The key to ending homelessness


Homeward Bound proudly uses the best practice Housing First model to end homelessnessHousing First is a homeless assistance approach that prioritizes providing permanent housing to people experiencing homelessness. This approach is guided by the belief that people need basic necessities like food and a place to live before attending to anything less critical, such as getting a job, budgeting properly, or attending to substance use issues.

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moved out of homelessness


of folks moved into their own homes have not returned to homelessness

About Homeward Bound

Housing First

Homeward Bound’s Housing First  means that everyone has a human right to live inside. It means moving people out of homelessness and into homes as quickly as possible. Then we wrap around the services they need to stay there. 

Homeless Services

More than 500 people are homeless on any given night in Buncombe County. People who’ve become chronically homeless are the most vulnerable members of our community. They have the greatest need for permanent housing but the least opportunity to access it.

Housing Services

Homeward Bound runs two programs to offer housing to individuals and families currently living in shelters, their cars, or on the streets. Once folks move into their own home, we provide the furnishings to make it feel personal and the social services to thrive.

Veterans Program

Since its inception our Veterans Housing Services Program has housed more than 440 veterans and family members and prevented more than 139 from becoming homeless.

Our mission is working with others to end the cycle of homelessness.

Homeward Bound is the community leader in best practices to end homelessness, and have been using the Housing First model since 2006. The Housing First model has been proven to be the most effective, cost-efficient, sustainable, and humane intervention to homelessness. Essentially this means people experiencing homelessness are housed as quickly as possible and offered case management services to provide support and resources to help maintain housing stability.

Since 2006, Homeward Bound has moved more than 2,100 men, women, and children out of cars, camps, and shelters into permanent housing. We have an 89% retention rate in housing.

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3,641 people

came through the doors of AHOPE Day Center last year

Michael, a volunteer at Homeward Bound’s AHOPE Day Center, told us,“I don’t know if I ever expressed this, but I was always impressed with the level of work you do at Homeward Bound and [the Day Center]. There is so much respect and human dignity in it. Also, you waste absolutely nothing. You can take a small amount of resources and make it perform so many different services. Thanks for letting me volunteer with you!”

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Homeward Bound’s Call for Change

Nationally, African Americans accounted for 40 percent of all people experiencing homelessness in 2019 despite being 13% of the population. This is just one of the many symptoms of institutional racism and economic and racial inequity. We believe in the absolute value...

Asheville-Buncombe 2020 Point-in-Time count completed

As part of the nationwide 2020 Point-in-Time (PIT) count, the Asheville-Buncombe County Homeless Initiative has completed its report of the community’s one-night count of individuals and families experiencing homelessness. The final report was submitted to the U.S....

Sheltered Community in Harrah’s Cherokee Center Move to Hotel

José Valadez looks over the balcony at the Red Roof Inn in Asheville on Tuesday. Valadez is a client of Homeward Bound, which began housing otherwise homeless clients at the motel during the coronavirus pandemic this week. Photo by Jacob Biba, courtesy of Carolina...

Words from Homeward Bound’s Emergency Shelter

STAYING SAFE: Yulon Ferguson has been sheltering at the Harrah's Cherokee Center - Asheville since it opened on April 8. He is using the time in quarantine to make plans for the future and to give back through mentoring his peers and pitching in on cleaning chores....

VIRTUAL Welcome Home Luncheon Announced

The event will be held online live on May 20th. The inspiring program will include words from our Executive Director Meredith Switzer, a short documentary by Emmy-Award winning director Katie Damien, as well as a spoken-word performance and musical performance by...

Homeward Bound Opens Emergency Shelter in Harrah’s Cherokee Center – Asheville

Homeward Bound, the City of Asheville, Buncombe County, and several nonprofit community partners are collaborating to turn Harrah's Cherokee Center (Civic Center) into a safe shelter for people who are homeless and living unsheltered. This week, with the assistance of...

Ingles-Markets Presenting Sponsor of Welcome Home Luncheon 2020

Ingles Markets, thank you. Ingles-Markets continues year after year to support Homeward Bound and ending homelessness. As our presenting sponsor to our Welcome Home Luncheon this year, the costs of catering, space rental, printing, and so much more are paid for by...

Donation Drive in Response to COVID-19

Items critically needed at this time include: Camping gear, toilet paper, paper towels, trash bags, disinfectant cleaning supplies including wipes, regular baby wipes, disposable gloves, towels, soap, underwear, socks, and unopened (without the seal broken)...

2020 Valentine’s Day Lunch and Learn Announced

Did you know...?-57% of homeless women cite sexual or domestic violence as the direct cause of their homelessness. -More than 90% of homeless women have experienced severe physical or sexual abuse at some point in their life. -38% of all victims of domestic violence...

Happy Holidays from Homeward Bound!

2020 is Here! Happy Holidays from Homeward Bound's Executive Director Meredith Switzer! Watch the video to hear her give a quick update on 2019 and thanks for all of your support.

“The ache for home lives in all of us,
the safe place where we can go as we are, and not
be questioned”

- Maya Angelou

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