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2019 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Central Union Mission

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Coronavirus Relief Food Banks, Family Services, Food, Food Banks & Pantries, Homeless & Housing, Homeless Centers, Homeless Shelters, Human Services

Mission: Central Union Mission is the oldest social service agency in the District of Columbia. It was founded in 1884 by the Reverend Latham Douglass, a young man filled with compassion for the thousands of homeless, neglected men who wandered Pennsylvania Avenue, many of whom were Civil War veterans. Since 1884, the Mission has continuously operated an emergency shelter for homeless men and been a place for spiritual uplift and recovery. It has survived the Great Depression, two world wars, 24 presidential administrations, neighborhood transitions, and numerous relocations. The Mission Today Today, Central Union Mission is a faith-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with seven locations throughout the Washington metropolitan area. In addition to its family ministries, the Mission operates an emergency shelter program, a rehabilitation program for men with life-controlling issues, a food, clothing and furniture distribution center, a retreat and recreation center with a camp for underprivileged children, programs for isolated seniors, computer and job training and transitional and low-cost housing. The Mission is continually developing its programs to meet the changing needs of the community. Its current programs serve homeless men, underprivileged women, children, seniors, families, and veterans. see videoOne life at a time, the Mission works to help transform the area's toughest rehabilitation cases, including drug addicts, gang members, criminal offenders, and the chronically homeless into productive members of society. The Mission's programs have an extremely high success rate at helping individuals overcome addiction and homelessness, and achieve independent living.

Results: In FY2017 the Overnight Guest Ministry and Spiritual Transformation Program provided 58,899 nights of shelter and 6,448 counseling sessions and hospital or home visits. Together, both ministries distributed 29,964 pieces of clothing and served 245,778 nutritious meals at the shelter. At the Gales School men's shelter, the Mission serves 200 guests three hot meals a day. The Spiritual Transformation Program welcomed 157 participants this year. Men's Ministry provided 1,770 appointments for eye exams, testing or private medical or legal consultations and 16,461 hours of instruction in English literacy, GED preparation and other skills. 51 Men's Ministry program participants found permanent housing this year, ans 88 were employed. 61 men and women were served in the Ready2Succeed Program: 31 in Ready2Work, 3 in Ready2Recycle and 27 in Ready2Cook (Mission Muffins and the Culinary Training Program); 30 men in the Work Therapy Program (working and living at the Mission); 56 men in the Special Circumstances Transitional Program; and 20 men were housed in the Gospel Mission House transition home. The Family Ministry Program was able to distribute $7,246,385 worth of food and $1,592,054 worth clothing, furniture and household goods. Through the Family Ministry Center, the Mission server or provided 3.435,415 meals for hungry men, women, families and children. 444 children received new back packs and 1350 children received Operation Christmas Miracle gift bags. Every month, senior citizens join us for a game of Bingo, a delicious lunch, an inspirational message and a bag full of groceries. 17 Seniors Luncheons were held in both English and Spanish, with an average of 250 attendees each month. Four families lived in the Mission's Lambert House, our low-income housing facility. Camp Bennett provided a week long camp experience for 335 children.

Target demographics: The homeless and hungry

Direct beneficiaries per year: The Overnight Guest Ministry and Spiritual Transformation Program provided 58,889 nights of shelter and 6,448 counseling sessions and hospital or home visits. Together, both ministries distributed 29,964 pieces of clothing and served 245,778 nutritious meals at the shelter. The Mission was able to distribute $7,246,386 worth of food and $1,592,054 worth of clothing, furniture and household goods. Through the Family Ministry Center, the Mission served or provided 3,435,415 meals for hungry men, women, families and children.

Geographic areas served: Washington DC Metropolitan area

Programs: The Men's Ministry offers shelter for up to 85 homeless men every night of the year. Another 45 men participate in our 60-week residential rehabilitation program. They are involved in daily Bible studies, individual and group therapy, church activities, job readiness training and recreational activities. Camp Bennett is a beautiful 219-acre facility, which provides a summer program for up to 448 needy children (ages 8-12). The camp also serves as a year round training center for men in the Mission's Residential Rehabilitation Program. Food Services administrates the supplies for the entire Mission, including the Camp. Annually, an average of 183,000 meals are served and 243,000 pounds of food are distributed to needy families and the elderly. Hispanic Outreach offers Bible Studies and English classes, health care and counseling to a growing Hispanic population.

Community Stories

39 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Dj-MD

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been a regular donor for four years. I am truly happy to continue my support of such an amazing organization. Even though the coronovirus crisis forced many organizations to cut back, then have expanded their food distribution to the people who had lost jobs.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have been a regular donor for three years. It us wonderful to support an organization that calls you not to ask for more money, but to see if you have needs that they can pray for. I have a great admiration for what Central Mission is doing for the homeless and men wanting to overcome addiction. The employees and volunteers have a real heart for the men.

Client Served

Rating: 5

My brother just passed away last month. He came to Central Union Mission in 2010 when he found himself homeless and addicted to drugs. They provided him with the love and care that enabled him to return home to his family and he lived his last years helping others here in Atlanta. Without their care, we may have never seen Sammy again.

Donor

Rating: 5

They do excellent work to help those that are struggling. I feel very confident, as a donor, that the funds I give will be put to good use, especially in this time of the COVID-19 crisis when I see how much food they are donating to families in need at the Family Ministry Center.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have to say that rarely have I seen a nonprofit organization like Central Union Mission fit in so perfectly with the community it serves. The Mission provides a haven for so many people who find themselves in difficult circumstances. The services it provides to help the needy in so many ways are remarkable. Feeding hungry families and nourishing the souls and spirits of many who seek a pathway to opportunity are some of the Mission's greatest qualities. Educating people to equip them with the ability to succeed is ongoing as is a providing a focal point where fellowship is celebrated. The Mission is Christian kindness in action everyday!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The Mission is a safe, warm and clean shelter, more importantly, it is also so much more than a hot and cot. The Mission provides education, dental, medical, job training, counseling and other essential services.

Donor

Rating: 4

My first experience giving to Central Union Mission was during their Christmas bag drive 12 years ago. Since that time I given many items of clothing/shoes, food, toys and household items. I know that what I give will be given to those in need at no cost. I have recommended Central Central Union to many family and friends and now they donate too.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Oh Lord, I love this place. They are doing incredible work. But lots of places and people do good work. The Central Union Mission is doing great work the right way -- with love and encouragement and engagement with individuals, not "issues." They are not working with "the homeless." They are working with specific people whom they see with the eyes of God --as incredibly valuable and important. They are creative and flexible, entrepreneurial and solid; they are adaptive and nimble; they do a lot with every dollar they get. I adore serving here. I'm grateful and trusting of them with money I am able to give. The Mission has changed my own life as I've been involved for about 15 years. And I'm the third generation of my husband's family to serve at or give to the Mission. I guess it was inevitable! But it's sure not something I take for granted. Keep up the good work.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been volunteering since 2017. During that time I have had the privilege of working with dedicated men and women who show the love of Christ to those in the most need on a daily basis. I have also been a donor for many years and I have full confidence that the funds in trusted to The Mission are use to do the most good. I love being a volunteer and ask anyone who can to help in donations or of their time for the continued success of the Mission.

5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Central Union Mission ("Mission") is one of the finest nonprofit organizations that I have ever been affiliated with. As a volunteer and writer, I am very proud to be a part of the outstanding team of administrators who continue to make the day-to- day work look so amazingly effortless.

Walking through the halls of the Mission, two years, ago opened my eyes wide to the transformative power of prayer. You are unable to make progress, unless you are specifically orientated towards the "how" and the "why" of service.

The Mission manifests christian values and use it as a tool to transform the lives of homeless men, with much admired success. It's a great testimony to their integrity and devoted teamwork.

When you help your brothers and sisters, you automatically help yourself. We are all a community and we need one another. What is your life's purpose? To help someone.

My life has been deeply enriched through my fellowship with Central Union Mission.

So, grateful for this journey!

H. Patricia Blackshire
September 17, 2020

Previous Stories
5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Central Union Mission was a place that I was unfamiliar with, until one day my students reported to me the subject of homelessness in their public high school. Immediately, I went into action to help my beautiful and caring students, who wanted to help their classmates. The first action was to go online and search for nonprofits who were addressing the topic of homelessness. I searched and found Central Union Mission
("Mission").

In the interim, I was able to connect with one of the administrators, a Director. She personally visited the students and armed them with knowledge about how to go about helping. The information shared to the students will be with them for a lifetime. And, they will know exactly what to do if they ever have a personal experience of knowing someone in need, including themselves.

This experience will be one of the highlights of their education. The lens of their eyes really opened up at that moment to see what was going on in the real world. And, the Director gave them many examples of homelessness.

If it were not for my students, I probably would not be enjoying this rewarding experience at the Mission. Every day, I feel joy and happiness because I am serving the men at the shelter. And, they respond with a grateful attitude.

I also have the good fortune of working alongside the Coordinator, whose tasks are many. And, responsibilities of unimaginable heights. But, he makes it look effortless.. How does he do it?
Every day, I learn from him. And, so do the volunteers who come out to serve and do shelter upkeep.

The Coordinator presents the unique history to the volunteers who have no idea regarding the background of this historic institution. They walk away with knowledge that was provided to them, and they too, like my students will remember this encounter and share with others.

I have been witnessing some amazing transformations from the men, who are enrolled in various educational and job-training programs. The formula that the Mission uses, actually works! The results ate in the numbers.

Yes, I advertise the good news about the Mission. The work this entire organization does, on behalf of the men is quite meaningful. They are leaders, who lead with their compassion, commitment and hard work. And, I am humbled by these examples.

To the men at the shelter, YES, YOU CAN! Remember, the God who lives inside of you. He loves you! And, wants you to succeed.

HPB -- October 3, 2019




2

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been giving to Central Union Mission for more than twenty years. I have been to the Mission several times and have never experienced so much joy and gratitude from the people there. With their programs, supporting their work helps the homeless to become productive citizens. What better investment can we make? Is there any investment better that investing in a life?

The generous will themselves be blessed, for they share their food with the poor.
(Proverbs 22:9)

1

Donor

Rating: 5

I had the opportunity to tour the building and meet many of the men who are being helped by Central Union Mission. Some of the testimonies and stories of heartfelt gratitude touched me and I will continue to support Central Union Mission.

Donor

Rating: 5

This is one of the charities that I regularly support, because I believe in the wonderful work that they do.

1 JohnA211

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Central Union Mission provides men with food and shelter, but more importantly, it provides spiritual care (belief in God, self worth, being responsible for yourself and your actions, importance of family and being true to oneself).
I know this because the staff at Central Union Mission worked together with my son to turn his life around three years ago. God bless them. My family and I will be forever grateful, because we got our son back The mission will always have my support and gratitude.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

Central Union Mission is so much more than just helping homeless men to recover and become productive members of society, but also supports families with food and other donations that help them avoid being homeless. They deserve your financial support.

1 nw202

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Our church has had two groups of adults from the church who visited and served dinner over the past year. Each time, everyone has been so impressed with the work done at the Mission. Everyone there is wonderful, friendly and appreciative of the help they are receiving. It's a wonderful thing to see men helping each other and themselves. It is one thing to hear about it, but it's an entirely different thing to see it for yourself! The Lord is doing great work at Central Union Mission!

1

Donor

Rating: 5

Central Union Mission is my favorite charity. I have researched their programs and they provide a tremendous amount of love and care for the citizens of DC who are in need.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Each of my five to six interactions with this organization has been an absolute pleasure. Marc O'Brien has done such a fantastic job helping to coordinate various volunteer efforts with our church and among friends and colleagues.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

there are so many ways to experience the joy of serving others at Central Union Mission...from serving dinner with a smile, teaching men how to bake as part of a life skills training curriculum, giving out backpacks filled with school supplies to children and even making winter scarves, each unique, just like the men blessed in receiving them. i love seeing God at work in and through every ministry of the Mission. Having volunteered for over 15 years, i have seen first hand lives lifted and transformed by the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the practical help provided daily. every life matters to God. every life matters to Central Union Mission who are helping the hurting and homeless in the nation's capital. i consider it pure joy to serve with them as God leads us for His purpose and glory day by day! - deedee collins

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Serving my brothers who are experiencing homelessness at the Mission is enjoyable and rewarding. Working alongside friendly, informative, and down-to-earth staff such as Chef Mo and her Assistant James, Volunteer Coordinator Marc O'Brien, the entire administrative staff, and the 2019 Heart & Soul events lead Natalie, makes the volunteer experience more enjoyable as we give our all to serve shelter guests with gladness. It is alway a pleasure seeing Sylvia Johnson and CFO/COO Sally Cox, as their warm welcomes, smiles, and appreciativeness of us volunteers is always consistent and authentic. Thank you Central Union Mission for creating a clean, safe, and police space for our brothers to get a fresh start. I look forward to many more opportunities to serve at the Mission. (PS - I really miss Mr. Claude.)

3

Donor

Rating: 5

I was a longtime supporter of the Mission while living in the District, and their work is so critical and loving that I've continued donating even after moving far away. Their list of "success stories" is truly astounding. They do so much good with so few resources for people who have so little in this world. Of all the services they provide, the most vital one is HOPE! Their staff members are always ready to help with just a phone call or email. I am in awe of their work and the good that they do in the DC community.

2

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been contributing to Central Union Mission for years. I truly feel they do a tremendous service to the homeless and families in the Greater Washington D.C. area. I will continue to support this wonderful organization.

2

Donor

Rating: 5

Helping the homeless and hurting people of Washington, DC

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I’ve been volunteering with Central Union Mission for a couple of years now and find the experience to be extremely rewarding. You can tell that at the Mission they really care about the men there and want to see them grow and become the amazing men they are destined to be. If you ever have the time, please volunteer and give back to some awesome men who truly appreciate all that you do.

3

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The lives Central Union Mission has impacted tells the story the best. We've heard countless testimony of people who have been dramatically helped by the Mission. The staff is kind, selfless and hardworking. The volunteers are wonderful. We're so thankful to be able to partner with this organization that has integrity and success in its mission.

2 Lori L. W.

Donor

Rating: 5

I’ve known Mr. Treadwell personally for many years and had the privilege of volunteering at the mission several years ago. From the top down, this is a very very special organization, and DC and its citizens/workers owe a great debt to all who help the homeless in our city.

2 Bruce S.3

Donor

Rating: 5

It's all about God working through an exceptionally committed staff to change lives for His glory and the good of society. Central Union Mission is an epicenter of love, impacting lives one person at a time.

3

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

A family member turned to you when he lost his bearings through drug and alcohol abuse. Today he’s on a different path to wholeness and healing and confidence thanks to the counseling and guidance and support your organization has provided.

3 Harold T.1

Donor

Rating: 5

Central Union Mission is doing the job that many do not want to know about or prefer to ignore the issues of the homeless Vet, homeless men, the single mom with kids and others in the greater DC area. Not only do they feed the stomach but they also feed their minds with God's truth and are taught critical job skills. David Treadwell and his team of paid staff and volunteers are helping to meet the needs of these folks.

2

Donor

Rating: 5

Central Union Mission is my number one charity. They do exceptional work with the homeless through education, religion and job training. They provide meals and beds to the homeless who otherwise would go hungry and cold. And they do it with a devoted staff and volunteers. I am proud to be a supporter of this organization.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Monthly I bring a small group of volunteers from my church to work at the Family Ministry Center assisting with food distribution and we love it. Give us a great opportunity to help our brothers and sisters in DC.

2

Donor

Rating: 5

We became donors to Central Union Mission (The Mission) several years ago. When we inquired about how our donations were used, We received an immediate response from The Mission. We constantly receive information about their activities to support those less fortunate in the D.C. area. We often receive invitations to stop by The Mission to see first hand, their work and what our contributions are providing for the needy. We feel very comfortable that our donations are used to support those in need in the community.

2

Donor

Rating: 5

Was considering donating to this charity, but wished to actually visit and evaluate for myself if they do what their pamphlets say. Was warmly encouraged to “ come see for myself”. Was a far superior facility in every way than my expectations had been. Staff and volunteers are friendly, welcoming and respectful to their clients as well as visitors. Extremely clean. I would sleep comfortably and eat comfortably there with the rules and sanitary standards applied there. Remarkably well planned and much forethought on the best way to care for those needing assistance while making every effort to enable those using the facility to become independent and self sufficient if possible. I visited the men’s shelter only but was equally impressed with the information our guide related to me about the other 2 facilities. I left a check that day. Wonderfully set up and run efficiently without waste of assets. A gift to the Washington DC area.

2

Donor

Rating: 5

They do excellent work to help those that are struggling. I feel very confident, as a donor, that the funds I give will be put to good use.

2

Donor

Rating: 5

I know very well they service the DC area for many years. I have moved from there and have been away for fourteen years but I support their work and know they do a wonderful job.

2

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been affiliated with Central Union Mission for many years as a donor. I have visited the facility and I have met many of the staff and residents. I found the place to be warm and inviting and a place where many men can receive a second chance in life.

As one resident told me "this place save my life." I truly like the fact that the precepts upon which Central Union Mission operates are scripturally based. They house, clothe, educate and seek gainful employment for the residents. They also provide meals and shelter for those just wanting some place to stay for the night. This is most definitely the work of Christ, to provide for the least, lost and the left out. My prayers as well as my support are with you as show the men there a better way to live with Christ in their lives.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Central Union Mission had been a Blessing to so many. As a Volunteer and Donor I'm happy with how they treat the helpless and is striving everyday to be great! Give now!

Donor

Rating: 1

I gave them $50 one year. Then, they proceeded to bombard me with junk mail. I estimate that they spent $20 sending me junk mail in one year alone. I have no desire to donate money if a significant amount of the money is going to be spent on mailings. I have not given them any more money since then. I give this organization a grade of D.