The WNC Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) Initiative presented Jan. 19, Homelessness & Queer Youth in WNC, a free panel discussion at First Congregational United Church of Christ.

Panel participants, from left to right, Zeke Christopolous, executive director, Tranzmission, Peggy Weil, advocacy coordinator, Western North Carolina AIDS Project, Joey Lopez, Haywood Street Congregation and Campaign for Southern Equality, Jon Cox, case manager for Trinity Place Youth Shelter, and Allister Stryan of Help Out Youth.

Joshua Bledsoe from Blue Ridge Community College, far right, served as a panel moderator.

Asheville’s a welcoming place for LGBTQ youth, but homeless quandary persists

The scarcity of jobs in Asheville, an already difficult job horizon for LGBTQ people, as well as difficult, intolerant home situations often mean unstable housing for these WNC youths. As Asheville becomes more and more an attractive and welcoming place for LGBTQ teens and young adults in the area as well as the country, the influx compounds the homeless situation.

TEAMWORK: From left, Liz Button, Sam Goff, Steven Goff, Charles Triber, Chad Kelly, Tanya Triber, David Van Tassel and Ms. Mary in the kitchen at the Haywood Street Congregation. Photo by Alicia Funderburk

Spreading the love: Culinary partnershi­p builds relationsh­ips

Just over a year ago, Cúrate co-owner Liz Button introduced an initiative to bring a fine-dining experience to the city’s homeless and food insecure. Once each month since last June, Button has brought some of Asheville’s most prominent chefs into the basement kitchen of the Haywood Street Congregation’s Welcome Table program to share their cuisine with the homeless ministry’s guests. Click through for a story and slide show from August’s Welcome Table meal with The Junction and King James Public House.

Lafayette Gregory speaks to Asheville City Council about animal cruelty in exotic animal circus performances. (Mountain Xpress/Jesse Farthing)

Asheville City Council: Housing Trust Fund, ordinance adoptions and circus ban considerat­ion

On April 8, Asheville City Council members voted unanimously to pass a resolution to adopt a Housing Trust Fund recommendation to fund Biotat LLC’s Oak Hill Commons Project, as well as an ordinance adopting the new 2014-15 Fees and Charges Manual. Council also considered a request that city officials ban circuses that use exotic animals from […]

Cold times: Asheville tackles bitter temperatur­es ***UPDATED 10 A.M.***

Thanks to a “bitterly cold arctic air mass,” in the National Weather Service’s words, Ashevilleans are grappling with “the coldest temperatures in many years,” with temperatures hitting minus 2 and wind chill as low as minus 24. The NWS warns of bad roadway conditions due to ice and snow and “dangerous wind chills.” Both city and county school systems are closed today, Jan. 7, and the Red Cross has opened warming shelters in some counties.

Putting housing first: Champagne bar hosts benefit today to end homelessness-attachment0

Putting housing first: Champagne bar hosts benefit today to end homelessne­ss

While sipping on a glass of wine or grabbing a late night coffee, residents can help fund an organization working to end homelessness locally and stopping people from spending the night in the harsh winter weather.  “Every time it is cold and I go into my own house, I think, ‘It is not OK that people in our community are sleeping outside tonight,” says Emily Ball, director of community engagement at Homeward Bound of Asheville.

Photo courtesy of Asheville Buncombe Community Christian Ministry

Executive director of ABCCM to speak in D.C. about local success with helping homeless veterans

Asheville Buncombe Community Christian Ministry executive director, Reverend Scott Rogers, will speak before the Senate sub-committee on Veterans Affairs today at 10 a.m. alongside the national coalition of homeless veterans, to share their principles and practices that are producing local outcomes above the national average.