Last week, eleven year-long volunteers and staff members took a special trip to visit shelters and agencies that serve the homeless in DC. Most of our patients have interacted with other service agencies prior to their stay at Christ House, and they often continue to receive support from a variety of services after they leave. At Christ House, we value our partnerships with these organizations, knowing that a wide spectrum of services is needed to address the issue of homelessness. We also strive to provide our year-long volunteers with opportunities to learn and think critically about homelessness on a citywide and nationwide scale. While we collaborate with dozens of organizations in the DC area, on this day we were able to visit the 801 East Men’s Shelter, Miriam’s Kitchen, So Others Might Eat (SOME), and Unity Health Care’s Federal City Clinic.
Here are a few of our year-long volunteers’ reflections from the trip:
“It is so important to see and learn about the places that have been a part and are a part of our patients’ journeys. The agencies that we visited provide awesome resources that really emphasize the value and dignity of all people, regardless of their present circumstances.”
“The vast number of beds at the various shelters we visited was incredibly eye-opening. Despite the heartbreak of seeing the living conditions of thousands, I am inspired and energized by the dedication of so many to provide resources and support to the homeless.”
“I found it very impactful to meet the men and women that had dedicated so much of their lives to these programs with such passion and inspiration. I’ve met them at Christ House, but knowing that there are so many others gives me hope for teamwork and collaboration in the future to help alleviate some of the problems surrounding homelessness.”
“I thought the shelter tour was an invaluable opportunity to better understand the relationship between Christ House and other organizations throughout DC. Furthermore, I appreciated the chance to learn about many of the places in which patients had lived prior to coming to Christ House.”
“It was great meeting different people in different environments who are all working toward the same goal with unique programs. It was really cool to have that comradery with strangers because we know we are working with the same attitude and purpose.”