WELCOME FROM HAYWOOD STREET:
Our first live stream sermon went great! Click here if you missed it. Our next live stream sermon will be delivered by Father Mike on Wednesday, May 13, at 1:30 EST. You can use this link to access it. Remember, in order to comment and read other people’s comments (in real time), you must have a Google account and be logged in. We hope to see you there!
|1. Needle exchange services are now being offered during Wednesday and Saturday mealtimes (10:30-12:00).
2. A reminder that we are NOT accepting clothing donations at this time.
3. Honor Gift (with card featuring Miss Mary) is still available! More…
4. Click here for an updated list of community meals being offered in the downtown area.
1. Make a meal for Friends staying in Respite. Click here to sign up!
2. We recently received a generous donation of hand sanitizer, however, it is currently packaged in large bottles. We are looking for donations of travel size bottles so that we may divide this supply and distribute small bottles of sanitizer to our Friends.
3. We are still collecting face masks, both factory and hand-made.
* Donations can be mailed to 297 Haywood Street or dropped off on Tuesdays from 9am-noon. Drive around back to the double doors and knock. Staff will be inside, preparing Wednesday’s meal, and will be able to accept your donation with minimal contact.
A HAYWOOD STREET REFLECTION BY: BROOK
I am grateful to the group #ResistHarm who wanted to shine light on the recent efforts of the Haywood Street community and some of the changes we have put into place. Although I could write a modified submission nearly every few days, this is what I wrote a week ago. We will continue to adapt as quickly and as faithfully as we are able.
Haywood Street is a United Methodist mission congregation and faith-based nonprofit located in what is known as the homeless corridor of downtown Asheville. At Haywood Street, we value inclusion over efficiency and strive, sometime recklessly and at nearly all costs, to live into our mission – Relationship, above all else.
Being a ministry of up-close-ness, it is no surprise that what COVID-19 has done to Haywood Street, is undermine the very theology in which we practice our faith. Not only do we call our twice-weekly services worship, we consider our community meals, gardens, clothing closet and medical Respite to be worship and sacred as well. What is common to all of our ministries is the side-by-side, hand-in-hand, and sometimes fist-to-fist intimacy and holy entanglement of our community. Without being able to hold a mother who has just lost custody of her child, wipe the sweat from a man in the throes of Opiate withdrawal, or rip a piece of bread from a single loaf and soak it in a common goblet, we are struggling to understand who we are. As Rev. Combs, our founding pastor, has stated, “This virus is contrary to everything we claim to be about.”
All of this said, days before we had to close our doors to the public, we began figuring out how we would stay operational. Believing new life is only possible when people are fed, we shifted our focus, almost solely, to the feeding of the multitude. In a matter of weeks, we transformed our indoor, Welcome Table model to a fully functioning ‘to-go’, outdoor food service. With the help of many of our partner restaurants and establishments, we are now serving roughly 500, made-from-scratch meals, three days per week. We are also preparing meals for the 50 unhoused people who are sheltering-in-place at our local convention center. Additionally, we are providing, along with help from volunteers, three meals per day, seven days per week, to eight of our most vulnerable, unhoused Friends, who after a Haywood-Street-funded, two-week quarantine at a local hotel, are now taking long-term shelter at Haywood Street Respite.
And I suppose this is how we are working our way back, one faithful step and stumble at a time. With systems in place for food and shelter, we are now looking towards a new model for our clothing closet, the introduction of online worship services, and the possibility of small, social-distance-compliant, outdoor support groups. We are utilizing old tools like phone trees and newer tools like social media to contact members of our community who remain on the streets or in shelters. It is all a bit clumsy, but clumsy is also our specialty and we are willing to risk all appearances in the name of connectedness.