How the CSJ Helps the Homeless
Letter to the Editor
Published: Friday, February 14, 2014
Updated: Friday, February 14, 2014 00:02
To the Editor:
We applaud Grace Fenton’s [The Hoya, “Ending Homelessness One Act at a Time,” A3, Feb. 4, 2014] call to our fellow Hoyas to recognize the important social justice issues beyond the Healy Gates. In a winter with record low temperatures and continuing disparities in housing access, paying attention to issues of homelessness is a particular concern.
In addition to simple acts of kindness, we encourage Georgetown University community members to get involved with organizations and programs committed to serving the homeless community. All of these programs can use our energy now.
HOPE, a Center for Social Justice student organization, offers multiple programs from fundraising efforts to support Martha’s Table in Grab ‘n’ Give to meals programs such as Friday Foods and Mobile Soup Kitchen. Campus Ministry and the Interfaith Council organize a weekly sandwich-making activity to provide meals for the homeless community. The Medical Center runs, among multiple initiatives, a health clinic at D.C. General, the city’s family homeless shelter; the Center for Child and Human Development continues to take the lead in developing new partnerships.
Georgetown University is a founding member of the Georgetown Ministry Center (GMC), a nonprofit organization that strives to support the men and women experiencing homelessness in our neighborhood. GMC operates a drop-in center on Wisconsin Avenue, does street outreach and coordinates an emergency hypothermia shelter. There are many opportunities to volunteer with GMC; this semester, CSJ has partnered with them to begin a regular program to support their social-services activities five days a week.
Over 20 Georgetown students, staff and faculty members have been trained for a new Hypothermia Outreach Team (HOT). The HOT volunteers will reach out to men and women in the community on an as-needed basis during extreme weather to offer emergency supplies and assistance to hypothermia shelters or warming buses.
In addition to these programs, there are opportunities for involvement through community-based learning courses and D.C. nonprofit organizations. Simple acts of kindness are a start, and we share a responsibility to do more. We’re located in Poulton Hall; feel free to contact us at the CSJ to take that next step.
Andria K. Wisler, Ph.D.
Executive Director, Center for Social Justice
Research, Teaching &Service
Associate Director, Center for Social Justice
Research, Teaching & Service