Who are the experts on ending homelessness in DC?
At Miriam’s Kitchen, we know that the true experts on ending chronic homelessness are those who have experienced homelessness themselves. So, when our guests highlighted the need for a downtown services center, we amplified their call to action.
Many people experiencing homelessness spend their days crossing town for health and housing appointments and access to basics like laundry and showers. And, since shelters require that residents leave during the day, there are few places where folks can protect themselves – and their belongings – from the elements.
Guests and community leaders agreed that there must be a better way.
For the past three years, Miriam’s Kitchen and The Way Home campaign have advocated to bring back a centrally located services center for people experiencing homelessness (like one that existed 20 years ago).
Through listening sessions with our clients, partnership with guest-led advocacy organizations like the People for Fairness Coalition (PFFC), and Studio for Change (our joint advocacy and studio art program), we further learned from our resident experts exactly what a downtown services center should look like.
Then, in partnership with many of you, we urged the Mayor and DC Council to fund a new center and provided input on its design.
Today, we’re thrilled to share that this guest-led work has paid off. In December, DC will open a downtown services center featuring nearly everything our guests have asked for! Government agencies and service providers will be co-located at this “one-stop shop,” eliminating the need for multiple trips across town. There will be access to housing, legal, employment, and health services, as well as amenities like computers, laundry and showers.
This monumental advocacy victory would not have happened without your support and the leadership of our guests and partners.