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Miriam's Kitchen guest

$500 helps cover repairs or emergency utility assistance for housing residents.

Miriam's Kitchen

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Miriam's Kitchen is a nonprofit working to end chronic (long-term) homelessness in our nation's capital. It's an exciting time in Washington, DC. The District is on track to end ALL homelessness among veterans this year. Building on that success, the city is planning to end chronic homelessness by the end of 2017! We are helping the city achieve these historic goals in two major ways.

First, we provide services to help people permanently move out of homelessness. We start by providing 76,000 healthy meals and high-quality social services to an estimated 5,000 homeless individuals each year. Delicious meals help us engage our homeless neighbors so our Case Managers can create meaningful therapeutic relationships. Once we have earned our guests' trust, we provide a wide variety of services 30 hours a week in our dining room, including housing assistance, medical care and mental health assistance.  This year we will connect 150 guests to medical care and 150 guests to mental health treatment. Most importantly, we will help 100 chronically homeless people move into permanent housing. 

This approach isn't just the right thing to do, it's also cost efficient!  It costs $40,000 a year to provide emergency services to a person who is chronically homeless living on the streets, but only $16,000 to provide that same person with permanent housing and supportive services. And there is a 92% success rate--the highest in the US!

In addition to moving people into housing, we have a new program to keep recently housed residents from slipping back into homelessness. We provide intensive wraparound case management services to people who used to be homeless, but who now live in permanent housing. Our goal is to keep 95% of the 95 residents on our caseload safe and stable in their new homes for at least a year. 

The second way we work to end chronic homelessness is by improving DC's homeless services system. We collaborate with the city government and other service providers to study what works in other American communities and push to implement those best practices here. Phoenix, Houston, Salt Lake City and New Orleans have all made huge strides in ending chronic homelessness. Now, we are proud to say that Washington, DC has made significant progress too! And Miriam's Kitchen has been a significant part of that success. We helped launch and expand a city wide initiative called Coordinated Entry, which is an innovative and efficient system for assessing individuals experiencing homelessness, identifying their needs, and matching them to appropriate housing placements.

We also launched a city wide advocacy campaign to help build the public will to end chronic homelessness. This ongoing effort involves 80 organizations and 4,000 individuals-including men and women who are sharing their experiences of being homeless to bring about systemic change.  Partly due to this effort DC has created a strategic plan designed to end chronic homelessness, allocated historic levels of resources to fight this problem, and is now working to ensure full and fast implementation.  

Thanks to your support we are able reinforce the dignity of our guests who are homeless, provide them with a community of belonging, and work to create lasting change so they can gain self-sufficiency and have a better quality of life.