Updated summer 2020:
This Spring we, like you, had to make a number of dramatic changes to our practices and routines. Although our entire ministry is built around sitting close, sharing a meal, and touching the very people society calls untouchable, we closed our dining room on March 15th in the name of safety and converted the Downtown Welcome Table to an outdoor, to-go, dining experience.
Thanks to many financial and in-kind donations, dedicated staff, a small group of low-risk volunteers and an inspiring commitment from local restaurants, vendors and food relief programs, we have been able to distribute 1,000 – 1,500 nutritious, home-made meals every week since mid-March. In April we established protocols for safely operating Haywood Street Respite and expanded to provide longer stays for Friends with significant heart and lung problems, allowing them to “stay home and stay safe” with us for an extended period. Our clothing ministry has been adapted to employ a ‘personal shopper’ model that allows us to meet urgent needs.
In June we installed semi-permanent tents in our parking lot. The tents provide relief from rain and days of oppressive heat and allow ample space for social distancing. The tents also support outdoor 12-step meetings and other fellowship and recovery-oriented activities that can help combat challenges associated with isolation. We also launched online worship in June and are excited to begin outdoor worship under the tents on Wednesday, September 9th at noon.
Each action followed many staff conversations, phone calls and zoom meetings with Buncombe County public health and organizational partners, and an effort to collect input from the community as often as possible. Please know that we value your input and are always happy to hear from you.
We hope this snapshot of updates helps you feel more connected to what is happening at Haywood Street. To ensure that our community stays fed, sheltered, clothed and connected, please continue to give as you are able.
ALL ARE WELCOME!