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Holding Space for Living and Dying Logo, a large teal letter "H" with a house as the lower space

Land Acknowledgment: We acknowledge that this beautiful land that we call our home was forcibly and violently vacated of its original and rightful caretakers, the Iswa (Catawba) and AniKituhwa (Cherokee) peoples who have lived as relatives to the land for millennia and, through resilience and persistence, despite generations of state-supported acts of removal and genocide, continue to do so. We also acknowledge that the systems we benefit from and participate in are built upon generations of stolen lives and labor of enslaved Afrikan peoples and their descendants. Our intent in this acknowledgment is to strive to be adequate guests and occupiers of this land for its return to Black and Indigenous hands, and liberation from so-called “real estate” and land “ownership”. The ideas of Doctrine of Discovery, Manifest Destiny, and seeing the earth and all inhabitants as capital to be exploited, have ravaged peoples, cultures, and ecosystems for far too long. Learn more about the Indian Removal Act that dispossessed entire peoples while continuing to benefit us, as the settler-colonizers who live here today. Learn about and support the Cherokee peoples in Oklahoma and North Carolina. Learn about engaging Beyond Land Acknowledgment

Overhead view of Millie, Gabriel, and Melissa gathered on the porch.

September’s gathering was once again smaller, lending to a more intimate atmosphere. A total of 6 came by to share in community. 

October Outdoor COVID-Safe Gathering

Please join us this Wednesday, October 20th at our home at 34 Blue Ridge Avenue, Asheville from 6pm to 9pm, as always informal drop-in style. Unfortunately, we are still in the midst of a pandemic. Please refer to the CDC and the NCDHHS for the latest information and data. 

In the spirit of an abundance of caution, and caring for our community members, while addressing our human need for connection, we will hold the gathering outside.

**As with the last few months, this gathering will be modified to minimize potential droplet exposure.**

       1. We will continue to gather outside.
       2. Instead of sharing dishes as with a traditional potluck, we ask that if you plan to have supper, to pack a personal picnic for your own pod or pod groups.
       3. We ask that individuals wear a mask when moving about in case distancing is not possible, until you can be stationary in seating/gathering areas.

We will provide an assortment of single serving beverages.

If you’d like to call or video call in during this time, Gabriel will also make himself available for a chat at our Holding Space number (828) 414-8086. Please leave pets at home (service animals excepted). Please RSVP by following this link if you plan to attend. 

Masks will be available, along with plenty of space outdoors, and outdoor hand-washing station.

We welcome neighbors, friends, colleagues, and other people interested in or involved with concepts of sharing housing, end of life work, and how they could fit together. 

The grounds include a paved driveway, and while navigable by wheelchair, the yard pathways are grass with some uneven areas. There is a wooden ramp into the house for bathroom access. Continue to wear a mask if needing to use the bathroom inside.

Map of house in relation to large parking lot on Haywood Road at West Asheville Baptist Church

(While there are a few parking spaces right next to the house, please reserve this for people needing to park close. Please do not park on the grass – there are fig trees planted there. 

There is a Baptist Church on the corner of the next street over, Mitchell Ave, and Haywood Road, that has a large parking lot 0.2mi from the house. There is also street sparking on Haywood Road. All activity of the potluck will take place outdoors.)


10 young people in Americorps Shirts stand on a hillside overlooking a lake, foggy forested mountains in the background.

River 4 of Americorps NCCC, pose for a photo at Balsam Lake.
Americorps NCCC Team River 4’s Experience with Holding Space
River 4 arrived on September 26th, in the midst of excited preparation. During three weeks until this past Monday, October 18th when the team left early in the chilly morning for their next adventures in service, the team was able to spend time and do some work, making connections with our community and friends, and work alongside neighbors around the block, and at other sites in the area, such as Carolina Memorial Sanctuary and with the US Forest Service. They will be doing disaster relief next in LaPlace, Louisiana, followed by construction with a Habitat for Humanity Chapter in Punta Gorda, Florida. What follows are reflections from 3 of the Corps Members about their experience here with us in Asheville.

Kerianne smiling and facing the camera
Kerianne Costello, 22, from NY
River 4 Field Team Leader

I am so grateful for the opportunity to volunteer at Holding Space! Erik and Gabriel taught us so much about the meaning of community, the importance of knowing where your food and working materials come from, and how meaningful it is to have others around in life who care for you and your wellbeing. I had not spoken or heard much about death or dying in my communities before coming here, but learning to understand that it is a part of life that eventually we will all get to was very rewarding. They showed us how normal a part of life it is and allowed our team to ask questions and look more into curiosities so openly. We truly appreciated the short time we were able to be a part of the community that they have built here and we admire all the kindness and love that radiates from the cofounders and the space.

I loved interacting with different neighbors and community members and learning more about their passions that have been turned into livelihoods. It was an amazing experience to see all the second hand tools and objects that have gained a new life through Erik and Gabriel, as well as other community members, putting in time to fix them up. Spending time here at Holding Space has changed my perspective on things and opened up my mind to others. It has inspired me to look more deeply into finding out what I am passionate about and to embrace the interactions I have in my day to day life.


Jack smiles and faced the camera

Jack Warner, 24, from Virginia
River 4 Team Member

Working with Holding Space has opened me up to a new world of end-of-life care and what that can look like when we approach it with care and compassion. Working here has made me feel comforted that a holistic alternative to hospice care is available for me and my loved ones. Erik and Gabriel are amazing sponsors and I truly felt valued during my service here. They provided a valuable opportunity for my team members to escape their comfort zones and grow as human beings.

Leaving here will be hard, but I’ll never forget what I learned during my time here. I’ll never forget the kindness Erik and Gabriel showed to ten strangers and their commitment to our personal growth. I wish them all the luck in the world and I intend on visiting when I get a chance.

Holly smiles and faces the camera
Holly Fink, 23, from Colorado
River 4 Team Member
Being with Holding Space was an amazing experience. I learned so much from Erik and Gabriel about how to reach out to people and build community simply through bringing flowers to your neighbors. I am so incredibly grateful for the last three weeks, and all that Holding Space offered our Americorps team while we stayed here. Erik and Gabriel shared their home, their city, and their passions with us, providing my team and I a truly unique and special Americorps experience. I have found an interest in learning more about end of life care, and fully support the model of communal living Erik and Gabriel lead. I think it is an amazing culture that has been cultivated here, and I am grateful I got to experience even just a small part of it.

Best wishes to our young colleagues as they finish out their year of service and with the rest of wherever life takes them. We hope our paths cross again in the future.

Have a Great Month!

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