In the winter of 1984, Freddy, an elderly homeless man, died of exposure on a Georgetown street. His death was a symptom of the incipient crisis of homelessness in Washington. Freddy’s death in an icy phone booth moved Georgetowners to search for an appropriate community response. In 1987 the Georgetown Clergy Association and Georgetown University founded Georgetown Ministry Center, organized a governing board, and incorporated and began raising start-up funds. Soon afterwards we hired our first social worker to help homeless individuals in Georgetown.
From our modest beginnings, GMC has grown to include a successful drop in center, weekly street outreach, and a winter shelter that offers a safe haven from the streets to our most withdrawn and vulnerable homeless neighbors. The shelter has given GMC staff an opportunity to work successfully with people who have avoided services for years. 1995 we became a part of the “DC Initiative,” Washington’s comprehensive plan for fighting homelessness within the city. GMC’s unique presence in Georgetown makes us an essential part of the “net” of services cast to the city’s homeless population.
GMC is governed by a volunteer board of directors composed of one or two representatives each from the Georgetown Clergy Association, Georgetown University, and each participating congregation. GMC also has a representative from the Georgetown Business and Professional Association, the Citizens Association of Georgetown, and a formerly homeless person on the board of directors.
GMC’s daily activities are managed by a paid staff consisting of a director who divides his time among clients, program development, and staff supervision and training: one outreach director and case manager: one full time program manager; a consulting psychiatrist; three shelter staff; and, part-time shower program managers.
Executive Director Gunther Stern
Outreach Director Roy Witherspoon
Shower & Laundry Program Managers William Jenkins, Lucane LaFortune
Development Director Helen McConnell
Business Manager Dymenn Sasser
Communications Director Stephanie Chan
Program Coordinator Amie Sherman
Consulting Psychiatrist Ron Koshes, M.D.
Board of Directors
Christ Church, Georgetown Catherine Ballinger, Elizabeth Bluhm
Dumbarton United Methodist Church Martha Dickey
Epiphany Roman Catholic Church Susan Gschwentdne, Wonkook Park
First Baptist Church, Georgetown Vinette Saunders
Georgetown Lutheran Church Connie Baker
Georgetown Presbyterian Church Alexander Bullock, Patricia Davies
Grace Episcopal Church Kimberly Ludwig, Andrew Davis
Holy Trinity Catholic Church Linda Formella, Joe Ryan
Kesher Israel, Georgetown Synagogue Jessica Ribner
Mt. Zion United Methodist Church Essie Page
St. Paul’s K Street Jeremiah Cassidy
St. John’s Episcopal Church Jocelyn Dyer
St. Luke’s United Methodist Church Dorothy Preston
St. Stephen the Martyr Laura Wilson
President Jocelyn Dyer
Treasurer John Lange
Secretary Martha Dickey
From the Community
Georgetown Business Improvement District John Wiebenson
Citizens Association of Georgetown Page Robinson
Community Representative Beth Neilsen, Pierre Moye
Georgetown Business Association Elizabeth Webster
Georgetown Clergy Association John Graham
Georgetown University Ray Shiu