First baseball, now the homeless

DC Central Kitchen has had to suspend providing meals to homeless shelters around the city due to a holdup in the city’s contract process. Is the District capable of accomplishing anything on time?

I’ve heard it said that the primary problem with doing business with DC Government is that the director who assigns you the contract inevitably comes under investigation for corruption, you get subpoenaed all over the place, and you end up spending more in legal fees than the value of the contract to begin with.

It looks like most of the affected shelters were able to make alternate arrangements to have meals provided to clients, but who knows how costly and untenable those arrangements are. In the meantime, DC Central Kitchen could probably use some additional cash to shore up its meal programs. They were getting $50,000/month from the city- it wouldn’t take that many people to commit $20/month to DCCK to replace that money and then some.

1 Comment so far

  1. DC Anti-War Network (unregistered) on May 3rd, 2006 @ 1:13 pm

    Urgent plea for help – DC Central Kitchen Suspends Daily Service of 2300 Meals

    Public Emergency: DC Central Kitchen Suspends Daily Service of 2300 Meals
    WE NEED YOUR HELP URGENTLY! *Forward to all your lists; volunteer; donate*

    After 17 years of helping feed the homeless, the DC Central Kitchen suspended its service to local shelters Monday. On Tuesday, the non-profit did not deliver 2,300 meals to eight city homeless shelters. Program administrators cite “lack of financial support from the community and unresponsive leadership” for their decision (see links to Washington Post article below).

    A visit to the Franklin Shelter yesterday, May 2, confirmed that the shelter was in a desperate situation and had no idea how it would continue to provide daily meals for its 240-275 residents. We can only speculate about the politics behind this crisis, but we can help see to it that people do not go hungry as a result.

    As part of our ongoing weekly service to the city’s homeless population, the DC Anti-War Network (DAWN) has committed to help the Franklin Shelter every Thursday, beginning this Thursday at 6 pm, until the crisis has been resolved. We urge others to help by donating food or money.

    DAWN has set up a special paypal account to fund this endeavor.

    Donate directly at this link:

    If for some reason that fails, go to

    Just to give you an idea, $30.00 buys rice, beans, and tortillas for 100 people. Any amount you can donate would be appreciated. Funds over and above what we need for this specific effort will be applied to the costs of our ongoing service to DC residents who are homeless, for food, beverages, paper goods, toiletries, and metro cards.

    You can also get in touch with DC’s shelters directly and find out how you can help (see the listing below). Please, let us come together as a community and do what we can to fight the effects of this assault on human health and dignity.
    Our needs:

    – Existing groups (clubs, faith-based organizations, neighborhood associations, groups of friends) to organize help at one of the various shelters or by contacting them as to their needs (remember, we are only able to cover one meal on one day of the week at Franklin Shelter, and that in and of itself is a daunting task)
    – Significant kitchen space (huge need) with capacity to prepare large amounts of food
    – Big pots and pans
    – In our particular case, donations of volunteer time are always appreciated;
    – and/or money
    – of course, food donations (though, if you have particular food donations we should strategize about the critical problem of distribution)
    – demands upon the city government that they get this crisis with DC Central Kitchen Resolved (more on that to come).

    If you can help or need help coordinating ways you can help, please call Becky Sambol at 703-463-0558 or by email at

    DC Central Kitchen Suspending Service

    D.C. Group Stops Meals At Homeless Shelters Nonprofit Says It Needs More City Funding

    Men’s Shelters

    Community for Creative Non-Violence
    425 2nd St. NW

    Emery Shelter
    1725 Lincoln Rd. NE

    Franklin Shelter
    13th & K Streets, NW

    La Casa
    1436 Irving St. NW

    New York Avenue Shelter
    1355-57 New York Avenue, NE

    St. Elizabeth’s Hospital
    2700 A. St. SE

    Women’s Shelters

    John L. Young Shelter
    119 D Street NW

    Open Door Shelter
    2nd & D Streets, NW

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