Learn more about homelessness by watching Homeward Bound's video.
Describe what your organization does, especially the main issue or problems it addresses (your mission or goals):
Homeward Bound ends homelessness in Asheville & Buncombe County! Our goal is move every person we serve out of homelessness & into his or her own apartment, then provide the support needed to keep him/her in housing sustainably. We're the lead agency implementing our community's 10-year plan to end homelessness, and last year alone we housed 203 people. Our housing retention rate is 89%, meaning 9 out of 10 people we house don't become homeless again...it's a real solution to the problem! We operate 5 programs: the housing program (Pathways to Permanent Housing), an outreach program (PATH), two faith-based & relationship-driven programs (Room in the Inn & HOPE to HOME), and the A HOPE Day Center. A HOPE is open 7 a.m. to noon every day of the year, & provides basic services like showers, mail, phone, & storage. Everyone who's homeless in Asheville comes through A HOPE at some point, and it's a key first step for people without housing to get connected with our agency, the services they need, & ultimately their own apartments.
What types of service-learning opportunities do you have for students?
A HOPE is our primary service-learning opportunity. At A HOPE, students have significant interaction with people experiencing homelessness in Asheville. They help meet basic needs by checking mail for clients, handing out towels & toiletries for showers, etc., but they also learn about homelessness: who's homeless, & why does it happen? How do we end homelessness? What resources are available in our community, and what are the gaps? How can students & other community members be part of the solution to homelessness?
How do you envision students learning and growing from their involvement? Can you envision any ties to their academic work (for example, will they work on a problem related to issues they might study in their classes)?
Substantive interaction with people experiencing homelessness is life-changing. In addition, today's students need to know that homelessness is a solvable problem; they need to understand what the solution is & how they can be part of it. Homelessness impacts us all in many ways & could be tied to many aspects of academia - social work, of course, but also economics, public health, education, community development, and even marketing.
Will you train students? Supervise them? If so, please explain how:
Absolutely. All students receive an orientation about the issue of homelessness & our agency's role in solving it, as well as direct training for the work they're doing. Students at A HOPE work alongside staff & receive direct supervision there, but will also meet occasionally with the Director of Community Engagement for check-ins.
Scheduling could be an important issue. Please note the available times students could work with your organization:
7 a.m. to noon every day at A HOPE (including weekends)
Is there a minimum number of hours you require of students in a semester (which lasts 15 weeks)? Do you require or ask students to stay longer than a 15-week semester?
What Community Service Projects could faculty or students help you with?
Our A HOPE Day Center has a growing number of volunteers, and as we serve more & more clients, we will continue to recruit additional volunteer support. We need to equip volunteers with the tools to most effectively support our clients & work with our staff, and we would like to create an A HOPE handbook with information about community partners & the process of referring our clients to them, as well as in-house procedures.
Another project for a fall semester is our annual Home for the Holidays fundraising campaign. This is a marketing project involving recruiting new businesses to partner with us in this campaign, creating the appropriate materials for the campaign, and assisting in delivery of those materials as well as follow-up with participating businesses.
To get involved, please contact:
Director of Community Engagement
828.258.1695 ext. 258
19 N. Ann St.