Central Union Mission
Senator Michael D. Brown
District of Columbia Senator Michael D. Brown presented these remarks during Central Union Mission’s 130th Anniversary Gala in October.

Giving Help When 
It’s Needed Most

By Senator Michael D. Brown

I first came to know Central Union Mission because you lived and worked in my neighborhood. I lived with my sister on Thomas Circle only a few blocks from the shelter at 14th and R Streets, NW. I saw firsthand the important work you did to help the less fortunate residents in our area.

In those days, very few in that part of town were willing to help, and the need was tremendous. I remember your sign that beckoned to the neighborhood with a few simple words— “Come Unto Me”—from Matthew 11:28: “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” This is a creed you have lived by for more than a century without falter. 

I didn’t need your help in those days, but I am a United States senator today because in my time of need, I had someone to help and comfort me. You see, I lost both my parents when I was 15. Scared and alone, by the time I was 16, I had dropped out of high school and started getting into trouble. Luckily, I had an older sister who protected me, cared for me and nurtured me, allowing me to regain my footing and get my life back on track.

At a Critical Time
After a few years I got a GED, and worked my way through community college, a good university and graduate school. I went on to start my own successful business, get married, raise three incredible children and get elected to the office of United States senator twice—the last time receiving 207,000 votes. I know how far a little help can take you when it comes at a critical time in your life. 

My sister Patricia and I lived in the shadow of the Mission on 14th Street at one of the hardest times in our lives. With her help I was able to carry on and live a fulfilling and productive life. I never got to give back to my sister for all she did for me— just as I was becoming successful in my early 30’s, she passed away—so in her name, I thank you.

I know that Pat would have wanted me to say to you that helping each other is what reaffirms our humanity, that the only way to truly receive is to give and that which lifts one of us lifts all of us. It’s the way she lived her life, and it’s what Central Union Mission does every day. By serving those in our community most in need, you serve all of us.

Sustaining Our Community
Through your network of volunteers, staff and program graduates, Central Union Mission makes our community a more compassionate and caring place. God bless you for your years of dedicated service to our city, and thank you for allowing me to be part of this celebration of your incredible gift of caring that you have given to our community for the past 130 years.

A Priceless Opportunity

One of our recent program participants is well on his way to a restored life. After a short time in prison, André McGant found himself at Central Union Mission in early 2014, homeless and unemployed. With help from our social work department, he received an internship from the DC Corrections Information Council. As an outreach intern, André monitors the community services available to previously incarcerated people and encourages more collaboration among service providers. He completed his associate’s degree this year, and with his internship stipend provided by Chevy Chase Presbyterian Church, he can afford to rent an apartment. Here are some of his thoughts about his experience at Central Union Mission:

The time given to me to spend at the Mission was priceless and very important to me at this stage in my life. I graduated college this year with a degree in business management at 56 years old. I never thought I could, but with God’s grace, I did it! I’m even looking forward to going back to school after I secure a permanent full-time job.

André McGant
André McGant at his desk at the DC Corrections Information Council

At my internship at the DC Corrections Information Council, God is using me to help bring communities and organizations together to help work with families and DC residents who are incarcerated, in halfway houses or who are returning citizens. My goal is to help ease their transitions back into society.

Now today, my wife and I are reunited in our own apartment here in DC. Thank God my wife is working full time, so along with me and my internship, we are not homeless. We both also have completed recovery coaching and counseling classes with certifications. I’m offering my services to coach and counsel men into recovery at the Mission or wherever God may use me to help others learn to have better lives by getting educated, working to get a job and striving not to be homeless.

I am a product of restoration and a walking testimony of how God works through people and places like Central Union Mission. As I work with God to restore my life, I would like not only to receive His blessings but also to be a blessing to others and help them transform and restore their lives. My wife and I are starting the DC Community Coaching and Counseling Organization to do just that.

I would like to thank God for the opportunity to spend time at Central Union Mission. I also want to give special thanks to the staff who introduced me to the Overnight Guest program, Special Circumstances program and Ready To Work program for their help and all their dedication and hard work.

—André McGant

David O. Treadwell

From the Executive Director
A Different Way to Measure Success

Being homeless can be an intense time of independence. Some homeless people prefer to live on the street rather than follow the rules at a shelter—even one as comfortable as Central Union Mission.

Many men begin work or our Spiritual Transformation Program at the Mission but don’t have the stamina to follow through. It’s not that our expectations are so rigorous; it’s more that they are unwilling to put their old habits aside and to try being sober, studious and responsible. For those that do persevere, however, the rewards are great. It’s a picture of the blessings we stand to receive if we give up controlling our own lives and follow Jesus instead.

Sometimes success doesn’t look the way you might expect. That’s why we here at the Mission are grateful for your faithfulness. Because you continue to support us, you too, share in the rewards. Through your compassion, men are overcoming addictions, getting educated and employed and returning to the neighborhood healed and whole. Thank you so much for changing lives every day.



What Can My Gifts Do?

The end of the year is an ideal time to contribute financially. Your gift will not only help homeless and hungry people in the winter’s cold, but it may also improve your tax situation come April. Here are some things your year-end gifts can do:

  • $125 will serve 60 nutritious meals
    dining at Central Union Mission
  • $400 will purchase a computer to help needy men and women get their GEDs and find employment 
  • $1,200 will allow three disadvantaged children to stay for a week at our Camp Bennett
    happy campers
  • $5,000 will help us provide transitional housing for those moving out of homelessness 
  • $25,000 will enable us to hire a part-time tutor for Spiritual Transformation Program students
    Spiritual Transformation Program

Besides making a financial contribution, here are other ways you can help Central Union Mission:

At your workplace, you can select Central Union Mission as your United Way (No. 9617) or Combined Federal Campaign (No. 85786) designee. You and your colleagues may want to sponsor a canned food or coat drive to keep our community warm and well-fed.

Did you know that your online purchases can trigger even more donations to Central Union Mission? When you do your holiday shopping online, visit GiveBackAmerica.com,  Ziggedy.com, Amazon Smile.com and Ebay, and your purchase makes a contribution to Central Union Mission 
at the same time. See our website for directions at 

Food Drive

We can distribute your donations of household items, furniture, appliances, clothes and food to needy families through our Food PLUS Center. We can also use your donated car to give a desperately needed ride to a doctor appointment or job interview.

Are you making decisions about your estate at this time? We can help you make gifts of real estate, stocks and bonds and charitable gift annuities. Get your financial advisor’s advice, and contact Debbie Chambers at 202-745-7118, ext. 227, or dchambers@missiondc.org.

Also, donating your time is a tremendous gift. Please visit missiondc.org/volunteer/ to learn about opportunities—and remember to bring a friend! Thanks so much for your help.

Join Us!

Seniors Luncheon
January 16, 2015
9:30 am
You can help serve our seniors as they enjoy fellowship and a delicious meal.

Executive Dinners   
January  20; February  17, 2015—6:30 pm
Come enjoy a delicious meal and a tour of the shelter and meet some men involved in the Mission’s STP and work programs. RSVP at 

Food PLUS Center 
Grocery Distribution

January 5 and 8, 2015; 
January 16 and 22, 2015
Anytime between 10:00 am to 4:00 pm
Register at missiondc.org/volunteer to help prepare food bags for our community.

Martin Luther King, Jr., Program
January 19, 2015
12:00 noon
Please join us for lunch and a program celebrating King’s legacy.

Souper Bowl Party
February 1, 2015
5:00 pm
You can help serve our guests dinner and snacks as they watch the football game.

To register for volunteer opportunities, please go online at missiondc.org/volunteer.

homeless man

Winter is Harsh for the Homeless

To a homeless person, winter means shivering on a sidewalk or staving off frostbite with a round-trip Metro ride. At Central Union Mission, however, winter means a nutritious meal, a hot shower, a clean bed and priceless friendship.

Your generous gifts keep homeless and hungry people safe and well-fed during these tough winter months. Thank you so much for sharing your compassion with those in need!

Our Mission
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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CENTRAL UNION MISSION | 202-745-7118 | www.missiondc.org