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Asheville, NC

Come see the HOPE Bus!

To kick off the Linked4Life Foundation's Asheville HOPE initiative to provide help and hope to Asheville food and beverage workers, we will open our new HOPE Bus on July 4.

The HOPE Bus is a reimagined former food truck at Bear's Smokehouse in the South Slope district at 135 Coxe Avenue. It will be a place for people to share messages of hope and demonstrate their commitment to breaking the stigma of mental health.

Visitors can make a $6 donation and receive a pair of Linked4Life blue carabiners - metal clips that symbolize the power of connection. You keep one, and the second comes with a tag so you can write a message of hope to display in the HOPE Bus.

Open from NOON to 8 p.m. each day, the HOPE Bus will have artwork by local muralist, Ian Wilkinson, tied to Linked4Life's commitment to promoting mental health.

The July 4 launch will be part of a Linked4Life celebration called, "Mental Health is No Bull," complete with a barbecue and mechanical bull. 

After the city's fireworks in the South Slope, the party will continue with a performance by BoogiTherapi, and all-star Asheville-based funk band fronted by Ryan Barber.

Come see the HOPE Bus and stay to enjoy the barbecue and the music!


The bus was originally opened as a food truck in November 2020 when the Bear's Smokehouse team was faced with the COVID-19 pandemic, and their plans to build a brick and mortar restaurant came to a screeching halt.

After two long years of persevering through many phases of construction, and less than ideal conditions for operating a food truck,  Bear's Smokehouse BBQ restaurant was finally complete, and the truck was "retired".

Looking back, the bus gave the Bear's team HOPE in a time of extreme adversity. It was a vital reminder that despite the challenges and obstacles, they could reach their goal of having a beautiful restaurant and property that people from all over the world would come to love.

Now that their dream has become a reality, the team at Bear's has transformed their food truck to the Linked4Life HOPE Bus, to continue connecting people in HOPE in Asheville.


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