If you missed it, click here to read this great Mountain
Xpress article featuring the Downtown Welcome Table!

The wonderful write-ups continued this week. We
give our thanks to the Citizen Times for this cover story
on the Haywood Street Fresco.


1. There will be slight price increases on some Haywood Street merchandise after January 1st. Get yours today! (all proceeds benefit Haywood Street core ministries)

2. Haywood Street has two Community Residency positions available. Click here to learn more!

3. Mark you calendars! Friday, January 18, 8:30 AM – 10:00 AM: “Art Talks”; Learn more…


For more information about any of the following, please contact Hannah, Haywood Street Companion Coordinator, at hannah@haywoodstreet.org or 828.575.2477 [ext. 106].
Clothing Closet:
Prep: 10-noon Tuesday and Thursdays
Current needs: winter coats, base layers, men’s/women’s underwear
Commodity Runs:
We are seeking folks to help fill in for the Saturday night Trader Joe’s run as well as the Tuesday morning Walmart run. Please let Hannah know if you are interested.

Make a gift to Haywood St.


As a songwriter, I often enjoy the challenge of writing something especially for a person, or event, or organization. It took about one visit to Haywood Street before I knew I wanted to write a song to commemorate the unique work being done here.

It was important to me to use language specific to the subject matter, while also allowing for double-meanings, so that insiders will get the in-jokes, while any listener not familiar with the topic will not be confounded by any obscure references to the clothing closet, the medical respite center, the garden, and, most significantly, the meal service.

Everyone who arrives will be fed, and listened to with deep attention. It is often gently asked of those about to enter at meal time to keep drug use outside, in order to honor and protect our friends’ efforts at sobriety within the dining hall. These all felt like important things to acknowledge.

One need not be Christian, or even religious at all, to be received at Haywood Street, but those who attend worship services will find a message of love and inclusion, not vengeance or unworthiness. So I wanted to contrast Haywood’s message with the exclusionary rhetoric hellfire which some congregants have found alienating or even traumatizing in past experience.

What better way to sum up Haywood than by invoking the Nativity itself, reminding us, regardless of our religious affiliations, that in this story, Jesus himself is a refugee, his parents seeking shelter no differently than any homeless family who might arrive in Asheville tonight without a friend, a bed, a meal, or a roof over their heads. No room at the inn? We’ll take the stable.

And most importantly, perhaps, is that this is not a matter of service provider and consumer; but one of mutual support in community: two or more people helping each other. So whoever the listener is, you are equally invited to help, and be helped; to feed, and be fed: “Reach out, lend a hand if you are able; sit down at the Welcome Table.”

Welcome Table
Good morning, how about this weather
Welcome to this place where we’ll be fed
Step inside, and take shelter
Share a moment of grace, and we’ll break bread

Let me hear what you have to say
No one will be turned away
Reach out, lend a hand if you are able
Sit down at the welcome table

Now please respect all our sisters and brothers
Distinguished elders, and young mothers
Who are putting one foot in front of the other
One step at a time, to stay sober

May the fire and brimstone cease
If we must preach, we’ll preach of peace
For good friends and food, we are grateful
Sit down at the welcome table

Open our closet, try on this jacket
Be received with a warm embrace
Tend the garden, or take respite
In holy chaos, and abundant grace

An olive branch in the beak of a dove
Home is where you feel that you are loved
No room at the inn? we’ll take the stable
Sit down at the welcome table

Sit down at the welcome table
Sit down at the welcome table
Sit down at the welcome table
Sit down at the welcome table

Reach out, lend a hand if you are able
Sit down at the welcome table!

For more faces & stories from our Congregation, click here.