Just a few years ago, homelessness in Transylvania County was almost literally hidden in the woods – people with nowhere to go often sought refuge there.
At the urging of the Board of The Bread of Life, Transylvania County’s community kitchen, a task force studied the need for and feasibility of an emergency overnight shelter. A broad spectrum of organizations participated. The task force concluded that an open-plan facility – configured to safely house up to 18 men, women and children – could be optimally utilized.
The Haven of Transylvania County was organized, incorporated, and granted 501(c)(3) status in late 2009. A location was sought within walking distance of other community services; The Bread of Life offered a 40-year, $1-a-year lease on a portion of its South Caldwell Street property as the construction site. A design took shape for a 1400-square-foot facility, and fund raising began.
Ground was broken for the building in January 2011; thanks to the generosity of the residents of Transylvania County and with help from three foundations, the construction costs were fully funded by the time The Haven opened its doors on October 31, 2011. Since that time, the staff of The Haven has helped a high percentage of the residents back into housing with a plan for a way forward in their lives.
In December 2013, The Haven purchased a former group home located next door. This building has been renovated to accommodate five families. The Haven Family House opened its doors in June 2014.