Skip to main content

Homelessness & Affordable Housing

“The housing options and transit systems that shape our communities’ built environments affect where we live and how we get from place to place. The choices we make about housing and transportation, and the opportunities underlying these choices, also affect our health” (County Health Rankings, 2021). 

Affordable housing has continued to be an increasing issue in this region, state, and country. For renters in Jackson County during the 2015-2019 period, 43.9% spent greater than 30% of their household income on housing, and 28.9% spent 50% or greater of their household income on housing (with those spending 50% being much higher than the WNC and state averages) (U.S. Census Bureau, Gross Rent as a Percentage of Household Income in the Past 12 Months: ACS 5- Year Estimates, 2021). During the same time period, among owned units, 27.7% spent greater than 30% of their household income on housing, and 11% spent greater than 50% of their household income on housing (U.S. Census Bureau, Mortgage Status by Selected Monthly Owner Costs as a Percentage of Household Income in the Past 12 Months: ACS 5-Year Estimates, 2021). 

Over a quarter of the population always, usually, or sometimes worried or stressed about paying rent or mortgage in the past year. The cost to rent or own a home has soared, while salaries have not, which has made affording rent or a mortgage difficult. Sourced from Jackson County Community Health Assessment 2021 by the Department of Public Health.

Community Partners that actively work with WCU in the Homelessness & Affordable Housing focus area are listed below. If you are interested in working on a project with one of these organization, please contact the CCESL office. For all volunteer opportunities, visit the CCESL Engage page.

Haywood Pathways Center

Our Mission is—In Christ’s name, feed the hungry, house the homeless, and reduce recidivism in Haywood County.

Our Vision is—To glorify God by proclaiming and showing love through a Christ-centered ministry that brings life transformation in a safe, accepting, and caring environment.


HOMEBASE is for students who have aged out of foster care and/or
residential services, are orphaned, homeless,  emancipated or have little to no support. Ultimately, HOMEBASE is open to all students — no one is turned away. HOMEBASE is a collaboration between Baptist Children's Homes of North Carolina and Western Carolina University. It's purpose is to provide resources and support to all students seeking physical, emotional or spiritual support.

Office of Web Services