The Missionary Newsletter

Their Potential is Within Reach
Mission Introduces Workforce Development Programs

It’s hard to get a job when you have no experience or training. And what if you are older or have a blot on your record? Central Union Mission is excited to announce a program now available for people in need called Ready2Succeed. Ready2Succeed offers training to prepare people for and help them obtain permanent jobs.

Ready2Succeed helps unemployed and homeless people have hands-on experience in a trade, learning not only job skills but also skills like responsibility and teamwork. The program includes free housing and food if needed so participants can save their salary for their own future apartments.

Ready2Succeed logo

Ready2Succeed offers training for three skill sets:

Ready2Work logo
cleaning and landscaping

Ready2Recycle logo

Ready2Cook logo
cooking and baking

ReadytoWork logo

Ready2Work has an 18-year history with Gospel Rescue Ministries, which merged with Central Union Mission in 2013. The program is a springboard to independence for workers who are trained to keep the streets clean and do basic landscaping like weeding and mulching. Today, seven men and women, known to the Mount Vernon Triangle Community Improvement District as the “Clean Team,” keep the streets attractive and safe. They also shovel snow and set up for the neighborhood’s activities. They interact with the public as ambassadors for the community. Ready2Work provides participants with useful job skills and professional experience, as well as networking opportunities and references.

“You Have to Be Willing to Change”

Jimmie Carter
Jimmie Carter, Ready2Work

 “I wasn’t a bad kid—just a little on the wild side. I had four older sisters I wanted to party with,” remembers Ready2Work participant Jimmie Carter. The drinking he started in junior high led to his dropping out of high school. He started several jobs—with the Washington Star, landscaping, roofing, selling cars—but his alcohol addiction forced him to quit. He even started his own landscaping business in 1998; “then I was my own boss, and the drinking got worse.” His employees were his friends who also had substance problems; they stuck by him as long as he had money. He lost his car, loved ones, home and, eventually, his business.

Finally in 2009 he had enough. He started treatment with Gospel Rescue Ministries in the late fall, and in 2013, he joined the Ready2Work program. “Ready2Work has really gotten me to be the best I could be. It showed me things I didn’t know that I could do.” He works full time keeping the area clear of trash and graffiti and setting up for concerts, farmers markets and dog shows. Last fall he was promoted to manager of his seven-member team. He says, “People are clean and safe with us around. I think we do a good job.”

Ready2Work photo
Ready2Work participants not only keep the streets clean; they also serve in a caretaker role.

He’s grateful for his bosses and their good relationship; “They take the time to help us with any problems.”  “I love working with the people and seeing their smiling faces.  The business owners appreciate our efforts; they look out for us and invite us in for cocoa or cold water.”

Jimmie and his new wife Lolita have their own apartment and a late-model car, and Lolita works in a performing arts center. He’s reconciled with his siblings, and he talks with them every day. “They have seen the change in my life; there’s nothing they won’t do for me now.”

Jimmie has advice for those contemplating getting their lives together: “Court-ordered treatment didn’t work for me because couldn’t nobody tell me nothing! If you want to do it, then do it for yourself; you have to be willing to change. The Mission gave me tools, and I chose to use them.”

Ready2Recycle logo

Ready2Recycle photo
Ready2Recycle is a win/win opportunity for both the participants and for the community.

Our new program Ready2Recycle involves participants in picking up donations with a Mission truck. What sets Ready2Recycle apart from other charities is that the Mission encourages you to donate items other programs will not accept: broken appliances and toys, torn sheets, holey socks, tired snow globes and bobble-head dolls—many things that you would be tempted to throw away. The program participants sort the donations into those usable for Food PLUS Center patrons and those that can be further broken down or melted for recycling. If you are moving or have an estate to dispose of, Ready2Recycle men will come to your house and empty your unwanted items into their truck.

This work opportunity is almost poetic in its application: donors receive tax receipts and clean closets; poor neighbors can have free clothing and other goods; recycled items get a new life, not a trip to the dump; and most importantly, men get a chance to recycle their lives. Two men are currently working in Ready2Recycle, but as pick-up appointments increase, more can be hired.

“It’s Not About Me Anymore”

Robert Holmes
Robert Holmes, Ready2Recycle

“I found out about Central Union Mission through the internet. I could have gone to other shelters, but something told me to give the Mission a call,” explains Robert Holmes. And that’s when his life started to turn around. 

In 1994, Robert followed his new wife to Atlanta and then Tucson for her nursing job, but after 4 years of marriage, she decided to separate. He remained in Tucson as a state-certified pest control specialist, but years of chemicals took their toll. He needed to quit for his health, but finding a new job was harder than he anticipated. That’s how he ended up returning to his roots in Washington, DC, looking for a way to start over. 

Fiddling with his collection of name badges he calls his “trophies,” Robert explains that he first was a Mission Overnight Guest, then he participated in the Special Circumstances and Spiritual Transformation Programs. “I think I really needed the STP because I was lacking that in my life. God has always been with me: I never had an addiction or arrest program. I just wanted my way, not His.”

“I always was independent, so I think I had to go through this homeless experience to get to where I need to be. I’m actually glad I’m going through this. It’s not about ‘me, me, me’ anymore. There was a time I couldn’t even understand the Bible when I read it. When I got mentors to teach me how to study, I was able to comprehend.”

Robert is a driver for Ready2Recycle, picking up donations all over the metropolitan area. His job is part-time now, but he sees “a potential to get this program off the ground. I’m thinking it could go to full time and get some more men working.” Robert also helps the Mission out with his serious photography hobby. “I figured since they helped me, maybe I can help them by taking pictures. It totally gives me satisfaction to return the help that I got.”

“Central Union Mission is a great place. If I had ended up at a different shelter, I think I would have committed suicide by now. I learned that God can lift me out of the situation I’m in. I put myself into trouble, but He pulled me through it. My plan for the future is to go by what He has in store for me, and I’m leaving it all up to Him.” 

Ready2Cook logo

Ready2Cook photo
With new culinary skills, these graduates are ready to work in any professional kitchen.

Culinary Job Training Program—When Central Union Mission moved into its new building in 2013, it contributed another asset to the fight against homelessness: a professional kitchen. In partnering with DC Central Kitchen, the Mission can host their acclaimed culinary training program at the Mission’s kitchen. 

During the 14-week training program, people learn basic food preparation skills, earn a food handler’s license and complete a self-empowerment class. After a one-month professional internship, they are ready for the program’s job placement assistance. Since starting in 2012, the culinary training class has a 90 percent employment rate for graduating students.

Mission Muffin logo

muffin guys
There’s more to a bakery than tasty treats. Important organizational and business skills are necessary.

Mission Muffins—Mission Muffins is a new Ready2Cook program that restores lives while bringing happiness to many tummies through delicious baked goods. Our Mission Muffins employees are homeless men who are learning the bakery business through hands-on training in baking, marketing, order fulfillment and delivery. While they are in the program, participants live at the Mission at no cost so they can save their wages for permanent housing. The program goal is to find participants living wage jobs through the Mission’s contacts at local businesses and agencies. 

Proceeds from these amazing muffins (and soon scones and hand-held pies) go back into the Mission Muffins program, allowing it to take on more employees. What kinds of muffins do they bake? How about Oh, My Darlin’ Clementine Orange, Chocoholics Unanimous or The Lemon Thrill on Blueberry Hill? How can you resist? You can read more about Mission Muffins and place an order at

Taking This Job Seriously

Carl Terry
Carl Terry, Ready2Cook

Carl started doing drugs at age 16—nothing more than marijuana, he says, but he was hanging out with negative people. “I’ve been shot at,” he reveals. “It comes with the lifestyle, but even then, God was with me. My best friend was killed when they were looking for me.” Not until his brother was locked up for 30 years did Carl say, “I’m out. I’m done.” A friend told him to check out Central Union Mission, and he has been here for six months.

At 27, Carl is living at the Mission and is now one of the first participants in the new Ready2Cook Mission Muffins program. “I really like it,” he says. “It’s an interesting job opportunity. It’s amazing what goes into those muffins. People like the muffins, and it’s really fun when you make what people like.”

Besides the baking part of the business, Carl is learning about entrepreneurship and responsibility. He’s also getting to see the inside of other businesses and government buildings by making muffin deliveries. He was intrigued by the underground passageways at the Capitol, where the Mission Muffins crew delivered tasty samples. He says his new favorite muffin is the “Wherever the Chips May Fall,” edging out the “Singin’ the Bluesberry” muffins.

Carl was born and raised in DC, but he’s the only one of his friends who made it out of the neighborhood. “I don’t know how I went without charges; all of my friends are in jail now. I left the streets, and I have a different mindset. That’s why I’m taking this job so seriously; I don’t know why I’m still alive.” You can hear Carl’s story at

From the Executive Director
Everyone Deserves a Second Chance

I couldn’t be more pleased to share with you the Mission’s new Workforce Development programs and the exciting potential they have for transforming lives.

So many find themselves homeless due to conditions that also hamper employment: addictions, inexperience, illness, previous incarceration. With Ready2Succeed, we give these men a second chance—the opportunity to reinvent their lives with responsibility and promise.

I’m very proud of the men working in these programs today. It takes extraordinary commitment and effort to abandon a dysfunctional yet familiar lifestyle and to learn healthy habits and attitudes.

At Central Union Mission, however, we believe that ultimate change is a result of Jesus’ sacrifice for us; relying on Him is what makes it all possible.

David O. Treadwell

Because you care about the lost people in our city, Central Union Mission is able to help them find purpose, love and peace. Thank you so much for your compassion!



David Treadwell


We know how to clean your house
Call Ready2 Recycle!

Our courteous men will load all your unwanted items onto their truck and use them to help others.

You don’t want those broken appliances, chipped dishes, old bedding, knick knacks, shoes, books, toys or sports equipment? Are you moving? We can haul your leftovers away. You can even include your neighbors in a community recycling drive. You will receive a receipt for your taxes.

Visit or call TaJuanna Patterson at 202-745-7118, ext. 411, today to arrange a pick-up.

You can change the future For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast. 
For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
--Ephesians 2:8-10

The Bible is filled with stories about second chances—Moses, Jonah, David and Peter, for example—and the grace God offered for restoration. We model His grace when we take a chance on a person who others may have rejected. 

Ready2Succeed graduates are ready to work, and their training makes them attractive employees. The problem is that their resumes don’t fully reflect their skills, which makes it harder for them to find jobs. This is where our partnerships with our friends, donors and community come in.

business partners

The program’s ultimate goal (and the best chance for success) is permanent job placement. Think about where you work now: Does your business have entry–level employment opportunities available to Ready2Succeed graduates? Do you have job leads or experience as a job-hunting coach? Would you like to mentor a trainee? Would your business like to sponsor and create a new Ready2Succeed program? 

Come to our Central Union Mission Job Fair on June 4, 2016, to meet Ready2Succeed men who are ready to make your company successful. You can also review the resumes of our job hunters at Please contact Sally Cox at if you have a job opening or would like more information. You have the opportunity to change a man’s future.

How to Help

Your efforts bring great results. Here are some ways you can make a difference:

Pray: This is a challenging time in participants’ lives because they are learning demanding new skills for successful living. Please pray that God will help them stay committed to their program and resist the call back to the streets. You can share your concern for them by posting your prayers on the Mission’s Facebook page Facebook/; on Instagram at centralunionmission or Twitter @centralunion.

Be a Business Contact:  Even if you don’t have positions open at this time, your business experience and connections can help the Mission mentor graduates and place them in fulfilling jobs. Please see page four for ideas, and contact Sally Cox at today.

Ready2Recycle outside

Have a recycling drive: Recycling drives are an easy and engaging community service project for your group. All you do is schedule a Mission truck pick-up time. Then invite your colleagues, book club members, Girl Scouts or church members to bring their unwanted items—in any condition: broken or brand new! Ready2Recycle participants will load the truck and give receipts for income tax purposes. You can clean out your house and bless so many lives at the very same time. Visit for more information or to schedule a pick-up. 


Order muffins: Do you want to offer your guests and officemates something special? Order a box of Mission Muffins for your next party or meeting. These treats taste so good you might forget that your purchase is doing good. See for ordering information.

Donate money or food: We can train only the number of men that we can provide for. Your financial and food gifts are used to sustain our program participants because all the services, food and shelter we provide are at no cost to them. Everything you give plays a part in restoring broken lives to wholeness and productivity. Please visit to make your contribution today.

Join Us!

Executive Luncheons and Dinners
June 9, 2016–11:30 am
May 26 and June 23, 2016–6:30 pm

You are invited to come enjoy a delicious meal, tour the shelter and meet some men involved in the Mission’s STP and work programs. RSVP at

Food PLUS Center Grocery Distribution
May 2 and 5, 2016; June 6 and 9, 2016
Anytime between 10:00 am to 4:00 pm

Register at to help prepare food bags for the community.

Ready2Recycle Pick-Up Events
May 28  Fort Washington Community Drive 
June 4    Estridge Group, The French International School, Bethesda, MD

Donate your used items at one of these local events. Contact TaJuanna Patterson at for more information.

Seniors Luncheon
June 17, 2016
May 27 and June 24, 2016, in Spanish
9:30 am

You can help serve seniors as they enjoy fellowship and a delicious meal.

Job Fair
June 4, 2016
10:00 am to 12:00 pm

Please contact Sally Cox at if you can participate as a prospective employer or mentor.

To register for these volunteer activities, please visit

Hope for Broken Souls

Hope for Broken Souls

Central Union Mission’s reason for locating near Union Station is no surprise; this busy transportation hub is a natural place for lonely drifters to congregate. Many standing on the giant marble steps with their hands out don’t realize that lasting help is available to them barely two blocks away!

Because you care about the homeless and hungry people in Washington, DC, your gifts to Central Union Mission are making an impact on hundreds of lives. Your gifts allow us to draw in men who have given up and compassionately transform them into men with hope. Thank you so much for your generosity.

Every night, 175 men rely on Central Union Mission to protect them from the elements and the danger of the streets. Your compassionate gift on June 2 will help us all
Do More.

Do More 24

Our Mission: To glorify God by proclaiming the Gospel and meeting the needs of hungry, hurting and homeless individuals and families in the Washington, DC, metropolitan area.

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