I’ll get my skimpy notes up later on the super secret site later. Yet there are two things I want to address.
Just for the love of G-d say no to chain emails.
The email the woman mentioned prior to the official start of the meeting, I believe is a hoax. But this one has the anti-illegal immigrant flava crystals. Warning emails like this are half the time false, clog up inboxes, and only serve to unsettle the receiver’s nerves. Not like we don’t have enough crime in our own little section of the world to worry about much less some story in another time zone.
Churches need to better publicize their local mission work.
Attending the BACA meeting was the pastor of Mt. Sinai. Mt. Sinai Baptist Church has been hosting the BACA and back when the PSA meetings since as long as I can remember. And the pastor asked the tiny assembly what the church could do to help the community (in addition to keep allowing BACA to meet). A fair amount of discussion was on social services and there was some back and forth with the Ward 5 representatives from the mayor and Mr. Thomas’ office, regarding a person the govt people are trying to find help for.
In that discussion I found out about some of the services that some of us could refer folks to in dire need.
Shelter– The church has a men’s shelter in the neighborhood with a handful of beds and it is staffed by a church volunteer. They used to have a women’s shelter but that apparently had too many complex issues (children, family, spouses, etc) and they just did not have the volunteers.
Clothes closet– You’ve seen it though the window. Free clothes to anyone who asks. There are no regular hours, but if you go to the educational center on R and 3rd or call the church office at 202 667-1833 or get a staff person at the church building who can call the person with the keys and let the person who needs it come in and pick out what they need.
Food pantry– Like the clothes closet.
Benevolence Committee There are funds to help with utility bills of persons in need. There are some questions the applicant needs to answer. Also one does not need to be a member of Mt. Sinai to request the help of the Benevolence Committee, but if the person is a member of another church community, Mt. Sinai would ask that the other church be asked first. It seems that Ebeneezer Baptist on the unit block of Q, also has a similar Benevolence fund.
I want to state that I know most of you reading this blog won’t probably ever need to use the church’s services, but from time to time bump into other residents who do need emergency food, clothing or a little help with the light bill.
There are plenty of churches…. plenty…and a mosque, around here that I know offer a hodgepodge of social services that can be tapped by those of our neighbors’ in need, it just that we don’t know or are not sure how they operate. There are also the odd program sponsored or hosted by churches that people of various income levels, such as AA meetings, Girl Scouts (yummmm cookies) and Boy Scouts.
Since I’m on hodgepodge, I believe the church on the 1200 blk of New Jersey Avenue on the Ward 2 side, offers a free breakfast. Or at least did offer a free weekday prayer (okay not completely free if prayer is costly) breakfast. And the 4th St 7th Day Advents on the 1600 blk of 4th has an early morning breakfast (with sermon) for the homeless/hungry on Sunday to feed a handful of people. The Korean Protestants at 4th and R offer free legal help.