Central Union Mission Annual Report 2013-2014

David O. Treadwell

From the Director
So Much More than a Meal

No man can worship God or love his neighbor on an empty stomach—Woodrow T. Wilson

The most basic of concepts, yet powerfully true. At Central Union Mission, we know that getting a good meal to our guests is the first order of business. Once people are fed, they can concentrate better on the message of hope that Jesus brings. 

But there’s more to our method than that. A guest won’t be interested in joining a chapel service or a Bible study unless he sees something of value there. That’s why Central Union Mission is also safe, clean and polite. Realistically, a guest could fill his stomach from handouts—or even a dumpster—but it’s our staff’s and students’ kindness that encourages him to make the step from eating a meal to changing his life for good. 

I’m so pleased to offer you this annual report. I hope you’ll enjoy reading about how your donations have helped homeless men, needy families and senior citizens learn more about Christ and improve their lives. Thank you again for your generosity and compassion.



Mission photos

Look What You've Done!

We are proud to share what your contributions accomplished in our fiscal year 2014:

Nutritious Food
$2,405,245 of donated food was distributed
1,150,835 meals were served at the shelter and provided through our food pantry for needy men, women, families and children
Outreach to Children
403 children attended summer camp at Camp Bennett
858 children received backpacks filled with school supplies
1,223 children received Operation Christmas Miracle gifts
Household Support
$1,735,278 worth of clothing and household goods was distributed
Residential Recovery Services
52,497 nights of shelter through the Overnight Guest Program and Spiritual Transformation Program
4,219 counseling sessions and home or hospital visits provided
81 men received continuous housing and social service support
Education, Medical and Legal Help
1,276 appointments for eye exams, testing or private medical or legal consultations
12,129 hours of instruction in English literacy, GED preparation and other skills

Only in heaven will we see how much we owe to the poor for helping us to love God better because of them. 
~Mother Teresa

Board of Directors

Board of Directors with Mayor Vincent Gray

Mission board members join Mayor Vincent Gray for the ribbon cutting at our building dedication in March 2014. From left: Donald Woodall, secretary; René Fonseca; Larry Huff; Bob Wormald; John Jackson; Mayor Gray; Pamela Roylance, assistant secretary; Serge Duss; David Treadwell, executive director; David Leach, treasurer; DC Washington, vice president. Not pictured: Michael J. Dennis, assistant treasurer; Robert Krech; Royster Wright, president.

Not he who has much is rich, but he who gives much.
~Erich Fromm

volunteer cooks Camp Bennett boys
These volunteers from Project Affinity donate and cook a special lunch for our guests every month. Swimming’s cool at
Camp Bennett
Turkey Bowl
Dancing feet, cool shoes at the Every So Often Turkey Bowl, a November Mission fundraiser.

Men's Ministry Numbers


men gained employment

40 men found permanent housing
2,058 counseling sessions provided
48 Life Skills training classes for 960 individual hours
1,536 volunteer hours completed at World Vision DC “Give Back Program”
26 participated in the new Gospel Mission House Program

Men’s Ministry

Homeless men represent one pillar of Central Union Mission’s strategic focus. The Mission provides men at their rock bottom with a place to stay and then helps them back up. The spectrum of support extends from overnight shelter to food, spiritual transformation, reconciliation with families and finding employment. 

Overnight Guest Program

Our Overnight Guest program accommodates men who arrive daily for a hot meal and shelter. The men are also urged to enroll in any of the other Men’s Ministry programs.

Coming Up Roses
Tony Toema was at the end of his rope. He had a family with grown children and a florist business delivering to restaurants and nightclubs, but that was not enough for this Egyptian native. Several years of high living brought him down to living on the street. “I had everything, and I lost everything. I was just looking for somewhere to sleep; that’s how I found Central Union Mission,” he says.

Tony Toema
In the flower delivery business before becoming homeless, Tony Toema is preparing to become a commercial vehicle driver.

“When you don’t have anything, it opens up your heart and mind.” Now a part of the Mission’s Work Program, Tony runs the Mission elevator, cleans and does other jobs while preparing for his future. Relying on past experience as a taxi driver, he recently gained his Commercial Drivers License with a goal to drive for Metro. However, he ran into an unexpected barrier: parking tickets. Before he can use his license, he was required to pay $6,375 for infractions committed by employees in his former company’s cars. He negotiated the fees down to around $3,000—a significant reduction, but no more attainable for a homeless, jobless man. Tony is trying to save money to pay the fines so he can be a professional driver.

Tony says that at Central Union Mission, he discovered that “God had a plan for my life. I should have been killed or died on the street, but He had more for me.” Central Union Mission is helping Tony regain his independence and employment and restoring his faith.

Spiritual Transformation Program

Mission men talking
The Mission offers a man a respite from the streets to learn about improving himself and his relationship with Jesus.

The Spiritual Transformation Program (STP) is a residential rehabilitation program created to free men from the control of drugs, alcohol and other destructive behavior by establishing an active relationship with Jesus Christ. The program can accommodate 50 students in Bible study, counseling, academic classes, random drug testing and work therapy. After completing the STP, men seek employment and are mentored through a gradual transition back into the community.

“You Don’t Have to be Miserable!”

James Starkes
James Starkes is a recent successful STP graduate.

James Starkes was one of our first guests to join us after we moved to our Gales School shelter in fall 2013. He had been employed as a contractor for the federal government and had two grown children and a young daughter, but he felt an emptiness that he tried to fill with “things that brought only negativity.” Drinking, car and motorcycle accidents and a run-in with the law left him broken. “I was looking at jail time and had a restraining order against me for my own home.” 

His older daughter told him that if he wanted to be involved with his family, he had to make some big changes. When he enrolled in Central Union Mission’s Spiritual Transformation Program (STP) he discovered “I thought I was a Christian, but what I was lacking was a relationship with God. I found peace and learned how to pray, and prayers were answered.” During his STP classes he realized, “You don’t have to be miserable. You can fill that void with a relationship with God and then work every day to be better.”

STP graduates, July 2014
Our July 2014 Spiritual Transformation Program graduates.

After graduating from the STP in May 2014, James took the culinary job training at DC Central Kitchen, where he won the class cook-off and earned a MVP award from his 25 classmates. He returned to the Mission working part-time at Camp Bennett, relieving the staff by being the weekend cook and transporting the STP men in residence to church services at Sharp Street Memorial UMC in Sandy Spring, MD. He is now working for the Mission part-time at the Food PLUS Center and interviewing for full-time jobs.

His charges were dropped last spring and the restrictions lifted. “I found that obeying God makes its own rewards: I’ve regained respect from my older children, I participated in my daughter’s wedding and I’m part of my nine-year-old daughter’s life again by taking her to school every morning. A year later, my life is so different.” James is committed to staying on track: “God didn’t make this big change in me just for me to go backwards,” he explains.

Special Circumstances Program

The Special Circumstances Program assists those who do not qualify for other Mission programs who need short-term residential services and support. Participants live at Gospel Mission House and must be involved in a productive activity that will lead to self-sufficiency, like school, training or part-time employment.

Ready To Work Program

It’s been a year since Central Union Mission started operating the Ready To Work (RTW) program originally created by Gospel Rescue Mission in 2003. This 12- to 18-month job training and placement program helps rehabilitate chronically unemployed men and women.

Here’s a Hand Up
Currently, 17 men and women are participating in the RTW program, along with four supervisors who are RTW graduates. After a 30-day training period, each person is assigned to a team for job training, which consists of street cleaning and neighborhood beautification. The men and women in RTW are cleaning up their lives and learning the value of hard work, determination and perseverance as they restore the streets of Washington, DC.

Robert Harris
Veteran and Special Circumstances student Robert Harris displays some of the certificates he earned in his training with Main Line Protective Services. He recently moved into his own apartment.

Mission staff works with each participant to craft an individualized education plan, which helps determine what level of assistance he or she needs. Each participant can access all of the Mission’s services, including room and board, educational programs (like technology education, economic literacy, work principles and job hunting), recovery programs and counseling. Participants learn to develop a resume, compose a cover letter and interview successfully to attain and retain permanent employment. Participants are also encouraged to save some of their earnings. The Mission maintains significant partnerships with local job placement organizations, other nonprofits that provide placement services, job fairs and the Department of Employment Services.

We are well into the first-year program for our newest participants. Dan came to the Mission homeless and in search of assistance. He participated in the Mission’s Spiritual Transformation Program before becoming a member of the RTW program. While in RTW, he attended classes and determined that he would like to get his commercial drivers license. He is now in school pursuing this certification and the career options it provides. Thanks so much for your donations to support the RTW program; your confidence in our team members helps them succeed in rebuilding their lives!

Frank’s Story

Frank consults with Social Work Director Shirley Johnson about his paralegal school plans.

It is only by the grace of God and the support of Central Union Mission that I am here today as a resident of Gospel Mission House.

In early 2013 I had an extended hospital stay; what should have been routine was anything but. I was released from the hospital to discover my landlord had changed the locks and moved all of my belongings into storage. I had nowhere to go, so I went to my neighborhood shelter, Central Union Mission. There I received the spiritual, emotional and physical tools I needed to start to rebuild my life, as well as early breakfast and bus tokens to get to twice-weekly dialysis.

Because of the Special Circumstance Program, I didn’t have to worry about a bed to sleep in, and I could focus on getting a job and attending to my well-being. I was given referrals to jobs, other needed program supports, legal assistance and encouragement to find a new career—not just a job. I’ve been at Gospel Mission House for almost a year, and I began a job as a mail clerk.

One day I took it upon myself to edit a law document, and the rest is history! I now have a career as a document specialist at the same prestigious law firm that took on my lawsuit pro bono for wrongful eviction. Because of my dedication and hard work, I have been encouraged to pursue an advanced career in the legal field. Additionally I am able to assist other men to earn a little money by being document couriers. I am honoring the blessings God has given me and fine-tuning my independent living skills so that I will again become self-sufficient and live on my own.

Charity: To love human beings insofar as they are nothing. 
That is to love them as God does. ~Simone Weil

Family Ministry

Since women and children are the fastest growing homeless population in the District, the Mission’s second strategic pillar is committed to supporting these most vulnerable people. We also respond to the demographic trend of greater numbers of Hispanic families moving into DC. These families have an array of needs the Mission meets through services in the Spanish language.

Helping Families Grow

The Gittens at the Food PLUS Center
Because of our donors, the Food PLUS Center was able to supply the Gittens family with food, furniture and housewares for their new apartment. 

This past year, Family Ministry has expanded not only the number of people we serve but also the variety of services God has allowed us to offer. Thousands of people have heard the gospel of Jesus Christ, and many have received substantial support in clothing, food, furniture and fellowship.

Our new diaper program distributed 6,000 diapers to 130 families. We also continued with our English as a Second Language and literacy classes; three of our students passed their exams to become American citizens this year. We served about 3,125 people every month through our Food PLUS Center and our Hispanic Center at Mt. Gilead Baptist Church.

family ministry seniors
Family Ministry Director Dr. Jorge DeCasanova welcomes seniors to the Ministry’s first Hispanic Seniors Luncheon.

A Friend Indeed to Seniors

On every third Friday at Israel Baptist Church and fourth Thursday at Mt. Gilead Baptist Church, we offer low-income seniors a delicious meal and a chance for fellowship with friends. Each month, more than 300 people enjoy spirited rounds of Bingo, praise and worship time, a special speaker and a bag of groceries to take home. Our first monthly Hispanic Senior Lunch program started in March and offered 367 senior citizens healthy, hot meals and grocery bags to take home.

Children Make Lifelong Memories

Camp Bennett girls
A summer week, a cozy lodge, many BFFs.

Thanks to your support, more than 400 campers spent a week at Camp Bennett this summer, and 29 came to know the Lord for the first time. This summer’s theme was “Strong and Courageous!,” teaching campers that Jesus has provided us spiritual weapons to fight the battle against evil. We can be victorious in warfare when we put on the full armor of God. 

We had a 80% retention rate of camp counselors from the past summer; three counselors came from Geneva College! We also had two very helpful churches this summer— First Christian Church (Versailles, KY) and Chantilly Bible Church (Chantilly, VA)—who both volunteered a week to work at the summer camp.

Operation Backpack boy
A proud Operation Backpack recipient thinks school is fun with brand new school supplies.

We also serve the little ones in our community. With the help of our generous donors, we provided 858 new backpacks filled with school supplies for our young neighbors. We also gave bags of presents to 1,100 children through our Operation Christmas Miracle. 

“He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. 

Is that not what it means to know me?” declares the Lord. 

~Jeremiah 22:16 NIV 

Partner Ministry

The Mission invites its donors, volunteers, neighbors and other partners to participate with us in helping poor people in Washington, DC. Through financial donations, volunteer time (2,584 people donated 6,505 hours), neighbor involvement and community rentals, our partners help develop the Mission’s assets and programs at the same time they experience the fulfillment of community service. 

Donor Partners
Honoring a Servant and Friend

Pastor John K. Jenkins, Sr.
Pastor John K. 
Jenkins, Sr., pastor of First Baptist Church 
of Glenarden

One of Central Union Mission’s close friends just celebrated a silver anniversary: Pastor John K. Jenkins, Sr., has pastored First Baptist Church of Glenarden (FBCG) for 25 years. “The Mission is grateful for Pastor Jenkins and his congregation’s influence. We congratulate him on his service to his church and the DC metropolitan area,” commented David Treadwell, Mission executive director.

Pastor Jenkins grew up at FBCG and heeded God’s call to preach at age 15. He travelled from church to church preaching until he became senior pastor at Union Bethel Baptist in King George, VA. In 1990, FBCG called on him to return and lead them after the death of their pastor and Jenkins’ mentor Reverend Dr. John W. Johnson.

Two years later, Pastor Jenkins helped FBCG renovate a former Hechinger’s store into a new sanctuary seating 700 worshippers. Today, that building now operates as the church’s ministry center, since in 2007, FBCG built a new 4,000-seat sanctuary in Upper Marlboro, serving nearly 11,000 attendees weekly. The church supports 118 ministries and 300 staff members. Pastor Jenkins’ wife First Lady Trina is the church’s Family Life Ministries director, and the couple has six children and a granddaughter.

FBCG’s connection to Central Union Mission is broad; FBCG is our largest church donor. Besides its financial contributions, teams of volunteers help at the Mission by serving food, performing drama and music and helping at the Food PLUS Center. FBCG is a ministry-oriented church with a commitment to serving God: “When you give to the poor, the Scriptures teach that you are ‘lending to the Lord.’  We give because it is a core conviction to assist and care for others,” explains Pastor Jenkins.

According to Pastor Jenkins, FBCG selected Central Union Mission for its missions giving over some other charities because, “they are serving the needs of ‘the least of these.’… in a practical, resourceful and properly managed manner.  We have total confidence in their leadership and their ability to ensure that money is spent properly.”

We’re thankful to Pastor Jenkins for his godly influence on his community and his compassion for DC’s homeless. Best wishes for many more years of ministry!

Pastor Bill and Marcella Jasan
Pastor Bill and Marcella Jasan at the Haitian church they rebuilt

Volunteer Spotlight
Why This Pastor Gets Involved

Bill Jasan, discipleship/student ministries pastor at Calvary Chapel Metro DC, and his wife Marcella have been faithful volunteers at Central Union Mission in an unusually responsible capacity. They’ve taken on a supervisory role for the Mission’s big events, organizing volunteers who sign up online at Volunteer Central, as well as many volunteers from their own church. “We’re there to be ambassadors for Christ as well as for the Mission,” he says.

Pastor Jasan reveals that what fuels his passion for this ministry is his time on the streets in Cleveland, OH. “The Lord delivered me from alcohol and cocaine addictions, and He gave me a heart for those struggling in the same bondage.” Working as a painting contractor in the 1990s, he began to minister to the program men at Cleveland City Mission. Then in 2002, he and Marcella moved to the DC area to care for her ill mother. 

In his new city, Pastor Jasan started making consistent trips to Central Union Mission to help out. He discovered that Central Union Mission’s program uses the same recovery models as the Cleveland mission, and he had “street cred” with our guests. “The things I experienced you can’t learn in books. When a man asks, ‘How can you say you understand me?,’ I say, ‘How much time do you have?’”

Pastor Bill and Marcella’s lives took a dramatic turn after a Haiti mission trip in 2010. He says, “I was looking at the remains from the earthquake. The orphan situation was hideous. I had thought of myself as a generous person, but this experience increased the territories of my heart.” He started Stone of Help Ministry (stoneofhelpministry.org), with the help of his best friend, Haitian native Dr. Jean Abel Pierre. Together, their ministry built a new church and an elementary school. The Jasans are moving to Port-au-Prince, Haiti, this summer to join the Pierres and to build a home for children orphaned during the earthquake.

Calvary Chapel Metro DC volunteers
Calvary Chapel Metro DC volunteers help our guests celebrate a festive Christmas. 

While we will certainly miss the Jasans, they have trained Calvary Chapel volunteers to carry on their work at the Mission. “Our strength comes from service. How grateful I am for our church volunteers rising up to serve. After thanking his hard-working and faithful team, Pastor Bill concludes with his catchphrase: “But after all, we are only doing what we are supposed to be doing.” 

Neighbor Partners
Welcome to Our Neighborhood

We are grateful to our new partners who are helping us make life better for more families in Washington, DC:

The Family Place Home Visiting program, Iglesia Pentecostal La Mies, Chipotle, Starbucks, Martha’s Table, United Planning Organization’s Early Learning Network and EurekaFacts.

We continue to have 17 different teams use our Camp Bennett facility for winter workouts—all but two associated with the local Olney Boys and Girls Club Baseball and Softball travel teams. We also hosted some retreats for 
Notre Dame Preparatory School (Towson, MD), Iglesia Pentecostal La Mies (Mount Airy, MD) and House of Prayer Maranatha (Columbia, MD.)

130th Anniversary Gala
Celebrating 130 Years of Service

Since 1884, Central Union Mission has been helping homeless and poor people in Washington, DC. We gathered in early October 2014 to celebrate the Mission’s efforts at an Anniversary Gala held at the Fairview Park Marriot in Falls Church, VA. Guests heard from Capital Area Food Bank President Nancy Roman, as well as DC Senator Michael Brown, Pastor Darrel Fiddermon and David Hazelton, Esq.

Thanks to Our Volunteers

2,584 volunteers served at the Mission’s seven locations donating 6,505 volunteer hours.

Financial Report FY 2014

In Grateful Tribute FY 2014

Click here to download the pdf version of the FY2013-2014 Annual Report

Easter 2015
Executive Dinner

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