The Housing Committee advocates and supports programs and policies that help all local individuals have access to safe and reasonably-priced housing.
These efforts include our belief in living wages and city and county efforts to provide more affordable housing.
- Homeward Bound programs
- Annual Interfaith Habitat for Humanity Build
- Living Wages
- Nothing But Nets
Room in the Inn is Homeward Bound’s most community-driven program, with more than 1,500 volunteers from over 55 faith congregations mobilized each year.
Room in the Inn partners with local faith communities to provide shelter for up to 12 women. Each week, a different congregation opens its facilities to welcome the women as guests, offering a warm safe place for them as they work hard to move forward to permanent housing. The goal is to keep women without homes from sleeping on the street and risking their safety while building caring, supportive relationships with them, one week at a time.
Three weeks a year, volunteers from our congregation team up with St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, Congregation Beth Israel and the Ethical Humanist Society of Asheville to host the women in the Room in the Inn program.
Our next 2017 host week date will be –
- May 28 – June 4, 2016 @ St. Marys Episcopal Church
To volunteer either of these weeks for the following assignments, please select the “Riti Volunteer” button:
- Van drivers to transport the women to and from the A-Hope Day Center to the host site in the morning and evening;
- Lunch bag prep to provide the women with a midday meal;
- Dinner prep and serving for RITI women and volunteers.
- Overnighters to supervise the women from the evening through the early morning.
Please note that many of the women in the RITI program have been placed in permanent housing and for those who have been housed, the retention rate is over 85%! This program really works.
A-Hope Day Center Volunteers
The A-Hope Day Center is an integral part of Asheville’s Homeward Bound, the non-profit agency in town responsible for offering services and housing to the homeless. Open from 7 am – noon daily, the center provides basic services (showers, mail, phone, storage) and builds relationships that lead people out of homelessness and into permanent housing. It’s the front door to Homeward Bound and to the community’s homeless service system. Due to a recent change in priorities, A-Hope is now manned by volunteers. We are looking for people willing to join a CBHT A-Hope Volunteer Team of 6-8 people to commit to one morning each quarter (4x/year) to help provide the basic services at the center. The staff will train us. Please consider signing up to be part of a temple team to help meet this very important need in our community. Contact Sherrill Zoller, firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions or are willing to help.
Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity
Founded in 1983 as first Habitat affiliate in North Carolina, Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity (AAHH) has built 283 new houses and repaired more than 100 homes in that time, providing more than 1,250 adults and children with safe, decent housing. Habitat for Humanity was founded on the conviction that every man, woman and child should have a simple, durable place to live in dignity and safety, and that decent shelter in decent communities should be a matter of conscience and action for all.
For over ten years, volunteers from Congregation Beth HaTephila have given financial support and helped construct the annual Interfaith Build Habitat house. Below are the recipients of the 17th Interfaith Build – the Ender Family.
Sign up to help with the construction of the 19th Interfaith Build to take place early fall of 2017.
Nothing But Nets is a global grassroots campaign to raise awareness and funding to fight malaria, a leading cause of death among children in Africa. Nothing But Nets allows everyone from students to CEOs, bishops to basketball players to join the fight against malaria by giving $10 to send a net and save a life.
The Nothing But Nets Project of Congregation Beth HaTephila is sponsored in conjunction with the Religious Action Center (RAC). Just one net can protect the family
from the devastation of a preventable disease – malaria. Some of the students in our Religious School have made this their Tezadakah project along with congregate contributions.
To contribute to this fund, make out a check for $10 to CBHT – Nothing But Nets Fund and send it to the temple.
The Torah instructs us to treat workers with justice. As it is written: “You shall not oppress a hired laborer that is poor and needy, whether he be of your people or of the strangers that are in the land within your gates.” (Deuteronomy 24; 14).
In 2005, CBHT helped create the local Living Wage Campaign, which later became part of Just Economics of WNC. Assuming the cost of housing for one individual is not in excess of 30% of their total income, the Living Wage for our area was established as $11.35/hour without benefits and $9.85/hour with benefits. The CBHT Board of Trustees, in response to this policy, increased the wages of two CBHT employees and we became one of the first Living-Wage-Certified organizations in our region.
More than 350 businesses and organizations in our region are now living-wage-certified. They recognize that paying decent wages is cost-effective; it reduces turnover, makes workers more productive, reduces or eliminates reliance on public assistance, increases buying power, and is good for business in general.