A Washington, D.C. mission is hoping to provide shelter and biblical teaching to the growing homeless population in the city.
According to CBN News, Central Union Mission offers housing to some 170 people, but the group also offers something more.
"The gospel is faithfully presented here every day, not only in the shelter but in the family ministry center. The cross of Christ is meeting the needs of the homeless and hurting in this city," Central Union Mission chair Dee Dee Collins told CBN News.
The Central Union Mission has educational programs and job placement help as well.
"We have a restoration and transformation program that's biblically based … we layer that with cognitive programming for those that have addiction issues. We also have education and workforce development opportunities," said Rev. Deborah J. Chambers, the mission's VP of development and partnerships.
A report from the mayor’s office in the city said there are some 6,500 people in Washington, D.C. without homes, including many veterans.
"I think the one thing we can all agree on is our veterans deserve to have a place to live after they've served…one of the things we have here is a veteran's suite, where we have it decked out for the veterans and try to afford them a sense of dignity while living in a shelter," Chambers said.
The mission also provides three meals a day.
"Breaking bread with someone, just having a meal with someone, just breaks down a lot of barriers," Chef Rock Harper, a former Central Union Mission chef, told CBN News.
"Bigger than the food. We are acknowledging people. We are saying, I see you. I want to be here for you. If you are aware of that connection, I think it makes you a better chef,” he added.
The Central Union Mission is the oldest private service agency in Washington, D.C.
Collins said, "You can give people a bed, you can give people food, shower, clothing, but when you give them the hope of Jesus Christ, that can turn a life around."
Photo courtesy: Jacob Creswick/Unsplash
Amanda Casanova is a writer living in Dallas, Texas. She has covered news for ChristianHeadlines.com since 2014. She has also contributed to The Houston Chronicle, U.S. News and World Report and IBelieve.com. She blogs at The Migraine Runner.