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2018 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Central Union Mission

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: 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

22 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

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.

1

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

3

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




1

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.)

1

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.

1

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.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

Helping the homeless and hurting people of Washington, DC

1

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.

1

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.

1 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.

1 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.

2

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.

2 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.

1

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.

1

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.

1

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.

1

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.

1

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.

1

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.