Homeward Bound began in 1988 as Hospitality House, opening its doors to serve the growing homeless population through long-term emergency shelter. In 2006, Hospitality House became Homeward Bound of WNC, and shifted its focus from managing homelessness with shelter to ending homelessness with permanent housing.
When the community adopted Looking Homeward: the 10-Year Plan to End Homelessness in Asheville and Buncombe County in 2005, Homeward Bound was the first agency to realign its programs with the best practices promoted by the plan. Asheville’s 10-year plan, like others across the country, encourages implementation of the Housing First model, proven to be the most effective, cost-efficient, sustainable, and humane intervention to homelessness. Under this model, people experiencing homelessness are housed as quickly as possible and supported by case management services. These services connect people to community resources to help overcome barriers that might threaten their housing stability and result in another episode of homelessness.
In response to the 10-year plan, Homeward Bound began Asheville’s only Housing First program, Pathways to Permanent Housing, and realigned to focus on housing as the solution to homelessness. Since shifting its focus to housing, Homeward Bound has helped move over 1079 people into their own homes, and 89% of them are still stable in their housing.
Homeward Bound’s mission is working with others to end the cycle of homelessness.
· We envision a day when the poor and the vulnerable among us will no longer be invisible and ignored but treated with compassion and decency.
· We envision a day when any homeless person, regardless of psychiatric disabilities, substance abuse problems, medical issues, or financial poverty, can move directly into service-enriched permanent housing and become a productive member of society.
· We believe in the absolute value and worth of every single human being.
· We believe that housing is a basic human right, integral to self-worth and dignity.
· We believe that homelessness is a solvable problem.
· We believe that all services should be offered with respect, empathy, and in the spirit of hope and recovery.
· We believe that we are successful as an organization when one individual takes one step forward on the journey home.
Homeward Bound has 6 programs, each of which is designed to complement the others & to result in permanent housing for the people it serves. Read about our programs here.
Our Board of Directors adopted our newest Strategic Plan in November 2014 after going through an extensive planning and consultation process with staff, community members, and local leaders. This document will guide our work over the next 3 years. Read the plan.