In February, I made a plan with my neighbors, Katherine and Scott, who live directly across the street. We started planning a fundraiser for Christ House, a 24-hour medical facility for the homeless in Adams Morgan. We envisioned hosting it outside in Meridian Hill Park or the Adams Morgan Community Center, but then COVID-19 happened.
What do you do when your original plan to help the homeless gets halted, but your passion to support is still there and the need becomes even greater? You partner with Christ House’s Doris Warrell, Director of Engagement and Resource Development to find out their immediate needs. We sprung into action; we created flyers and had big boxes in the lobby of our buildings to collect toilet paper, paper towels and cleaning supplies. The fastest way to get to our communities was to send emails, post on our internal building social media pages and our own personal social media accounts.
Once we did this, the donations of supplies started to come in the door—it was like we had won the lottery. I offered to go shopping for people who were open to sending monetary contributions and then the cash application mobile alerts on my phone started to go off. Our neighbors and friends started sending money. The original goal we had established was $500, but after surpassing this in a few short days, we upped our goal to $1,000.
After only a week of fundraising, we are now at $1,280 and will continue to collect supplies and donations from family, friends and supporters. Being a 24-hour medical facility, Christ House’s needs are constant.
We will continue to collect monetary donations here and anyone who donates will receive a tax deduction receipt. Christ House will use the funds to buy supplies needed by the facility in bulk.
About Christ House from their website: Christ House opened in December 1985 as the first 24-hour residential medical facility for homeless persons in the United States. Today, Christ House is still the only facility of its kind in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area, where over 6,000 people experience homelessness every day. To the best of our knowledge, there are only 22 stand-alone residential medical facilities for the homeless like Christ House in all of the U.S. Since our inception, we have had over 9,100 admissions.
Patients are admitted to Christ House from area hospitals, shelters, clinics, and medical outreach projects. They suffer from a variety of illnesses and injuries including cancer, hypertension and stroke, liver disease, kidney failure, diabetes and related amputations, HIV/AIDS, respiratory disease, major lacerations, fractures, and ulcerations of the skin. Many are malnourished, anemic, depressed, and desperately disconnected from healthy sources of support.
In 2019, Christ House provided health care for 223 patient admissions and 9,228 patient-days of care. There were 150 participants in the 9-week New Day addictions recovery program. 67% of patients were discharged to more stable housing than before coming to Christ House.
WWPR Members: we want to hear from you! Send us your stories about how you are giving back to the community. Email the Content Committee.