WASHINGTON, DC (WUSA9) — “It’s about the heart, it’s about caring for everybody equally.” Ayesha Khwaja has made it her life mission to help the homeless.
She’s been at it since she was 17; It started with hot chocolate, but now it’s hot meals. “Not only that we serve food, we treat them like family,” she explained, “I try to celebrate my birthday there and I celebrate their birthdays.”
Khwaja and about a dozen volunteers, including children and teenagers, were serving food and distributing care packages not only on the streets, but inside Georgetown Ministry Center every Sunday at noon.
After 7 years of service, the new director told her they were moving on and suspending her program. It’s been two weeks and still no explanation. “I told her I have a right to know because I’ve been there so long, she says ‘you have no right - you’re a volunteer,'” she recalled.
So, they showed up anyway last Sunday and served outside instead.
“It was heartbreaking last Sunday,” she said, “I went with my volunteer family and we had to set up outside and I just started to cry it was so sad. We served like 20 people whereas before we used to have lines of hundreds of people. They (the homeless) too are protesting. They’re not OK with this either. They are being given sardines, cup of noodle soup to substitute what we were giving. We were making vegetables and lasagna and chili and rice and chicken. One child made a poster saying 'serving the homeless is not a crime,' like why? If it’s a crime, I will commit it every day.”
We are still waiting to hear back from Georgetown Ministry Center.
Khwaja said last she heard, the board of directors were holding an emergency meeting. Still, she will continue to serve meals to the homeless.