Metropolitan House is a small, night shelter for homeless men operated during the winter months (October to April) as a ministry of Metropolitan Memorial United Methodist Church. It provides a safe, supportive environment for homeless individuals as they take the first step on the ladder that leads out of homelessness, while engaging congregants and community members in direct and personal service with their unhoused neighbors.
Since opening in 1992, Metropolitan House has served hundreds of homeless individuals. It houses a maximum of four residents at a time with all residents coming to Metropolitan House on referral from the Community Council for the Homeless at Friendship Place, which provides ongoing case-management services to the residents.
Metropolitan House runs on volunteer power! Over the years, hundreds of members of Metropolitan Church and the broader community have served as overnight volunteers, donated meals and supplies, contributed financially, and provided leadership. Metropolitan House volunteers gain the satisfaction of doing something immediate and tangible to help someone in need while building relationships with persons whose circumstances may be very different from their own. One of the common reactions of volunteers is to say, “Working at Metropolitan House shattered all my misconceptions about homelessness!”
◦ Serve as an Overnight Volunteer. Volunteers from the church and community supervise the shelter on Friday and Saturday nights. Working in pairs, and sleeping in separate, secure quarters, volunteers serve from 6:30p.m. until 7:00a.m. To learn more about serving as a volunteer, or to receive email notification about volunteer dates, contact Volunteer Coordinator Nancy Clarkson.
◦ Donate Meals. The evening meal served each night at Metropolitan House is donated by a church or community member. Prepared meals may be delivered ahead of time, ready-to-be-served or frozen, or brought to the shelter at the time it is to be served. To learn more about donating meals to Metropolitan House contact Meal Coordinator Kent Weaver or sign up online to donate a meal.
◦ Be a leader. A volunteer board of directors manages the operation of Metropolitan House, coordinating volunteers and staff, maintaining the shelter space, communications, raising funds, and attending to the intake and outplacement of residents. To learn more about leadership opportunities related to Metropolitan House, contact Metropolitan House Board Chair, Dick Schleicher.
St. Luke’s Shelter
Located in the St. Luke’s Mission Center (3655 Calvert Street, NW D.C.), St. Luke’s Shelter is a seven-bed, year-round transitional shelter for men. Since 1991, it has helped more than 375 individuals achieve their housing, employment, recovery, and health goals.
The shelter was created through an alliance of St. Luke’s United Methodist Church (which merged with Metropolitan in 2008), local activists, and citizens of Glover Park. The program was conceived as a community-run alternative to the large emergency shelter proposed for the neighborhood by the D.C. government at that time. Since its founding, St. Luke’s has been a model of collaboration between a community of faith and a community of neighbors. The shelter is supported by a collection of dedicated volunteers, area congregations, and local businesses who provide meals, supplies and donations. Read an update about the success at St. Luke’s Shelter by blogger Drew Gossett.
In 2012, the shelter moved to a new operating model which engaged The Community Council for the Homeless at Friendship Place as a partner in operating the program, which now focuses intensively on vocational rehabilitation and job placement. The video below tells the stories of three St. Luke’s residents who have benefited from this ministry.
◦ Contribute. The St. Luke’s Shelter is funded primarily through grant contributions and donations from neighborhood residents, local businesses, and other supporter. Make an online donation to the work of the St. Luke’s shelter through Network for Good.
◦ Donate meals. Four evenings per week the dinner meal served at St. Luke’s is prepared and delivered by volunteers who drop off a hot meal for seven. To learn more about donating meals to St. Luke’s Shelter, contact meal coordinator Sarah Campbell or sign up online to donate a meal.
◦ Donate supplies. St. Luke’s Shelter is always in need of cleaning and laundry supplies, paper products, breakfast items (coffee, creamer,cereals), toothpaste, and bar soap. All donations may be taken directly to the Shelter any evening between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m..
◦ Be a leader. A community advisory council comprised of individual supporters of the Shelter works to coordinate volunteers, donations and communications.
Campus Kitchen Food Recovery Program
The Campus Kitchens Project (CKP), is a leader in resourceful anti-hunger programs for communities around the country. The Campus Kitchen Washington DC, housed at St. Luke’s Mission Center, has just completed its pilot year, engaging in food recovery, meal prep and delivery once a month. Because of the great involvement and dedication of our volunteers, we are excited to expand our programs with the goal of serving a meal once a week by the end of the year.
Student leaders and volunteers from American University, Georgetown, and George Washington, members of our congregation, the National Cathedral, and other community organizations are making this new venture possible. We are recovering food from AU’s dining service partner, Bon Appétit, Georgetown’s dining service partner, Aramark, the Bethesda metro Starbucks, Cleveland Park Chipotle, and Jericho Center of Hope Food Bank.
We have also just received a $3,000 grant from the National Campus Kitchens Project through AARP to hire two interns to expand our work with our community’s senior populations, cooking up an end to isolation as well as hunger. We are delighted to support our local Aging in Place organization, the Glover Park Village, by supplying them meals for their Friday programs. With them we’ll be looking to begin other programs as well, such as a “cooking for the community by the community” where folks can come in, cook and eat together and have meals to take home.
There are many new possibilities on the horizon in this year of growth, so come and join us in our work!
◦ Join a food recovery team. Volunteers are needed to pick up food from local farmer’s markets and MOM’s stores.
◦ Food Preparation and Delivery. Volunteers are needed for our Friday shifts (11:30am – 3:30pm) to help plan meals, prep meals, and cook them. The meals are then delivered across the street to the Guy Mason Center for the Glover Park Association (2nd and 4th Wednesdays) and also prepared for the St Luke’s Shelter and the Metro House Shelter on a weekly basis. Other meals are prepared for Regency House and, as we can, the Hypothermia Shelter at St. Luke’s Mission Center. Volunteers are also needed on Saturdays (11:30am – 3:30pm) to deliver meals to Regency House (3rd and 4th Saturdays) and shelters. If we don’t have meals to deliver we clean and organize the kitchen as needed.
Volunteers MUST register for shifts through Lots of Helping Hands in order to ensure we don’t have too many volunteers for any given shift.