Former Homeless Man Now Featured Artist at “Exposed DC” Photo Exhibit

Central Union Mission



Contact: Deborah Chambers
VP, Development and Partnerships

Former Homeless Man Now Featured Artist
at “Exposed DC” Photo Exhibit.
Credits Mission’s Intervention Program
for his Transformation


Washington, DC—June 29, 2021—Phillip Ford, formerly homeless and addicted to drugs, is one of 25 artists featured in this year’s Exposed DC photography exhibit.

For 15 years, the Exposed DC photography show has featured work by local photographers who share their perspective of Washington, DC, through the lens of the people who call it home. Ford, a lifelong DC resident, has seen and lived through the highs and the lows that the city has to offer. For over 20 years Ford battled with a cocaine addiction that eventually consumed his entire life. “My family, my marriage… I looked around and it was all in complete chaos. And that’s when I knew I had to surrender,” said Ford.

Ford’s surrendering led him to Central Union Mission. “I walked right into the shelter, checked myself in and the Lord immediately began to bless me. Don’t get me wrong, it was scary, but I knew what I had to do.” Eighteen months later, Ford completed the program, but his work at the Mission was far from over. He was hired as the Mission’s receptionist, and soon thereafter was promoted to Executive Assistant for the Mission’s senior leader.

While working at the Mission, Ford continued to practice photography on the side, even offering his services to the Mission whenever photos were needed. His consistency and passion combined with the structure he learned from the Restoration and Transformation program led to his success with photography today. “There were over 300 submissions for the Exposed DC competition, and I was one of 25 chosen,” Ford said proudly.

Ford’s photography feature is the latest accomplishment he can add to an ongoing list of achievements. “After I graduated from the Mission’s program, I remarried my wife and we just celebrated 30 years of marriage.” The happy couple is also expecting their fourth grandchild this summer.

“Ford is a living and walking testimony of the purpose and possibilities of the Mission’s Restoration and Transformation program” said Joe Mettimano, Mission President and CEO. “Our programs are tailored to give men like Phillip the support they need to do the hard work and we’re there to walk with them every step of the way.”

To view Ford’s work, visit the Exposed DC photo exhibit through July 11 in Mount Pleasant. The exhibit is also available online for your viewing pleasure.

About Central Union Mission:

Central Union Mission is a faith-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and the oldest private social service agency in Washington, DC. In addition to its emergency shelter, which provides more than 60,000 bed-nights each year, the Mission operates holistic, Christ-centered transformation and workforce development programs for men, provides benefits for veterans, helps people overcome addictions, operates a food and clothing distribution center which provides food for over 4,000 people each month, runs a camp for underprivileged children, and offers a ministry to families and senior citizens. Charity Navigator has rated Central Union Mission a three-star charity, GuideStar awarded Central Union Mission a Gold Seal for our financial transparency and GreatNonProfits has given Central Union Mission a Top-Rated award.


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