Sports can bring people together. That’s why a fraternity uses Redskins games, like this Sunday’s Eagles-Redskins matchup, to help some of the District’s men in need.
"It's just like any other day,” said Jesse Beverly cheering during the game.
It's another day watching a football game with friends, said Beverly, who lives in a shelter. But at St. Aloysius’ Father Mc Kenna Center, no matter their struggle, in the mix of DC's homeless men and members of Omega Psi Phi's Alpha Omega, everyone's on the same playing field.
"We all come here as men. We enjoy ourselves,” said former chapter President Walt Hill.
The program is called ‘Omega Men for Homeless Men,’ a Redskins watch-party that is fun but also really meant to connect and inspire. Hill helped start the program.
'We just want the men to have a sense of dignity. Four hours on a given Sunday to come in, leave the world outside,” he said.
“The homeless situation here in the District of Columbia is very dire and many of the men look like we do at Omega Psi Phi," Hill said.
At halftime they shut off the TV's and talk. The fraternity also hosts a discussion and resource session every first Monday of the month. Everything happens in the basement of St. Aloysius in Northwest. The fraternity said they’ve actually been doing this for about seven years.
"I never dreamed that I was going to be in a situation like this. Cause I thought like most people when you come to school that you going to go off and become someone and have a successful career. However, that wasn't my cards,” said Beverly, who also says things are changing.
Beverly started coming to the fraternity’s events almost a year ago and is now in a work study program. Beverly said he is looking at more permanent housing. What inspired him is learning they're not all that different.
"They're doing what they can to show that men in general, not just black and white but just men as a whole can connect with another man and be supportive…I heard one of them say they just like one paycheck away and they can end up just like this too so it don't have nothing to do with how big or how small you are, just the circumstances sometimes,” said Beverly.
Hill says about 90 percent of the men they help have been incarcerated but are looking to become contributing members of society.
Omega Psi Phi's Alpha Omega members depend on the donations of others to keep the program running and are even planning to be there on Christmas Eve for the Redskins game at 1 p.m.!