Press Release – New Executive Director Challenges K2 Epidemic




August 6, 2018

Contact: Karen Heal
Media Team

Cell: 703-402-4497

New Executive Director Challenges
K2 Epidemic


Washington DC—August 6, 2018Joseph J. Mettimano who today assumes the role of Central Union Mission’s new executive director, announced that his first initiative includes protecting homeless people from the life-threating effects of K2 and other synthetic marijuana, especially during the Mayor’s alert about possible fatal K2.

Nearly three hundred people in DC were taken to hospitals from overdoses in just a ten-day period in July, three times as many as the entire month of July 2017. LSD, Ecstasy and Meth are familiar synthetic demons, but the new crop of drugs like K2 or Spice are a special threat because they are made of unknown combinations of powerful drugs, many of which have deadly consequences.

K2 is attractive to poor or homeless addicted people because the drug is cheap but very strong. “Many overdoses occur around homeless shelters,” states Joe Mettimano, “In fact, the Mission called police to help a man overdosing right in our neighborhood. Our homeless population is unaware of the drug’s deadliness, so we’re going to fight back with a new Know the K2 effort of education and monitoring.”

In his remarks today at 11:00 am, his first day as Central Union Mission’s new executive director, Mettimano will announce an informational session for our guests, neighbors and volunteers about identifying synthetic drugs and their bizarre effects on users and helping someone under the influence. Around the Mission, Know the K2 will be enforced with enhanced drug abuse awareness and monitoring.

Central Union Mission sponsors effective job-readiness programs for dedicated homeless students, but, as Mettimano emphasizes, “We also open our doors to any man in need, even a potential drug dealer. Therefore, our zero-tolerance drug policy becomes even more critical in the face of how dangerous these drugs would be to our men in rehab or our homeless guests. Contrary to some assumptions, our Overnight Guests reject drug sales or use in the shelter because of the unsafe environment it fosters.”

Regarded as the oldest private social service agency in Washington, DC, Central Union Mission is a faith-based, nonprofit organization with six locations throughout the Washington metropolitan area, including an overnight shelter program, family ministries, rehabilitation and job training programs, transitional housing, a food pantry, and a camp for underprivileged children. As the Mission enters its 135th year of service in the District, it welcomes the new Executive Director Joe Mettimano and his energy and innovation, accelerating the service and engagement the Mission provides to the poor and homeless people in the nation’s capital.

Joseph is succeeding retiring executive director David Treadwell who served the Mission for 20 years. During his tenure, Treadwell moved the Mission shelter to a state-of-the-art facility near Union Station, completely renovating an historic public school building with private funding. He also renovated a warehouse on Bladensburg Road to house the Family Ministry Center, a food pantry and free clothing and housewares “shop” for disadvantaged families and seniors. Mr. Treadwell will serve as an advisor to Mr. Mettimano in an emeritus role.

About Central Union Mission:

Central Union Mission is a faith-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit with its homeless shelter located at 65 Massachusetts Ave., NW, Washington, DC  20001. In addition to its emergency shelter program, the Mission operates rehabilitative and job training programs for men, 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. 

GuideStar awarded Central Union Mission a 2018 Gold Seal for our financial transparency and GreatNonProfits has given Central Union Mission a 2018 Top-Rated award.


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