Get to Know Us

Haywood Street Community Development is a sister nonprofit to Haywood Street Congregation.

The congregation began in 2009 as a ministry of radical inclusion in the homeless corridor of downtown, a wide embrace for folks excluded elsewhere, particularly residents with no place to call home. After more than a decade of sharing life with and among this community, a vision began to develop for deeply affordable housing grounded in the Haywood Street ethos — where giving and receiving are encouraged; where the boundaries of “us and them” are trespassed; where strangers become neighbors; and where each person is reminded of their sacred worth.

Haywood Street took a significant step in 2020 to form a distinct nonprofit with its own bylaws and board of directors to focus on this work. This is Haywood Street Community Development.

Laurie Shea


Meet our Director of Housing, Laurie Shea.

Laurie has a deep passion for helping others, as evidenced by her storied career working with nonprofits that carry out similar missions to HSCD. Laurie has worked specifically in housing for adults with developmental disabilities and traumatic brain injuries, low-income housing, housing for homeless or near homeless individuals with HIV/AIDS, as well as overseen and executed federal/state contracts and grants that centered around making energy saving improvements and housing modifications for low-income households and seniors to assist them to be able to age in place.

After a brief time working in Texas, Laurie and her husband are thrilled to be back in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains, and we are lucky to have her!

Having lived with the 24/7 feeling of having nowhere to go and knowing nobody in a new town, I can tell you that it is a gift from God to have a safe place to live. As Haywood Street helped me survive before I obtained housing, not only that feeling of having nowhere to go but also fighting a lethal disease simultaneously, there’s no better group in town to build real, wholistic, new housing for our community to live with dignity & hope.

Bill Robinson

Board Member

“The mission of HSCD aligns with my personal spiritual gifts of helps and service. Providing an essential need of shelter while helping others maintain their dignity is paramount!”

Bridget King

Board Member

As a home builder, I couldn’t be more passionate and excited about these new homes for the heart and soul. Our friends living in these units will know their home is affordable in perpetuity and that they are safe and welcomed with open arms. I look forward to the community that will be built within its walls and the opportunity to repeat this model throughout our city as the need continues to increase.

McKenzie Dillingham

Board Member