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Confronting assumptions on my Washington D.C. trip

It had been nearly a decade since the last time I had stepped foot in Washington D.C. I do not recall much of my time there when I was 14-years old, so most of my assumptions come from knowing it is the capital of the United States and home to the Smithsonian. I thought it just had politicians, museums and tourist.

Just riding the subway, I was able to see the truth, that people from prac-tically every background call Washington D.C. home. Another assumption I made was was about the work we were doing with the homeless population. The assumption wasn’t about the people, but the work the agencies do. When I hear homeless shelter, I think of soup kitchens and a place for people to sleep. Each of the agencies we worked with had their own unique way of helping the low-income population.

Food and Friends doesn’t work exclusively with the homeless population. They provide for those with specific dietary needs. Previous to this, I had never heard of any services close to what Food and Friends provides to Washington D.C.

D.C. Central Kitchen provides food for one of the largest shelters in Washington D.C. and other agencies. It also provides a culinary school for those trying to gain a skill to get employment and back on their feet. I thought this was quite interesting because they use food as both a way to feed and educate.

So Others Might Eat (SOME) feeds the homeless population but they also offer other services. I usually see agencies feed or provide services but rarely one that does both.

Finally Christ House does provide meals, but its focus is to provide medical care to the male homeless population, primarily the Spanish District.

Each of the places, while they serve the homeless population, they serve the population in different ways. All these services are needed in helping those who need a little extra push in getting back on their feet, which is needed more in our society.

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