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About Us

Central Union Mission is the oldest social service agency in the District of Columbia. It was founded in 1884 by the Reverend Latham Douglass, a young man filled with compassion for the thousands of homeless, neglected men who wandered Pennsylvania Avenue, many of whom were Civil War veterans.

Since 1884, the Mission has continuously operated an emergency shelter for homeless men and been a place for spiritual uplift and recovery. It has survived the Great Depression, two world wars, 24 presidential administrations, neighborhood transitions, and numerous relocations.

The Mission Today

Today, Central Union Mission is a faith-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with seven locations throughout the Washington metropolitan area.  In addition to its family ministries, the Mission operates an emergency shelter program, a rehabilitation program for men with life-controlling issues, a food, clothing and furniture distribution center, a retreat and recreation center with a camp for underprivileged children, programs for isolated seniors, computer and job training and transitional and low-cost housing.

The Mission is continually developing its programs to meet the changing needs of the community. Its current programs serve homeless men, underprivileged women, children, seniors, families, and veterans.

see videoOne life at a time, the Mission works to help transform the area's toughest rehabilitation cases, including drug addicts, gang members, criminal offenders, and the chronically homeless into productive members of society. The Mission's programs have an extremely high success rate at helping individuals overcome addiction and homelessness, and achieve independent living. Learn more about us on an eight-minute video, click here.

2012-2013 BROCHURE (pdf)



A Successful Track Record

In FY 2012-2013, through the generosity of our supporters, Central Union Mission was able to provide a wide range of comprehensive, life-changing services and goods to homeless, poor and hurting people in the Nation's Capital. We are grateful for your assistance and are pleased to share what your contributions accomplished in Fiscal Year 2013:


We are proud to share what your contributions accomplished in our fiscal year 2013:

Nutritious Food

  • ​154,894 hot meals provided for men, women, families and children
  • Over $3.4 million worth of groceries were distributed through our partnerships with other community organizations

Outreach to Children

  • 381 children attended summer camp at Camp Bennett
  • 1,180 children received backpacks filled with school supplies
  • 2,002 children received Operation Christmas Miracle bags

Household Support

  • Over $1 million worth of clothing, furniture and household goods distributed

Residential Recovery Service

  • 43,110 nights of shelter through the Overnight Guest Ministry and Spiritual Transformation Program
  • 4,940 counseling sessions and home or hospital visits provided
  • 320 men received continuous housing and social service support

Education, Medical and Legal Help

  • 530 individuals received physicals, eye exams, testing or private medical or legal consultations
  • 4,318 hours of instruction in English literacy, GED preparation and other skills

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