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Haywood Street Congregation is unique.

Likely the only church in the region to form specifically to serve the area’s homeless, Asheville’s Haywood Street Congregation’s ministry takes many forms. From a clothing closet and a free lunch at the congregation’s Welcome Table, to the Wednesday church service at the downtown Asheville church, the congregation is made up of a mix of volunteers, people with and without homes, and others who sit side-by-side on the pew and at the lunch table.

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Photographer Matt Rose spent Wednesday in the church’s lunch line and at the service for this essay. To read a profile of the church, its congregation and the minister that founded it, read contributing reporter Paul Clark’s story here.

[The congregation will hold “A Walk of Awareness” on Sunday, Sept. 11, to raise money for its programs while showing participants the common routes Asheville’s homeless take as they seek food, clothing and shelter. See below for more details, or go here for more information on how to register.]

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A Walk of Awareness

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In hopes of making visible the invisible lives of the area’s homeless, Haywood Street Congregation will hold “A Walk of Awareness,” on Sept. 11, that will take participants along the downtown Asheville routes the homeless take in search of food, clothing and shelter. The 3K-5K route (you decide its length) starts at 4 p.m. at Haywood Street Congregation, 297 Haywood St., Asheville. A celebration supper at the church is at 5:30 p.m. Registration is $30, available at (online registration ends Sept. 9.). The event raises money for The Welcome Table, the congregation’s weekly community meal, and other ministry programs.

Angie Newsome

Angie Newsome is the executive director and editor of Carolina Public Press. Contact her at (828) 774-5290 or e-mail her at

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