Grant a Wish for Bread for the City

Well the building is coming along nicely.
Anyway Bread for the city has a wish list of some items you might have around the house:

SmarTrip Cards or Metro Bus Tokens
Forks (for our cooking classes)
Coat Racks
Can Openers for our clients
Cleaning supplies/ Laundry detergent
Gift cards to grocery stores, Wal-mart, Target, CVS, etc
Plastic Storage Bins of all sizes

There is a longer list here. Contact Nathan LaBorie at 202.386.7611 to donate.

This page contains a single entry by Mari published on June 14, 2010 8:36 AM.

Food & Friends call for help

On Thursday, February 11th, Food & Friends needs 20 volunteers to deliver meals, especially those with 4-wheel-drive vehicles. Those without cars would be very much appreciated in the kitchen, and it would be great if they could come between 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. Volunteers may sign up to This information is also available on our website at Without Food & Friends, our clients likely will not eat, so the help of the community is vital. Meals may be picked up from Food & Friends (219 Riggs Road, NE/Washington, DC) between 10 a.m. and 12 am., we will provide detailed delivery directions, and routes should take no more than 3 hours. For more information, prospective volunteers may call 202.841.5347.

Friday Miscellany

PoP reported a shooting outside of Windows Cafe. An injured shooting victim was part of a Pepco crew working around 1st and Rhode Island Ave.

BACA is having December party in lieu of the usual civic association meeting this coming Monday. There will be chili and persons wanting to come are free to bring a covered dish and or a book to be donated to the library for the charter school in the Armstrong building. When? December 7th at 7pm. Where? Basement cafeteria space of the Mt. Sinai Baptist Church at 3rd and Q.

Some of y’all, like me, work for Big Brother, I mean Uncle Sam and it is CFC time. Please consider supporting two Shaw area non-profits. One being Bread for the City (CFC #61733) at 1525 7th Street NW. They have made a great effort to engage the community, not just those in need but also those who want to help. The other organization is N Street Village (CFC# 90946) at 1333 N St. I have given to them off and on over the years and they keep a clean space.

“No one wants to live near poor people”

…isn’t exactly a correct comment, but I have seen it a couple of times on the web regarding mixed income housing and gentrification. I’m mean we’re living in Shaw not Woodly Park or Chevy Chase. I have a hard time imagining that people who bought housing, oh east of 9th Street, were caught completely off guard by the subsidized housing that dots the neighborhood. Than again, maybe some were.
I think of Shaw as economically diverse. You have neighbors in longtime poverty and short term (young, just starting out, etc) poverty, the elderly and disabled on fixed incomes, and others whose incomes wax and wane depending on clients, contracts, sales, rentals, or what have you. But I don’t think it is so much a neighbor’s poverty is as it is their dysfunction. Grad students are broke, but hardly anyone is up in arms about graduate family housing. Plain college students can be broke also (depending on their sources of support) but neighbors do tend to oppose their housing as that population can be a bit too rambunctious and loud, not because they may or may not have money (see Catholic U area for examples of such conflicts).
Shaw’s diversity, economic, racial, etc., is a strength and a challenge. Crime is a huge challenge, so are the blocks of concentrated poverty. In mixed income areas we learn from each other. The more middle class residents learn about the various programs for neighbors in need, the more they can train themselves to be supportive of programs that work and harshly critical of ones that fail and are nothing but fronts for poverty pimps. The more I learn about Bread for the City (CFC# 61733), and N Street Village (CFC# 90946) the more I am impressed by their work and efforts.
But let’s wander back to the question of mixed income housing and if it is possible, would non-poor people be willing to live next to poor people. Well in Shaw, we already do, in townhomes. I have a hard time telling, as it is from causal observation over the years, but the Washington Apartments, along 7th and 6th Avenues, appears to be slowly becoming more racially diverse. As far as I know they aren’t subsidized housing, but I do get the sense that those apartments are economically diverse. Feel free to correct me if I’m totally off base.

Monday Miscellany

On the 22nd I and the Help went to Longview’s gallery opening. SPACE! would be the new theme for this place. The previous 9th St version was a nice little store front, but it was too small for events. This new puppy is huge. Huge I say. They should be able to host other events that bring in over 100 people, as opposed to the 20 in the old location. Regarding the art, the Help and I pondered “Making Up Jesus,” and some photo-realist paintings. Also while there I learned a valuable lesson about grabbing the caterer’s wait staff and getting food. The catered bites were wonderful (except the curry pear soup).

Let me get this one out of the way, shootings. Over the past week there have been a couple of shootings in the places where I walk and I have no idea what’s up with that. From this regarding 8th & R (R St exit for Shaw metro):

On Oct 23, 2009, at 9:58 PM, Kucik, George (MPD) wrote:
There were gunshots fired tonight but nobody was hit. Despite uniformed officers in the area the suspect escaped. In the area of 5th and O, 7th and O and 8th and R I have uniformed officers and about 20 tactical officers king. They have been in the areas for the past 2 nights and are there tonight. In the past 2 days they have
made more than 20 arrests to include 4 arrests for subjects carrying guns. We will continue to flood the areas.

And then last weeks shooting, around 7th and N (?), and 8th and S.

Scott Montgomery is having an auction today. Check it out at

Bread for the City’s Food for All thing got rained out. But hey read about there great gleaning program with broccoli.

Lastly my cousin, who will be helping me with the on again, off again census of Truxton 1900-1930 (or 1940 depending) project has an appeal.

GLN is competing for a $10k grant! Please support us! All we request is a minute of your time to vote for us and help us win $10k! Our scheduling costs have doubled and we need this grant to be able to offer classes in the Spring.

Click below and vote for us today to win the first sprint! (You have to create an account and sign in with your e-mail, but don’t worry, nobody will spam you. Ideablob requires that you create an account to make sure that only ‘real people’ are participating in the contest, and that there are no frauds). Help us reach the finals and remember to vote for us again next week when it really counts!

Beggar at the door

This weekend I attended a service at a local church with friends and as we were exiting a woman AfAm about 5’3″ short hair and 250ish lbs was begging us for money at the steps. She said she was hungry and wanted to get something to eat. I said I didn’t have any money (totally true) but stood for a moment trying to catalog what in central Shaw served food to the homeless on a weekend night. She asked again, and I told her I was trying to figure out what services could help her because I didn’t have any money, but I had information. She didn’t want that, she said those places were closed. Why the frak am I supposed give to the Can’t Get My S* Together Fund?
In the Shaw neighborhood (NCPC borders) there are a dozen non-profits and churches that have some sort of outreach or feeding program for the homeless that I can think of. One church may do a free breakfast once or a few times a week, a non-profit a daily dinner, and the like. Then along the southern borders of Shaw, in the more downtown areas of town are the food van stops by the Salvation Army’s Grate Patrol and the odd church.
When my group had walked on down the street, one member of our party mentioned that he had already given her money at the beginning of the service. And even after he handed her a few bucks she was still bugging him. Just then I remembered I’d seen her before begging at that church, on several other occasions. It’s the perfect place to throw on the guilt trip.
Also this weekend I spotted a fellow on the 1500 block of New Jersey with a sign and a basket. I was traveling to the Giant, had forgotten my wallet, and traveled back along that same route so I noticed him. When there was someone stopped at the light he’d trundle over and ask for money. I couldn’t read the sign as he must have used a fine point marker.
Lastly, at my own door a woman, slightly frazzled knocked on my door about over a month ago. I’d never laid eyes on her before. She had some story that her aunt or niece died and a whole bunch of them (whomever they are) were trying to get up to somewhere in PG County and she needed a few dollars. A few days earlier I found a Smarttrip card laying on the sidewalk, okay in the gutter. I pick stuff up. It had 2 or 3 dollars on it when I checked. So I reached in my coat pocket and gave it to her. I try not to give money, but totally okay with giving away stuff, food, found objects.
Do I believe the story about the dead relative? No. Do I believe the beggar at church door? Answer- insert cruel fat joke here. Not really.
It seems that dealing with people begging you for something is part of living and working in the city. Be it people on the street or social service organizations that keep sending you mailers for more money than what you’re already donating them.

Armstrong, New York Ave, and neighborhood charity

Those two have nothing to do with each other except they are the emails I have flagged in my inbox.
First Armstrong. I guess I’m on the mailing list for this subject because I attended the BACA meeting that covered it and I guess this is the ‘getting back with the community’ part of that discussion. Anyway here was the notice that was sent out:

Dear Community,
On Thursday, February 19, 2009 at 7:00 pm at Armstrong School, Kent Amos, founder of the CAPCS education campus, will met with community for follow up discussion on his recent decision permitting Metropolitan Baptist Church use of the school for Sunday services. Senior Pastor Beecher Hicks also plans to attend. Please make every effort to come out and bring your questions and alternative ideas for addressing this community dilemma.
Light refreshments will be available. For further information, please contact me at 55O-O619* or by e-mail at adbonds g mail com*.
I’m looking forward to seeing you,
Anita Bonds

There have been a couple of ‘reply all’ emails concerning the upcoming meeting. One, going on the separation of church and state thread is a fruitless one. The relationship between the charter school and the church is that of landlord and tenant and not unusual. My best friend’s church rents out a PG County high school gym while they wait for their building to be done. Difference? High schools have way more parking than middle and elementary schools. And it is the parking that has raised the immediate resident’s ire. Second, sticking to the point of the matter, parking, and using the threat of strong parking enforcement may prove fruitful.
This weekend being so nice I rode my bike to church, taking my old route by the old location of Metropolitan Baptist. I could see the difference. When Metropolitan was on R Street, the streets were congested and there was almost ALWAYS someone blocking the bike lane. And the Washington Post newspaper vendor dude used to be on the corner. But no more. The streets around 13th and R were ‘normal’, no more crowded than 9th and R.
New York Avenue. It is websites like Stimulus Watch that make me think that the net was made for democracy. Apparently, the intersection at Florida and New York Avenue is to take up 8 millllllllyon dallahs. There is another New York Ave project also included but no detail of what NY Ave bridge. Anyway, I need someone to define ‘shovel ready.’ Seriously there must be a treeful of paper of studies on New York Avenue NE and NW and it’s various intersections that have never gotten past ‘oh look we have a study.’ After looking at the guts of some road studies (not New York Ave but other DC roads), the info in them goes bad quicker than a gallon of milk, which means after a few years…… you do another study (and the contractors who do studies say yay!). Seriously define ‘shovel ready’ because if it involves a study and community buy in and the other things that take up time and effort, it’s only shovelin’ manure.
Lastly, something good from the Eckington listserv:

Hi Neighbors,

Thank You!!! When members of our community were in need of support their neighbors stepped up to help out. The Stancil family has found an apartment to live in until repairs to their home are completed. Our efforts to raise funds and provide clothing was a great success. The community members, area churches and strangers that happened to read about the Stancil family at the Big Bear Cafe contributed $2,000 in cash, checks and gift cards. I had to make daily trips from the Big Bear to Emery with my Outback stuffed full of clothing donations. The Stancils were overwhelmed by the out pouring of support when they needed it the most. Any clothing the family can’t use will go to area clothing banks. We all face uncertainties with the economic crisis yet this community opened their hearts to help. Thank You!

we all work together, ted

*I made changes here.

Help Bloomingdale’s Fire Vicitims

The following was from Stu Davenport on the Eckington Listserv Wednesday:


This morning there were 2 large fires in our neighborhood where the families lost almost everything.

I just spoke with Kim Stancil from 11 Randolph NW, and she and her 5 children (three of whom are students at Emery Elementary) were left with nothing but the clothing on their backs.

Most immediately Ms. Stancil and her family need clothes and funds to provide for essential needs.? They have housing for the next 3 days through the Red Cross, and she is working with Ted McGinn and Stacy Jackson from Emery to get local and government help. She is also reaching out to local churches and the Ecumenacle Council.

I am writing to ask for immediate help from the community.

1. Priority is Clothing
Boy 17 – Size 32W/30L pants, Med Shirt
Girl 15 – Size 16 Pants, 2XL Shirt
Girl 11 – Size 8 Pants, L Shirt
Boy 5 – Size 7 pants, Men’s Med Shirt
Boy 4 – Size 6 pants, 6 shirt

2. Financial Assistance
Checks can be made payable to: Ms. Kim Stancil

All items can be left at the main office of Emery Elementary at 1720 1st Street, NE? (202)576-6034 or the Big Bear Cafe at 1700 1st Street, NW

Thank you all for your generosity and concern.


Stuart Davenport
ANC 5C-03

Thinking tax write off

Okay I had my contractor save the unused pine flooring, extra insulation and some other stuff, that in some wonderful fantasy world I was going to use in a project. Screw it, I wound up donating some of it to Community Forklift. This weekend I dumped off for a receipt saying I gave them 100 sq ft of heart pine flooring, that they will in turn sell at $3 a sq ft. Earlier I donated some unopened cans of paint, extra tile, and a bunch of face plates. A friend of mine donated a chandelier she hated.
So before the craziness of the end of the year donation blitz starts in December, if you have some extra boxes of tile or other flooring, cabinets, full cans of paint, light fixtures, kitchen sinks, think about calling up the folks up CF (they seem to like a heads up) and dropping off your stuff. You’ll clear up some space and get a tax write off.

BACA meeting 9/10

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.