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Partner Profile

Homeward Bound

Published August 11, 2021

Located in Asheville and serving people experiencing homelessness for thirty years, Homeward Bound’s mission is to prevent and end homelessness in our community through permanent housing and support. Since 2006, Homeward Bound has housed more than 2,250 people with an 92% retention rate (during a 12 month survey period). An important ingredient in their success is the supportive services they provide to accompany housing. The key to keeping people in housing is trained, compassionate and nonjudgmental staff who care about the people they serve. Case managers are trained in diversion, harm reduction, motivational interviewing and the organization’s own case management standards of excellence.

Homeward Bound holds three key values at the heart of its work.

  •       Every person has value and worth
  •       Housing is a basic human right, no exceptions
  •       Homelessness is a solvable problem

To this end, Dogwood has partnered with Homeward Bound in their Home is Key project, an effort that will purchase and renovate the Days Inn on Tunnel Road in Asheville to create permanent supportive housing. Homeward Bound plans to close on the Days Inn on Tunnel Road in Asheville this summer and intends to completely renovate the hotel and create permanent supportive housing for 85 formerly homeless individuals. Dogwood Health Trust is providing a $2 million grant in support of the $12.5 million project.

In addition to providing housing for 85 of the community’s most chronically homeless and vulnerable, Home is Key will provide on-site case management, 24/7 staffing, on-site security and support services – all helping to create a successful adjustment to living indoors and off the street. The project is founded on the Housing First model which embraces the principle that permanent housing is the foundation from which people can start rebuilding their lives. Until a person experiencing homelessness has a safe, secure place to live, he or she cannot move forward with addressing other struggles like mental illness, substance use, or chronic illness.

Over time, Homeward Bound expects to reduce chronic homelessness in the area by 40%, and they are hoping the project will be a model for ending chronic homelessness that can be replicated across Western North Carolina. 

“We are so grateful to Dogwood Health Trust for their commitment to ending homelessness in our community and their support of Homeward Bound. Dogwood was the first organization to provide major funding for the Home is Key project. They set the tone and created momentum that led to funding from city and county sources as well as an anonymous donor,” says Eleanor Ashton, senior resource development director with Homeward Bound. She adds, “If it had not been for Dogwood and their faith in Homeward Bound and in the project, none of this might have evolved into what it has.”

“We are so grateful to Dogwood Health Trust for their commitment to ending homelessness in our community and their support of Homeward Bound.”

– Eleanor Ashton, Senior Resource Development Director, Homeward Bound

Elderly man sitting on a staircase with his bag hanging on the riail next to him.

Area Served:
Buncombe County

Dogwood Partner in:

  • Housing

Grant Funding:

  • $2,021,600