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May 17, 2017

In the summer of 2016, Gunther was chatting with Nathan during a round of street outreach. Like countless other times, he asked Nathan if he would consider moving into housing. Then something occurred to Gunther and he asked, “How about a place with some outdoor space – a patio?”

The lightbulb came on for Nathan. He was sold.

In the months since, Nathan worked with a housing team, signed a lease and moved into an apartment building with a beautiful courtyard. As shown in the photo above, Nathan invited GMC’s case manager, Sabrina Burrell, to check out his home. He likes having a comfortable place to sleep, listen to classical music, cook, read the Bible and keep his ice cream cold.

At first, Nathan continued to sleep outside most nights, but he’s adjusting and sleeping inside more and more. He still spends most of his days in Georgetown, but in order to keep his apartment tidy, he stores his carts elsewhere.

About his new place, Nathan says:

This is the first time in my life I’ve had a place of my own. It is the best thing that’s ever happened to me. I thought I’d live on the streets until the day I died, but God has blessed me and now I’m really living for the first time.

To support Nathan and our other neighbors experiencing homelessness, please give to our $10,000 matching campaign.

You can donate online or send a check to Georgetown Ministry Center; 1041 Wisconsin Avenue NW; Washington, DC 20007. Thank you!

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May 10, 2017

Georgetown Ministry Center has checked on and cared for Nathan for nearly three decades. He is always willing to chat during our rounds of street outreach. Our consulting psychiatrists, Dr. Goodwin and Dr. Koshes (top left), Gunther (top right), and general practitioner, Dr. Crosland (bottom left) have trusting relationships with Nathan, which make it possible to provide psychiatric and medical care.

GMC also helps Nathan collect his mail at the Center and manage payments for his storage unit. As you can imagine, pushing a fleet of large carts up and downhill is hard work, so we encouraged him to lighten his load.

When we asked Nathan how GMC has helped him over the years, he said:

You really helped me. You kept my storage together. You are like a blessing. You always check on me after snowstorms. Really pick up my spirits.

Picking up Nathan’s spirits eventually led to connecting him to housing…but that’s next week’s story!

To support Nathan and our other neighbors experiencing homelessness, please give to our $10,000 matching campaign.

Don’t want to donate online? You are welcome to send a check to: Georgetown Ministry Center; 1041 Wisconsin Avenue NW; Washington, DC 20007.

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May 3, 2017

Nathan is a Georgetown fixture. He wears eccentric hats and occasionally sports a collection of watches up and down his arms. He grew up in Baltimore and has lived on the streets for more than 40 years, spending most of his days with carts and knick knacks in hand, in Foggy Bottom and Georgetown.

GMC’s executive director, Gunther Stern, says he feels like he’s always known Nathan. They first met 27 years ago while Gunther was on Sandwich Patrol, checking on the homeless individuals in Georgetown and passing out food. Over the years, Nathan replied to suggestions for shelter and housing the same way: “No thanks. I don’t need a place.”

Despite Nathan’s resistance, GMC persisted by visiting him on street outreach and encouraging him to accept help. Stay tuned this month to learn more about the way GMC built a trusting relationship with Nathan, and eventually connected him with housing resources.

To help GMC continue to engage with the vulnerable and service resistant people in our community, please contribute to our matching grant challenge.

We’re 19% of the way towards our $10,000 goal. Please help us meet the match by making a donation by May 31. Your gift of $25 will become $50, $100 will become $200, $500 will become $1,000, but only if we all work together!

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April 25, 2017
Christmas dinner at GMC’s winter shelter

Going into her first full season with GMC’s winter shelter, Case Manager Sabrina Burrell was nervous. “But after a couple of weeks,” she says, “I was feeling really comfortable.” Sabrina credits the supportive dynamics of the shelter residents, and the safe environment that staff, volunteers, and residents created together. The residents “were able to talk about anything with me,” Sabrina says, “not just as a case manager, but as a human being.” Sabrina says she learned from the shelter residents, even as she helped care for them. Some began referring to her as “Mother Sabrina” because of her consistent care.

For the 26th year, the winter shelter once again provided warmth, safety, and community for 10 residents during the coldest months of the year. The shelter, which is hosted each year by a rotating group of Georgetown congregations, closed for the season on March 26. GMC’s goal is to provide shelter for the residents during the winter months and to assist in moving them toward more permanent housing solutions.

To that end, Sabrina is excited by the number of residents who she was able to connect with services. In all, more than half were connected to a housing voucher or program by the end of the shelter. Sabrina notes that each resident has unique challenges to face in their journey towards permanent housing. Some residents are excited to look for housing, while others are reluctant to seek government assistance. So Sabrina has the task of working with each unique person, encouraging, challenging, and supporting them. It’s this personal touch that makes the GMC winter shelter so special. Volunteers and staff are able to interact and learn from the residents, and residents find not only physical shelter, but also a place to let their guard down.

― David Finnegan-Hosey

Want so help GMC provide a space for our guests to let their guards down? Between now and May 31, we are once again working to raise $10,000 to receive a matching $10,000 grant from the Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation. We hope you’ll join with us and help us meet the match!

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April 21, 2017

Last year, you blew Georgetown Ministry Center away by generously donating over $10,000 during our spring matching grant challenge. Thank you!

Now we’d like to know…are you ready for a rematch?

Between today and May 31, we are once again working to raise $10,000 to receive a matching $10,000 grant from the Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation.

We’ll be using this house image to keep you updated on progress towards our goal. So far, thanks to your support, we’re more than 50% of the way there!

Below is a photo of Nathan, a Georgetown fixture who has been homeless nearly all of his life.  Over the next few weeks as we update you on our progress, we will also share Nathan’s story to demonstrate the impact of GMC’s work, which is made possible through your donations. Please follow along with Nathan’s story and make a donation today! Your impact will double when we work together to meet this goal.

Your gift makes a difference to the people we serve, and this is your chance to double your impact!

 

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