In July, my staff and I took advantage of the Council recess period to volunteer at Miriam’s Kitchen in Foggy Bottom.
Miriam’s Kitchen does outstanding work assisting our neighbors who are experiencing homelessness. On one of the hottest days of the year, they provided visitors a welcoming place to cool off, grab a drink of water, and wash up. After I toured the facility, I had the opportunity to meet with guests who were participating in art therapy, hand out essential toiletries, and assist with meal preparation.
Miriam’s Kitchen is so much “more than a meal”, as they like to say.
Throughout my experience, I was impressed by how Miriam’s staff and volunteers were not just serving guests, but treating them with respect and dignity, just like everyone deserves. They have developed a rapport with each visitor that allows them to address their specific needs, connect them with services, and help put them on the path out of homelessness.
I am dedicated to promoting the human rights of all the people of the District of Columbia through my work on the Council. I believe that all have the right to integral facets of our society like access to quality education, health care, and employment. Every day we grapple with how to address the myriad challenges facing residents who are experiencing homelessness and how those impede the fulfillment of those guarantees.
I have spent my first term working on these issues, from making it easier for these residents to obtain identity documents that are critical to modern life, to ensuring that homeless students are in the best position to continue their education. Policy decisions often have immediate and longstanding impacts. For this reason it is important for lawmakers to stay connected to what is happening on the ground to ensure we are getting it right.
There is still much to do to combat chronic homelessness in the District of Columbia. My staff and I look forward to the day when there is no longer a need for organizations like Miriam’s Kitchen. Until then, we’ll be back as soon as we can to do our part hands-on, in addition to our daily policy work. I hope you will consider volunteering your time to support Miriam’s Kitchen and the people they serve. You can learn more at www.miriamskitchen.org/volunteer.