Solving homelessness begins with understanding it- Our Why. Here are some of the questions we often get and our answers. If we haven’t addressed your question, please contact us.
Why do people become homeless?
Life crises like domestic violence, medical emergencies, divorce, mental illness, and job loss—all normal issues that can happen to anyone—are ways people end up without housing.
People become homeless as a result of these life events because they don’t have a support system to turn to while in crisis—someone who can offer financial, practical, and emotional help to get through the emergency. Our Why
Who is homeless?
In our region, over 500 people experience homelessness on any given night, and more than 2,000 people experience it throughout the course of a year. 45% of them are veterans. 7% of them are children. Very few of them have come to Asheville homeless: 75% had housing in Buncombe County before they became homeless and many of them are from this area originally. Our Why
What’s it like to be homeless?
People don’t look you in the eye or treat you with respect. You’re susceptible to violence, theft, and assault. Homelessness means being exhausted and undernourished, often with little rest. You don’t know where your next meal is coming from or where you will sleep at night.
Men and women can stay in shelters if there are enough beds available. Shelters in our area often don’t have enough beds in extreme weather.
Many people sleep in their cars or at campsites—some because they can’t get into the shelters and others because their mental illnesses make shelters a scary environment. During the day, many people visit the library or other public places, or they go to our AHOPE Day Center for basic services and a safe place to rest. Our Why
What is Housing First?
It means we move people out of homelessness and into homes as quickly as possible. Then we wrap around the services they need to stay there. We house everyone, regardless of illness, disability, addictions, behaviors, gender, religion, or any other characteristic. Our Why
What about the people who choose to be homeless?
Homelessness isn’t a choice or a lifestyle, it’s a terrible reality. When people become and stay homeless, it can be hard to see a way out. Sometimes people who have been homeless for a long time may say they are choosing it and it can be because they no longer remember what it’s like to be in housing. Our Why
Where are people rehoused?
When we move people into housing, they either go into public housing or privately owned housing, also known as scattered-site housing. The Housing Authority of the City of Asheville provides public housing options based on income: clients pay sliding-scale rent to the Housing Authority based on what they make. Scattered-site housing is private rental property owned by landlords who charge us fair market rates or below. The client signs the lease in their own name to build credit, but rent comes from Homeward Bound, so the landlord is assured of payment. Landlords have support from our case managers if any issues come up. Most of our clients move into scattered-site housing. Landlords are key to ending homelessness. Click here to find out more about how we work with them. Our Why
92 cents of every dollar goes directly to end homelessness
A monthly gift allows you to spread the financial impact of your giving across the entire year, lessening a one-time drain on your resources. Also, recurring gifts help Homeward Bound as we can more accurately predict income in advance, which helps with longer range budgeting and decision-making.
Volunteers help us end homelessness
Come volunteer with us! We offer service experiences for individuals, faith communities, businesses, and schools and youth groups. Volunteers help us end homelessness in our region by helping provide much-needed services to people transitioning into a home.
Contribute to a Cause
Your clean and gently used household items can help others experience the comforts of home. Your donations go directly to women, men, and children moving in to new homes or are used at our Day Center. Donation receipts are available upon request.
Get in Touch. Get Involved.
The Homeward Bound community includes caring staff, volunteers, board members, and people experiencing or moving out of homelessness. We believe that housing is a human right and use the “Housing First” national best practice to end homelessness. We care about the most vulnerable among us and work every day to help them improve their lives. Join us!
37 Montford Ave Asheville, NC 28801
Call Us: (828) 252-8883
News & Updates
Michael Couldn't Stand Shelters Michael left his parents’ house after they had a falling out at age 17 and started sleeping on friends’ couches. “I didn’t know anything about being homeless,” he said. The area provider gave the support that Michael needed on a...
Watch John Le's story on WLOS about Key Common, Homeward Bound's newest endeavour into becoming property owners. "Our first foray into owning our own property," explained Executive Director Meredith Switzer. Watch the video for interviews with Board Member Brian...
Homeward Bound staff member Erin recently transitioned into a new role as liaison between Buncombe County Library staff and the homeless community accessing the library. The County approached Homeward Bound because they had so many homeless individuals spending time...