welcome to miriam's kitchen
“Hi,” the man with the bird scarf tied jauntily around his neck says, offering a hearty handshake. “I’m Michael Ford. I’m chronically homeless. I like farting around with collages.”
Michael, and others, can indulge their artistic inclinations at Miriam’s Studio, the twice-daily therapeutic art sessions at Miriam’s Kitchen, in Foggy Bottom.
Every day, the staff and volunteers at Miriam’s Kitchen fight to help their neighbors in need. From meals to permanent supportive housing services, the goal is help clients not just survive, but thrive.
Raised as a military brat, Michael, 58 (“I should have said 58 and seven-eighths”) spent most of his adult life in Colorado, where he worked in mechanical maintenance. After losing his job, his home, and being denied disability for benefits for bi-polar disorder, he came to DC in spring of 2014.
He first came to Miriam’s Kitchen to get a state ID, he said, and kept coming back. “If they had showers and laundry,” he said, “it’d be the cat’s meow.”
All services at Miriam’s Kitchen are pro bono; the studio is as anonymous as the client wants it to be.
“If you come in here and you say your name is Jesus, you’re welcome,” said Kate, art therapist and case manager
She described Miriam’s Studio as “super collaborative, person-centered” and “not too therapy-ish.”