The patients at Christ House have tremendous need. We served 237 individuals in 2015 and provided a total of 10,885 patient-days of care. Approximately 50 percent of our patients were diagnosed with hypertension, 28 percent with diabetes, 11 percent with HIV or AIDS, and 10 percent with cancer. The majority had more than one diagnosis of chronic or acute illness. We also cared for patients with amputations, hepatitis, tuberculosis, fractures and concussions, and innumerable other illnesses. Two-thirds of our patients came in wheel chairs, walkers, or crutches.
In addition to the primary illness(es) for which they were admitted, 90.5 percent of our patients in 2013 acknowledged a history of alcohol or drug abuse, or had a diagnosed mental illness. Eighty-one percent had all three (alcohol, drug, and psychiatric concerns).
The moral imperative. Many people who are enriched by religious traditions believe they are called to serve and to give because they are blessed. Christ House has relationships with individuals and congregations in the Protestant, Roman Catholic, Jewish, and Muslim traditions. Likewise, a large number of secularists believe they are ethically compelled to provide for the needs of the less fortunate members of our society through their support of our mission of caring for the sick and homeless. Regardless of one’s philosophical perspective, caring for those in need is the right thing to do.
Uniqueness. Christ House was the first homeless respite care program in the country and remains the only one in Washington, D.C. For homeless persons in D.C. we are the only source of continuous inpatient medical care outside of the hospitals.
It’s personally rewarding. Anyone who gives financial, material, or volunteer gifts to Christ House will tell you they receive far more than they give. It is fulfilling to get to know our patients and to witness the miraculous healing that takes place in their lives.