Providing housing for the chronically homeless.
After years of studying the community need and operating a small permanent supportive housing residence, Homeward Bound has a housing solution that will provide stability, safety, and improved quality of life for 85 of the Asheville community’s most vulnerable homeless neighbors. The program solution is called “Home is Key.”
Homeward Bound is in contract to purchase the Days Inn motel property located on Tunnel Road in Asheville. The repurposed motel will provide efficiency apartments and space for extensive supportive services with partners including Sunrise Community Wellness and Recovery, Haywood Street Congregation, Appalachian Mountain Centers/Dale Fell clinic, and others.
Homeward Bound Executive Director Meredith Switzer explained, “The folks who will live in this residence have lived on the streets for many years and struggle with chronic health conditions. This medically fragile group is the hardest to keep in housing. They also impose a high cost to the community because of the overuse of public services such as crisis centers, hospital emergency departments, ambulances, and law enforcement. The national average is an annual cost $30,000 to $50,000 per person living on the street compared with a year of housing and supportive services at the cost of $13,000 per person.”
Data from the Woodfin Apartments, Homeward Bound’s permanent supportive housing residence, shows that since its inception in 2016, 90% of individuals housed have remained on there. Mission Hospital reported that after following Homeward Bound clients a year before they were moved into housing and a year after, their emergency department visits decreased by 50%. A gentleman who was the most arrested person in Asheville for nuisance crimes decreased his interaction with law enforcement by 83% after moving into the Woodfin.
Since 2006, Homeward Bound has moved more than 2,180 people into housing and 89% have not returned to homelessness.
For more information about the Home is Key campaign, contact Jim Lowder at firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit homewardboundwnc.org.