339 West Haywood Street, we are now able to move forward with our vision of a deeply affordable housing option that offers dignity through community, connection, and access to basic needs.
In order to break ground and begin construction, we must raise $1.1 million of our $2.5 million building goal. You can be part of creating a new vision of affordable housing in Asheville by making a contribution today.
A photo of HSCD Board members and HSC staff
taken after closing on 339 W. Haywood Street.
SCHEMATICS (click to view)
How the Vision Unfolded
While resources are distributed and needs are met through many Haywood St. programs, our primary calling is not to “do for” but to “be with.” Relationship, above all else.
It has been through relationship- listening, eating, healing, worshipping and serving alongside one another- that we have repeatedly observed how, after chronic struggles on the streets or decades of camping under the bridge, an unhoused friend will receive keys to a front door and immediately get overwhelmed by a dark depression or an extended relapse.
Finally enclosed by four walls, the lack of connection can lead to further isolation.
Believing that the opposite of homelessness is more than housing, that community is an essential ingredient, Haywood St. began to pursue affordable housing as a new programmatic focus in 2015.
A dream began to take shape, that we could develop housing grounded in the Haywood St. ethos — where giving and receiving are encouraged; where the boundaries of us and them are trespassed; where strangers become neighbors.
We also recognize housing as an upstream solution to many of the problems we currently seek to address. It is next to impossible for someone to conquer addiction, overcome mental health challenges, or get well and stay well without a safe and stable place to live.
A new legal entity has been formed, known as Haywood Street Community Development, whose purpose is to develop deeply affordable housing connected to the existing Haywood St. ministries.
Though independently governed, Haywood Street Congregation and Haywood Street Community Development unite around a common philosophy that includes preferential treatment for the poor and a deeply held belief in each individual’s intrinsic worth.
Our long-term vision includes multiple housing developments in Asheville and Buncombe County, to help meet the significant gap in deeply affordable housing, particularly for residents with very low or no income.
Many unhoused individuals, after repeatedly eating leftover food, wearing hand-me-down clothes or surviving in tattered tents, begin to believe that they are only worth as much as someone else’s donation.
Wanting to overwhelm residents with a contrary experience, all Haywood Street Community Development projects will be constructed with premium materials such as stainless-steel appliances, luxury vinyl tile flooring, granite countertops, 9-foot ceilings, private balconies, and all the appointments of home.
Convinced that housing can only be done collaboratively, our intention is to use flex space within each development to partner with other area non-profits. Possibilities include a pantry operated by Manna Food Bank, on-site case management provided by Homeward Bound, meeting space for connecting with Pisgah Legal Services, or other services identified by residents as needed.
HSCD Board of Directors:
Chair – McKenzie Dillingham, M.G. Dillingham Residential Construction
Vice Chair – Meredith Ellison, Quility, Co-founder
Treasurer — Dale Freudenberger, Hollis Holdings LLC
Secretary — Kathy Robinson, Retired Public Health Physician
Jim Barrett, Pisgah Legal Services
Mark Collins, Collins & Company
Kayla Lynn Denham, Haywood St. Companion
Tyrone Greenlee, Christians for a United Community
Bill Haggard, Haywood St. Board member
Corry Hyde, United Way ABC
Jeanette King, Mission Hospital
Pamela Hamrick, Haywood St. Companion
Donna Ball, Haywood St. Congregant
Teresa Stephens, Givens Communities
Jennifer Poore, Asheville Buncombe Institute for Parity Achievement
Carrie Pettler, West End Clingman Avenue Neighborhood Association (WECAN)
Philip (“Change Agent”) Cooper, Inspire Coordinator at Land of Sky Regional Council