Georgetown Ministry Center (GMC) will be opening its winter housing program for the homeless in November, but GMC Executive Director Gunther Stern says he is “struggling” to find churches to house the homeless during the winter this year.
“It’s an opportunity to give back,” said Roy Witherspoon, GMS Outreach and Case Manager. He asked Georgetown area churches to contact GMC if they are willing to host the shelter for a week or two during the winter.
The center at 1041 Wisconsin Ave., NW operates from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. everyday and offers 30-50 homeless a shower and a sandwich for lunch each day. Guests can also speak with a consulting psychiatrist.
From November to March GMC organizes winter housing for 10 homeless people in buildings of Georgetown religious congregations. Volunteers provide a meal and socialize with the residents each night, and at least one volunteer stays overnight on a GMC provided cot. The same 10 homeless people stay in different community churches throughout the winter.
GMC only organizes housing for 10 homeless people each winter. Stern screens people to ensure they can “coexist” in a coed community.
GMC is in need of more religious congregations to host homeless this winter. Stern has two congregations that are covering four weeks out of the winter, but he said “it’s tough” to find more.
“Our shelter is an amazing program,” said Stern. “It’s Georgetowners taking in a bunch of homeless people.”
GMC is supported by private donations, religious congregations in the community and local businesses like Georgetown Suites, which has donated blankets and towels to GMC for around 10 years.
“We get to give back to the community, while being able to put used towels back to good use,” said Pam Welliver, Georgetown Suites Director of Sales.
Before winter hits community members can volunteer to make sandwiches for GMC to give to the homeless that come through its doors each day.
Four loaves of bread will make enough sandwiches for one day. Peanut butter and jelly or turkey and cheese sandwiches are the suggested types.
The center could also use underwear and sock donations.
If you are interested in volunteering, donating or are the leader of a congregation wanting to inquire about housing homeless this winter, call Stern at (202) 338-8301 or email GMC at firstname.lastname@example.org.