DC Homeless Families Need More Than Low-Cost Housing

 

PRESS RELEASE Contact: Deborah Chambers

Cell: 202-534-9965


DC Homeless Families
Need More Than Low-Cost Housing

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Washington, DC—May 13, 2016— Yesterday’s release of the “Homelessness in Washington” 2016 Point-in-Time survey” revealed that family homelessness in the city has increased an alarming 30 percent since the last survey taken only one year ago. This statistic bears out in Central Union Mission’s experience, as the Mission
serves 17 percent more families this year through its Family Ministry Center. (In addition to free food, the Mission offers families free clothing, housewares and social services, as well as providing school supplies, summer camp and Christmas presents for program participant’s children.) In response to the Point- In-Time survey’s findings, Central Union Mission instead stresses another equally critical approach to helping families survive in the Nation’s Capital: employment.

Ready2Succeed logo

While housing costs certainly play a role in family homelessness, unemployment prevents families from escaping the poverty cycle. Central Union Mission’s new Ready2Succeed programs help parents get suitable jobs to pay for housing. According to Central Union Mission Executive Director David Treadwell, “Once a family finds affordable housing, how can they afford to stay in it?
Parents need to be equipped for decent jobs so they can take care of their children. That is our focus in the homelessness debate.”

Through the Mission’s Ready2Succeed program, participants receive training and hands-on experience in fields like maintenance, landscaping, cooking and running a business like a recycling center or the Mission Muffins bakery. This training not only provides job skills but also offers good references, solid resumes and professional responsibility that is hard to come by for the formerly homeless, addicted or incarcerated. At the end of the training period, the participants
are mentored as they start permanent employment.

As well, the Mission helps reconcile relationships by equipping lost fathers to return to caring for their families. Men like Shawn Chinn, Kennedy Molder, James Starkes, Jeff Tooles and Darrell Fiddermon have used the tools the Mission provided to find employment and wholeness for their families. “While low-cost housing will protect needy families for a while, a solid and successful jobs program like Ready2Succeed will make parents secure and help their children break out of poverty,” explained Treadwell.

Read about Central Union Mission’s Ready2Succeed Workforce Development program, and contact Deborah Chambers at 202-534-9965 or dchambers@missiondc.org for tours of Ready2Succeed programs and participant interviews.

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Central Union Mission is a faith-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit. In addition to its emergency shelter program, the Mission operates a rehabilitation program for men with life-controlling issues, 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. For additional information, contact Deborah Chambers, director of strategic partnerships and
community engagement, at Cell: 202-534-9965, or visit www.missiondc.org

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