Serving 87,000 fresh, healthy meals a year, connecting 5,000 individuals to social services and securing funding for 1,250 individuals and 560 families in DC to have housing are just some of the steps Miriam's Kitchen is taking to end chronic homelessness.
Miriam's Kitchen is a non-profit located in Northwest Washington, DC that isn't your typical soup kitchen. Miriam's prides itself in fresh, healthy and hearty meals for the homeless community.
"[Food] is what I consider to be the gateway to how we get our guests access to social services that we provide, so that we can get them into housing," Miriam's Kitchen Executive Chef Cheryl Bell said while whipping up some of her shrimp and grits.
The organization also provides supportive housing services and has case managers on site to help the homeless community all while they are enjoying a fantastic meal.
"It's the food that creates an environment where they feel comfortable to open up about things going on in their lives, which is the opportunity we get to figure out what social services they need," Bell explained.
Bell came to Miriam's Kitchen in quite a special way, she started as a volunteer through one of their corporate sponsors. She then became a sous chef and then after 30 years of working in the corporate world, Bell took the position of executive chef and has never looked back.