Shutdown Over, But Need Remains

Shutdown Over, But Need Remains

“Am I going to lose my voucher? Am I going to be homeless again?”
These are some of the questions Director of Housing, Kierstin Quinsland, and her team received from residents during the shutdown. For both those in housing and those currently experiencing homelessness, this uncertainty has caused anxiety that only exacerbates existing stress, trauma, and frustration.

While the shutdown is over, the urgency of addressing and ending homelessness remains.

Just last week, Miriam’s Kitchen and hundreds of volunteers across the city surveyed the number of people experiencing homelessness in DC as part of the annual “Point-in-Time” count. Last year’s count showed 1,586 individuals were experiencing chronic homelessness—demonstrating the continued need for affordable housing.

Chef Cheryl has been packing food bags and frozen meals for guests and residents who need extra help to make their food stamps last.

And with the cold weather and ‘life threatening wind-chills” headed our way, guests are requesting gloves, hand warmers, and other essentials.

The basic needs for food, clothing and shelter is not new.

The government shutdown is a reminder that many members of our community could be just a few paychecks from experiencing homelessness.

If you are able to help, here are three things you can do to support our guests:

  1. Host a digital food drive by fundraising for Miriam’s Kitchen! For $1 you could purchase a can of beans at the grocery store. Or you could have greater impact by donating to or fundraising for Miriam’s Kitchen where each $1 provides THREE delicious, made-from-scratch meals.
  2. Check out our Amazon Wishlist to purchase essentials like handwarmers and thermals for our guests.
  3. Take Action! Urge Mayor Bowser to end long-term homelessness and invest in life saving housing programs for 1,140 individuals and 177 families.
Thank you for all that you do to support your neighbors experiencing homelessness.