"The Missionary" Newsletter

From the Executive Director - We Trust; God Provides

Dave TreadwellThroughout this challenging year, God has continued to provide for His work at Central Union Mission. We never expected to serve twice as many people at the Food Depot as last year, but with God's provision and your compassion, more neighbors than ever received groceries and meals.

This year saw us preparing to return to the heart of the city. By renovating the historic Gales School at 65 Massachusetts Ave, NW, we will be able to provide clean, safe and polite lodging for even more overnight guests by mid-2013. New education and support programs were instituted through the Social Work department, and 2,221 children received gifts through Operation Christmas Miracle. More than 2,000 volunteers significantly reinforced our staff, graciously serving meals, supporting events, providing vital services and cleaning heavily used facilities and equipment.

I hope you enjoy reading this annual report for our fiscal year 2011-2012. We are so grateful to you for your compassion and generosity. We firmly believe that God magnifies your every good deed to provide for our needy community. May He continue to bless you in this New Year.


David O. Treadwell

Upcoming Events

"Souper" Bowl Party
Sunday, February 3, 2013
5:00 pm
Join the Mission as we host a Super Bowl gathering for our residents.

Seniors Luncheons
Wednesday, February, 13 and March 13, 2013
8:30 am to 1:00 pm
Volunteers assist with serving, decorating and clean-up.

Every Man's Birthday Party
Wednesday, February 13
4:00 pm
Volunteer or donate cupcakes to assist the Mission as we celebrate those we serve.

"Show Us Some Love"
Thursday, February 14
6:00 am to 6:00 pm
Listen to WGTS 91.9 FM for our Valentine's Day radiothon, featuring Executive Director David Treadwell and program participants.

Easter Luncheon
Sunday, March 31, 2013
12:30 pm
Volunteer to serve lunch and celebrate our Lord's resurrection!

For details, please contact: Seamus Merrigan at
202-720-7118, ext. 249, or jmerrigan@missiondc.org.

Hispanic Family Ministry
A Dream Comes True

Martina Rivera, new naturalized citizen, and Pastor  Jorge de Casanova
Martina Rivera, new naturalized citizen, and Pastor Jorge de Casanova

Do you know how difficult and costly the United States naturalization process is? A potential naturalized citizen is required to be a legal permanent resident for no less than five years, have pristine moral conduct, be able to communicate in English and memorize 100 civics questions, pay a fee of almost one thousand dollars and complete a ten-page application. You can imagine that this is not easy for many low-income applicants.

Dominican Republic native Martina Jimenez had the determination to succeed, however, so she asked Central Union Mission's Hispanic Family Ministry (HFM) for help. Because she had only a month to prepare for the test, Pastor Jorge de Casanova, HFM director, gave her intensive training classes. On November 14th, she passed her naturalization test and became an American citizen.

Martina has lived continually in the United States for 15 years, but she wanted more. Her dream was to be able to vote and to be a more active part of American society. Thanks to help from the Hispanic Family Ministry, Martina's dream has come true.

Renovation Update
A New Home for the Mission

D.C. Washington
Mission Board Vice Chair
DC Washington encourages us with his song "Days of Hope" at the Groundbreaking Ceremony in May 2012.

This spring, Central Union Mission celebrated our ground breaking on our new facility, the Gales School building at 65 Massachusetts Ave., NW. This historic building will house sleeping and bathroom areas for about 160 men per night, as well as legal, dental and medical offices, dining and meeting facilities and counseling. We will also have a dayroom and daytime activities that will encourage our guests to gain some reading or job skills instead of loitering outside during the day.

Construction is now well underway to convert modest classrooms into a large meeting/dining room, remodel an attic and basement into useful space and add 5,000 square feet for a kitchen and pantry, all while still preserving the character of the old school. The renovation is funded entirely through private sources. Please consider contributing toward our work so we can move into our new home in mid-2013.

Overnight Guest Report
I Did Not Come Here to Play

Allan HallHe had a five-year Army career retiring as a Sergeant and experience as a corrections agent in Georgia, but here he was in Seattle, struggling and not making ends meet with his part-time vehicle patrol officer job. Although Allan Hall was living in an apartment, he had experienced homelessness in Seattle, and he didn't want to return to it.

His internet research told him that Washington, DC, was a good place for security jobs. He noticed one opportunity especially: Howard University Special Police Officer. The problem was he had to graduate from Special Police Academy first. He carefully saved up the $200 tuition plus money for one-way airfare to Washington, DC.

Since he knew he couldn't afford to find a place to live, he researched opportunities in DC and discovered Central Union Mission. His prospects were promising, so the Mission's Rev. Rutherford Cooke offered him room and board in the Work Program, and he came in February 2012. "I was assigned bed # 69. I was so happy. I did not come here to play!"

One More Obstacle
He graduated from the class with high honors but ran up against another hurdle: He had to take a $135 CPR class he hadn't planned on. The Mission helped him contact the VA's homeless program. The VA was impressed with his drive and was able to offer him a scholarship for the CPR class as well as for future unarmed and armed guard classes.

With his new license and work experience, he was a good candidate for the Howard University job. The interviewer asked if his background check would be clean. Alan responded, "My record's so clean you can eat off it!" They offered him the job. He passed the fitness exams and medical tests with flying colors and started work in September 2012.

Volunteers at Every Man's Birthday
Volunteers serve Overnight Guests at the Every Man's Birthday party.

Along with the new job came a chance for a new home. He was offered his own apartment through the Community Council for the Homeless at Friendship Place's Homeless Veteran's Initiative. According to Alan, "I'm so happy I could cry. That's all about God and His work of grace."

How did this happen?
"Everything just started opening up as soon as I came to Central Union Mission. God says if you take the first step in trusting Him, doors will open." He's been carrying an inspirational card in his wallet for ten years, finally now understanding what it means: "Success comes to those who do what they can with what they have and leave the results to God."

"The Mission Work Program kept me focused and disciplined on learning the Word of God and helping me prepare for work." When at the Mission, he attended Bible studies and classes, helped tutor other students in reading and math and helped unload trucks. Without Central Union Mission's assistance, mentorship and resources, "none of these great experiences could have happened to me."

When he filled out his address line on the Howard job application, he wrote, "Central Union Mission, 1350 R St., NW." "I am not ashamed to say where I lived," he replies. "I say it proudly because I want everyone to know what God has done for me."

Look What You've Done!

Because of your support, Central Union Mission was able to provide a wide range of comprehensive, life-changing services and goods to poor, homeless and hurting people in the Nation's Capital. We are grateful for your assistance and are proud to share what your contributions accomplished in our fiscal year 2012:

Nutritious Food

  • 179,597 hot meals for men, women, families and children, including daily meals, groceries, luncheons and special events

Outreach to Children

  • 420 children attended a week-long summer camp at Camp Bennett
  • 1,200 children received backpacks filled with much-needed school supplies
  • 2,221 children received Operation Christmas Miracle bags of presents and clothes

Residential Recovery Services

  • 52,323 nights of shelter through the Overnight Guest Ministry and Spiritual Transformation Program
  • 6,866 counseling sessions and home or hospital visits provided for our entire program recipients base

Medical and Legal Services

  • 831 individuals received professional services such as physicals, eye exams, testing and private medical and legal consultations

Educational Services

  • 10,672 sessions provided in life skills such as English as a Second Language, literacy and math competency, Bible knowledge and preparation for the General Educational Development test

Community Development Services

  • $4,900,000 of groceries were distributed through our partner agencies to help supply individuals and groups with nutritious food

Camp Bennett
Summertime Memories Last Forever

Camp Bennett 2012
Camp Bennett means good times and good friends for inner-city children.

A week in rural Maryland is a treasured memory for our Camp Bennett campers and for many an introduction to "The One and Only," Jesus as the Way, the Truth and the Life. With your help, this summer 420 children played in the woods, swam, made crafts and enjoyed all the games and craziness of a week at summer sleep-away camp. Twenty-four counselors from a variety of churches and colleges, both from close-by Redland Baptist Church in Derwood, MD, and from far-away Liberty University in Lynchburg, VA, and Cairn University in Langhorne, PA, befriended and inspired the campers.

Camp Bennett builds strong relationships not only with its campers, but also with counselors and staff. More than half of the counselors were returning for the second-or even the fourth-year. Four of the counselors were former Camp Bennett campers, and two counselors were engaged this summer to be married in 2013.

We give many thanks to volunteers from Church of the Epiphany in Fairfax, VA, and First Baptist Church from Benton, AR, who spent their weeks here helping counselors and cleaning up. They cleared the ropes course and built a new ropes course shed, which only survived a couple of months before being crushed by a tree during a storm.

Your compassion brings our needy neighborhood children to rural Maryland for a life-changing summer. Thanks so much for your generosity.

Community Outreach
Helping Our Friends

The Mission's Outreach Department was a very good neighbor this year. Through all our services, we were able to help improve the lives of many in our community.

  • Food for a Hungry Community
    With your help, we distributed $4.9 million worth
    of donated food through our own emergency and support services and with our partner agencies
    and local programs.
  • Distribution Center
    We had tremendous growth in both the needs and the contributions to our Distribution Center. This year we distributed $1.5 million worth of clothing, furniture
    and household goods to help those in need.
  • Seniors Luncheons
    Every month we offer about 120 seniors in our neighborhood a delicious meal and a fun, seasonal program, including an inspirational message, music and a rousing game of Bingo. Our often-isolated guests enjoy the fellowship and spiritual encouragement.
  • Operation Backpack
    Parents who are struggling just to put food on the table can't afford to buy school supplies for their children. Since we believe a prepared child can learn better, we distributed new backpacks filled with school supplies donated by our friends to 1,200 children.
  • Operation Christmas Miracle
    Through the care of our compassionate friends, we gave bags of Christmas presents to 2,221 children of all ages. For most, these were the only gifts they would receive; your generous spirit taught a vital lesson about God's love for them.

Want to do more? There's always room for you to volunteer with the Outreach Department. Contact Tracy Duncan at 202-745-7118, ext. 260, or tduncan@missiondc.org for more information. To volunteer online, click here

Operation Backpack 2012 2012 Golf Tournament
Besides receiving new school supplies through Operation Backpack, this child visited with The Cat in the Hat! So close! This foursome helped send children to Camp Bennett through the Tee Off for Kids Tournament in June.

On February 14, 2013, join with us and WGTS 91.9 FM for "Show Us Some Love," a Valentine's day radiothon. "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." (Mark 12:31a)

Social Work NumbersSocial Work Department Update
Giving a Hand Up

This year brought two new exciting programs to the Social Work department's list of vital services for current homeless men and graduates of our Spiritual Transformation Program (STP).

Education Program

With the direction of Bonnie Pritchard, educational instructor, STP men can now take classes in literacy, writing, math and career development. The career class, held at Camp Bennett, offers 8 newly refurbished laptops for software training. There is also a "Study Hour" for one-on-one instruction in the areas each student is struggling in.

The Education Program began in November 2011 and went full-time in February 2012. Before the end of FY 2011, men participated in nearly 1,400 hours of classwork. While the classes are now open only to STP students, plans are in the works for availability to Overnight Guests and others.

New World Vision
Pastor James Lewis, second from left, and Shirley Johnson, right, help Mission men who are volunteering for World Vision DC.

Barnabas Program

Inspired by the encouraging testimony of Barnabas in the book of Acts, the Mission introduced its new Barnabas Program this year. Barnabas Program participants are all graduates of the STP who meet to encourage each other and to serve their communities. The Mission makes sure that the graduates are aware of all the resources available to them and helps support them in connecting with spiritually like-minded people.

Associate Case Manager Mike McCall is charged with tracking down STP graduates to invite them to join the Barnabas Program. At this point, there are close to 35 attendees, and the Mission is in regular contact with over 70 of the STP's graduates.

Michael's Story

Michael is benefitting from the Barnabas Program. Michael had been visiting Central Union Mission since the early 1980s, but, he says, "my soul and mind were dead. I just focused on getting high." He even graduated from the STP in 1984 and was employed when a broken leg caused him to lose his job, and his girlfriend threw him out. He fell back down into his previous drug-addicted lifestyle and spent years homeless or in prison. In December 2011, after he committed his life to Christ in South Carolina, he found his way back to Central Union Mission, and this time he intended to succeed.

One issue Michael needed to face was his debilitating anger. The Mission staff stuck by him, teaching him coping skills and offering Bible study. With the help of the Social Work Department, Michael took cooking classes at DC Central Kitchen, graduating in April 2012 and receiving his food-handlers license. After that the Kitchen hired him as a "utility prep cook," and he has a new place to live on his own.

Proof of his accomplishment is that Michael's bosses recognized his new-found patience and humility in working with other employees. Michael agrees: "I now have common sense; I can make up my mind to do the right things." Two years of probation remain, but with the Lord's help and the Mission's support, Michael will maintain his godly new lifestyle.

Spiritual Transformation Program
"I'm Following In His Footsteps"

The Spiritual Transformation Program (STP) is designed to help men who struggle with life-controlling issues that are keeping them homeless. As they learn about God's grace and how to experience it in their lives, they become whole and continue to grow physically, mentally, spiritually and relationally. Graduates of the program find the lessons they learned in the program serve them well in life.

When Domonic came, he was looking to escape a lifestyle of addiction and violence. Here at the Mission he experienced people who genuinely cared about him, and through the power of the Holy Spirit, he found in himself the capacity to love and respect others. He became a changed man of God. When he graduated, Domonic found a construction job. His supervisors saw his diligent work, his respectfulness, wisdom and resourcefulness, and he was soon promoted to foreman. Domonic has been giving back gratefully by serving his family, being involved in his church and voluntfeering for the Mission, as well.

Marvin Elliot's new life convinced his brothers Stanley (center) and Stephen (right) to come to the Mission, too.

Physical problems brought Everett to the Mission with a dangerously high blood sugar level. First an Overnight Guest, then a participant in the Special Circumstances program, Everett moved on to join the STP. Everett learned how to properly care for his diabetes, grew in his walk with Jesus and received his GED and food-handlers license. He is working part-time while he searches for a full-time position. 2009 STP alum James has been helping Everett and other graduates find work.

2011 alum Marvin has been doing very well in his new marriage and career and often stops by the Mission to visit and volunteer. Marvin recently referred his older brother Steve to our program. Soon afterwards, his oldest brother Stan also came to the Mission. They saw the difference in Marvin and decided that they wanted to change as well. Stan said, "We both had similar lifestyles; Marvin followed in my footsteps. After I saw what 'y'all' at the Mission did for him, I wanted that for myself, so now I'm following in his footsteps! I am so proud of Marvin, how he got his life together and what he has become. I am starting to feel some of that for myself and beginning to get myself together. I appreciate the teaching and the concern from the staff. Thank you all."

Your commitment to Central Union Mission has helped make these men whole. Thank you for being a part of the continuing impact they are making in their communities for God's kingdom.

Holland & Knight
These Holland & Knight volunteers helped Santa organize toys for Operation Christmas Miracle.

Volunteer Spotlight
Sharing the Gift of Time

The Mission's Volunteer Services Program has developed by leaps and bounds this season. According to coordinator Seamus Merrigan, "The commitment we've seen from so many volunteers is just staggering."

One incredible new volunteer organization has supported nearly every one of our major initiatives this season: Holland & Knight, LLP. Holland & Knight has proven itself to be a true champion for Central Union Mission. In a little over one month, the internationally renowned firm:

  • Commissioned attorneys and staff for nearly 61 individual volunteer assignments.
  • Invested approximately 244 work hours into Central Union Mission programs.
  • Supported 5 major volunteer efforts.
  • Gave over 25 individual donations totaling over $900.

DC attorney Gigi Modrich was the Holland & Knight advocate for the Mission. She carved out time to meet us at our location, and she invited us to a luncheon at their new downtown DC office to address their nearly 150 attorneys. The relationship grew quickly; the more we asked, the more they gave. Holland & Knight's support of our Veterans' Day celebration was broadcast on WRC NBC4. They even mailed an official Holland & Knight staff shirt and a note to encourage one Spiritual Transformation Program participant with whom they had developed a relationship.

Central Union Mission relies on our volunteers for so much; we could not possibly hire a staff large enough to do all the work. We are grateful for their open, generous hearts. If you or your group would like to join us, please contact Seamus Merrigan at 202-720-7118, ext. 249, or jmerrigan@missiondc.org.


cold homeless man

New Life and New Hope

Winter's coldest months are here. It's difficult to find food and a warm place to loiter. Many homeless men are driven to Central Union Mission only because staying outside means certain hypothermia.

The good news is, once they get inside our doors, they can finally have a hot shower, a clean bed, a nutritious meal-and most important-the chance to meet Jesus face to face. At Central Union Mission, hope and a new life often begin with a meal.

Thanks to you and your generosity, our hungry and homeless neighbors have the opportunity to turn their lives around, reconcile with their families and participate in their community. God uses your gifts to make these transformations happen. Thank you so much for your compassion.

Financial Report 2011-2012

Click here for the printable version of the 2011-2012 Annual Report

Show Some Love
Central Union Mission | 1350 R Street NW | Washington, DC 20009 | 202.745.7118 |www.missiondc.org

Mission Statement:
To glorify God through proclaiming and teaching the gospel, leading people to Christ, developing disciples, and serving the needs of hurting people throughout the Washington Metropolitan Area.

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