More than bread alone
If you put on your magic hat and conjured up an organization that addressed all the needs of DC’s low-income residents, it would probably look something like Bread for the City. From its beginning partnership with Zacchaeus Free Clinic in a church basement 40 years ago, Bread for the City has grown to a multi-facility powerhouse providing comprehensive services for over 33,000 DC residents a year. Clients will find not only food, but also medical and dental care, legal services, health and wellness programs and, perhaps most importantly, a “client first” philosophy based on dignity and respect.
CEO George A. Jones has been with Bread for the City for about half its journey. Although he was not new to the sector prior to Bread for the City, his work with the organization opened his eyes to the real face of homelessness in DC: families.
“When we think of the homeless, most of us think about the single person standing on the street corner,” he said. Bread for the City’s holistic approach with families, however, is what makes the difference for him.
Bread for the City’s food pantries in Northwest and Southeast DC serve more than 24,000 DC residents a year. Both locations offer rooftop gardens, where clients grow their own food, and staff cultivate vegetables for the pantries. In the summer, a farmer’s market alternates between locations. Both sites also offer social services (housing assistance, employment readiness and representative payee programs) and legal clinics to help vulnerable residents facing landlord-tenant, public benefit and family law conflicts. (Next)