Twenty years ago, David moved to the US from Nigeria. He lived and worked in New York City, and later came to Washington, DC. However, without a job or identification, David ended up living on the street near the World Bank.
Life on the streets has been hard. David struggles with the cold and wishes he was able to cook for himself. He hasn’t been in touch with his family in years.
Connecting with Miriam’s Kitchen
Five years ago, someone told David about Miriam’s Kitchen. He comes for meals, receives clothing and toiletries and has gotten health care from the Unity Health van. But it’s the Studio program that brings David in. Every day David paints, filling his canvases with splashes of bright color. It’s often difficult, even frustrating, for David to communicate with words, so art is the way that he connects with people.
When we first met David, he didn’t want to talk about housing. But over the years our relationship with him has grown — he’s finally ready to take steps to housing. Our Case Managers are now coordinating with other agencies to find the housing program that is the best fit for him.
David dreams of having his own place to create art, listen to music and cook meals from his home country. Because of the relationship that we have with him and our partnership with other organizations, we believe that dream will soon be fulfilled.
In August 2015, Miriam’s Kitchen case managers helped David to reconnect with his family. Their reunion in our dining room was tender and tearful. Now a family member comes to visit with him regularly and David’s family is partnering with our case managers to support him as he takes steps toward housing.