Leading the fight against chronic homelessness

Mar 30, 2016

The bank’s $200,000 grant and the leadership training provide critical support for our work to end chronic homelessness.

Scott Schenkelberg
Miriam's Kitchen

Though homelessness in America has declined, the District of Columbia saw a more than 12 percent increase in 2014. Miriam’s Kitchen is leading the fight to not only reverse this trend, but also to end chronic homelessness in Washington, D.C., by 2017.

Miriam’s Kitchen provides food and other critical services to approximately 330 homeless men and women every weekday. The nonprofit focuses primarily on serving those who are chronically homeless. These individuals often have persistent medical conditions, mental health problems or substance abuse issues, and therefore can be the most difficult to engage and help.

Miriam’s Kitchen provides high-quality, farm-fresh meals and friendly hospitality to its guests, but the nonprofit is more than just a provider of services. Miriam’s Kitchen is also a convener, bringing together organizations and individuals to push for adoption of successful programs from across the country. In doing so, the nonprofit hopes to help restructure the local homeless services system for more efficient and effective operation.

The organization’s unique role as a leader and convener in the fight against homelessness led Bank of America to name Miriam’s Kitchen as one of its 2015 Neighborhood Builders. The award combines leadership development resources with $200,000 in flexible funding to increase the impact of support services organizations like Miriam’s Kitchen.

The bank’s funding will help to expand the organization’s street outreach; connect more men and women who are chronically homeless with healthcare, mental health support and housing; and provide the essential services that help people remain in housing. It will also enable Miriam’s Kitchen to launch a pilot program to track and coordinate outreach services in Washington, D.C., and support additional personnel and partner development.

Miriam’s Kitchen President & CEO Scott Schenkelberg, a 20-year veteran in the fight against homelessness, says the next two years are unlike any other time in the organization’s history. The city and the federal government are working together to end chronic homelessness and, with Bank of America’s help, Miriam’s Kitchen is uniquely situated to contribute to this effort. “The bank’s $200,000 grant and the leadership training provide critical support for our work to end chronic homelessness,” says Schenkelberg, “We’re so grateful for Bank of America’s commitment to Miriam’s Kitchen and to the community.”


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