Press Releases

For further information about any of Central Union Mission press releases, please contact Deborah Chambers, director of strategic partnerships and community engagement, 202-745-7118 ext. 227.

Teaching a Man to Fish Costs Money, Too
May 25, 2017


May 25, 2017

Contact: Deborah Chambers
Mission Senior Director of Strategic Partnerships and Community Outreach
Cell: 202-534-9965

Teaching a Man to Fish Costs Money, Too


Washington, DC— I think we’re all in agreement that “teaching a man to fish” is better than just handing out fish. What we’re not admitting is that “fishing lessons” cost as much--or maybe more--than the free lunch.

With our 133 years of experience at Central Union Mission, we’re committed to meeting people where they are, which often starts with a free meal. However, we don’t just leave them there. We know that once basic needs like food, shelter or medical care are met, people can focus on getting an education or a job. Our programs like Ready2Succeed and the Spiritual Transformation Program  do the financially and emotionally expensive work of renovating lives from hopelessness to productive roles in society. 

With the release of the President’s budget plan, we recognize that Jesus’ command to care for the “least of these” will be back squarely on the shoulders of our nation’s faith communities, non-profits and private social service agencies.

Since the Mission operates on private funding, we will not be losing any government dollars. What we will be experiencing, however, is visits from many more of the city’s 7,500 Overnight Guests and hungry neighbors as their other government assistance dries up.

It’s no surprise to us that some people may take unfair advantage of such kindness. Obeying our faith’s command to generosity is what matters, not how deserving our guests may be.  As one of Washington, DC’s  most basic safety nets, we will continue to provide whatever assistance needy neighbors require, and we ask others to join us in fulfilling that mission.—David O. Treadwell, Central Union Mission Executive Director

Please contact Deborah Chambers at 202-534-9965 cell or to coordinate interviews or receive media entrance.

Central Union Mission is a faith-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit with its homeless shelter located at 65 Massachusetts Ave., NW, Washington, DC  20001, In addition to its emergency shelter program, the Mission operates rehabilitative and job training programs for men, a clothing and furniture distribution center, a retreat and recreation center with a camp for underprivileged children and a ministry to families and senior citizens.

Charity Navigator Four Star Charity
Charity Navigator awarded Central Union Mission four out of a possible four stars, which indicates that Central Union Mission adheres to good governance and other best practices that minimize the chance of unethical activities and consistently executes its mission in a fiscally responsible way. Charity Navigator is America’s premier independent charity evaluator.

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