About BeLoved Asheville
It Takes a Village. Will You Join Ours?
We believe in the power of community! You have heard it takes a village to raise a child. We believe that everyone needs a village. Each of us needs a supportive network of people in our lives, ways to use our gifts, and meaningful ways to engage the world and make a difference. Here we create a community of mutuality that is lifting up our neighborhood and building new economies based in love and justice.
HOW WE LIVE OUT OUR MISSION TOGETHER
We believe that community has the power to change the world! And we are inviting you to join us on our mission to be love through hospitality, relationship building across old lines of division, sharing, justice-seeking and using our imaginations to create a new world!
We embody love in our city and beyond through various projects:
HOMELESS VOICE PROJECT
Homeless Voice is an empowerment project where people who are homeless or formerly homeless amplify their voices in public policy that directly affects the homeless community. And create projects that they lead to support the homeless community. BeLoved equips and resources these leaders to “be the people they have been waiting for.” Homeless Voice is about making people subjects rather than objects and seeks to help people reclaim their agency.
STREET MEDICS TEAM
A project coming out of Homeless Voice, the street medics team trains to serve as “first, first responders” to the homeless community. Recognizing that “homelessness is the most fatal condition in the country” according to CNN and after Janet Jones froze to death on the streets of Asheville, folks decided that having members of the homeless community who were trained to support that community in medical crises was critical. The medics train under an EMT and can provide on-the-spot assessment and first aid. They also support the community in promoting better health through prevention and wellness work including sponsoring Health on the Streets, a street health fair in Pritchard Park.
FREE VILLAGE FARMERS MARKETS & OUR TABLE’S SPREAD MEALS
We believe in the value of sharing and creating neighborhoods. We know that Asheville one of the top ten cities in the nation for food insecurity. Every week we open our table and spread tables across our community with healthy, nutritious foods gardened and gleaned right here in our community. We do this emphasizing dignity and building deep community roots by helping neighbors to get to know each other. Our hope is this will ripple out in strong neighborhoods that regularly share resources. Our Farmers Markets share food with tables spread with table cloths and food in baskets and are often accompanied by live music, food tasting, and nutrition lessons. We do several weekly throughout the community!
Asheville is experiencing a serious housing crisis and we are now #2 in the country for gentrification! This makes finding housing that you can afford difficult. Add to that a lack of internet and a vehicle and you have a serious uphill battle. House Hunters utilizes volunteers to help folks search for and obtain housing that works for them and support in moving in!
MUTUAL SUPPORT RESOURCE CENTER
Offering a clothes closet and laundry, one-on-one support (job and assistance applications, medical care, court advocacy, recovery, accompaniment), haircuts, and special programs for folks on the street, newly housed, and those living in poverty. The resource center works off of mutual support meaning that we do not have one class of people serving another, but all of us helping and resourcing each other in community. Everyone shares their gifts and everyone cares for each other!
GROVE STREET GARDENS
We believe in tending the earth and the neighborhood just under our feet! We trust that growing our own food is a powerful expression of living with the land and being able to share more healthy food in food deserts! We are honored to be a part of the Gardening Network through Bountiful Cities and love inviting neighbors, friends, and strangers to pick the harvest anytime!
Hosting educational and volunteer opportunities for children and youth, sharing children’s books to create at home libraries, back-to-school supply and backpack give-a-ways, and family support.
Rise Up Studio is an artists collective where artists who are living in poverty or are experiencing homelessness can create art and music, heal through creativity, and sell their art to support themselves and their families in acquiring basic necessities. Our Street Musicians Guild supplies street musical artists with donated instruments, strings, storage, and recording support.
SOCIAL & ECONOMIC JUSTICE
We believe that our call is to build what Dr. King called the beloved community where the categories of oppressed and oppressor no longer exist. We are as Dorothy Day said, “Buidling a new world in the shell of the old.” We have led the way on homeless rights projects and campaigns, honoring Dr. King’s martyrdom, and speaking out on cuts to necessary programs. Our most recent campaigns include: A Million Dollars for the People, Housing Not Handcuffs, and Stop the Housing Cuts. BeLoved was declared a sanctuary in the Sanctuary Movement in the spring of 2016 and was the first declared sanctuary in WNC. We also join partner groups such as NAACP Moral Mondays, People’s Voice on Transportation Equality, Center for Participatory Change, Just Economics WNC to support the rights of all people to the fullness of life!
Mutuality, respect, dignity, personal relationships are watchwords for us.