Miriam's Kitchen's Forces are Stronger than Hurricane Sandy

This week our homeless guests were among the most vulnerable facing Hurricane Sandy. More than 40% of our guests find shelter on the streets each night. That means the high winds, pouring rain, falling trees, extreme temperatures and risk of hypothermia were just a few of the hardships our guests experienced.

When the weather takes a turn, guests can usually rely on museums and libraries to shelter them. But with Metro, government buildings and most businesses closed, our guests had few options to stay safe.

Thankfully - with the help of emergency volunteers, as well as staff - Miriam’s Kitchen held true to our promise of always being open for our guests. In fact, we are really proud of the way that we prepare for emergencies.

“No matter what, they’re always open, 365 days a year. As long as the generator doesn’t fail and they don’t lose electricity, they’re open. It’s where I went to eat.”

Miriam's guest Richard Breault knew he could count on us despite Sandy's destruction, as did 80 other guests who joined us on Monday night.

During the storm's intensity on Monday, we opened our doors right on time and served chicken stew, roasted vegetables, braised greens, fruit salad, cupcakes for dinner.

And thanks to a staff and volunteer sleepover on Monday night at Miriam’s Kitchen, we were again able to be the resource our guests needed on Tuesday morning. While case managers were busy finding emergency shelter, dry clothes, and warm blankets for guests, the Studio program offered art with Kate, crafts with Jackie, resume writing with Ken, poetry with Catherine, and haircuts with Johnny.

The storm brought many challenges to our guests this week. But the truth is, winter will continue to be a huge challenge thoughout the next few months with temperatures already dropping.

If you’re interested in providing support to our guests, please consider donating warm men’s clothing and blankets to Miriam’s Kitchen. And please keep the Shelter Hotline in your phone: 1-800-535-7252. If you see someone who is homeless and may need some extra help, the hotline can make sure they get shelter.

This whole week we’ve had a very busy dining room filled with guests who came to us for emergency help. We are grateful for those who volunteered, dropped off warm clothing donations and blankets, and to those who kept our guests in your thoughts. Special thanks to Offender Aid & Restoration who brought hypothermia kits for our guests.  We are reminded again and again just how fortunate we are to have such a dedicated community at Miriam’s Kitchen. Thank you!