So Others Might Eat

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
MLK service firstlady.JPG
In honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, First Lady Michelle Obama serves lunch in the dining room at So Others Might Eat, in Washington, D.C., January 18, 2010
Named after So Others May Eat
Formation 1970 (1970)[1]
Founder Veronica Maz and Prince Wright[2]
Type 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization
Headquarters Truxton Circle,
Washington, D.C.
Coordinates Coordinates: 38°54′30″N 77°00′40″W / 38.908382°N 77.011173°W / 38.908382; -77.011173
Executive Director
Richard Gerlach[1]
Father John Adams[1]
Subsidiaries Affordable Housing Opportunities Inc[1]
Revenue (2013)
Expenses (2013) $22,248,291[1]
Staff (2013)
Volunteers (2013)
Mission To help the poor and homeless by providing for immediate and long-term needs.[1]

So Others Might Eat (SOME, So Others Might Eat) is a nonprofit organization which seeks to help deal with poverty in Washington, D.C.. SOME provides food, clothing, and healthcare services to the poor and homeless. In addition, SOME provides job training, counselling, and low-cost housing, and other services to "break the cycle of homelessness".



SOME was founded in 1970, by Fr. Horace McKenna, SJ, as a soup kitchen. Meals were served in the basement of the St. Aloysius Church on the campus of Gonzaga College High School on North Capitol Street.[2]

In November 1970, SOME launched by moving from St. Aloysius Church to 1101 N. Capitol Street and began serving hot meals. By July of the following year, SOME opened its first program, a soup kitchen to feed the impoverished persons in the District of Columbia.

Over the next few years, SOME bought a property on Abbey Place NE to be used as a rehabilitation center for people with alcoholism.[3] SOME also bought a property on nearby K Street NW called Shalom House for homeless women.[3]

The Substance Abuse Program was started in October 1975. The Substance Abuse Program includes individual and group counseling and vocational/job training.

In 1978, SOME moved to 71 O Street NW. That November, the Provide-A-Meal Program was initiated. The soup kitchen transitioned to a nutritional meal program serving breakfast and lunch daily. 52 churches, synagogues, businesses, and clubs prepared, brought, and served hot, well-balanced meals to 350 homeless individuals. Today, over 15,000 volunteers from various community groups and places of worship participate in this program serving an average of 850 meals a day.

In October 1979, SOME's Dental Clinic was opened to provide dental care to the homeless and those unable to afford a dentist. The Georgetown University Dental School later began to provide care.


In January 1982, SOME's medical clinic opened, providing comprehensive health care for homeless and low-income persons.

Caregivers Program began in May 1984. Case management and volunteer services are provided to the isolated home-bound elderly persons in Southeast, Washington, D.C.

SOME's main dining room was enlarged in October 1985 in order to seat 155 people. It also included a waiting area for 75 people.

In January 1986, Isaiah House opened in a townhouse in Northwest, Washington, D.C. as a therapeutic socialization residence for individuals who are homeless and have mental illnesses.

SOME's first transitional housing facility opened in February 1986. The facility helped homeless men prepare to live in permanent housing in the community. Six months later, Dwelling Place Emergency Shelter for Abused Elderly opened in Southeast, Washington, D.C.

In July 1989, Shalom House opened in Northeast, Washington, D.C. It was SOME's first Single Room Occupancy (SRO) residence, providing a safe, secure, dignified home for 92 formerly homeless and low-income men and women, including the elderly and the disabled.


A second 90-day transitional housing program, Mickey Leland Place, for homeless men opened in October 1990.

Exodus House, a 90-day residential substance abuse treatment program for homeless men, is opened on a 45-acre (180,000 m2) mountaintop plot in West Virginia in June 1991. Exodus House is designed to provide a retreat from the urban environment that fostered homeless men's addictions.

In September 1991, Thea Bowman House opened as a 10-unit, two-year transitional apartment house for women with children. Located in Northeast, Washington, D.C., Thea Bowman House serves not only the formerly homeless, but also those who currently occupy substandard dwellings.

Gandhi Place, house for long-term volunteers, opened in July 1992. Located in Northeast, Washington, D.C., this former rooming house is home to lay volunteers who serve at SOME for periods ranging from one month to one year.

SOME opened its second SRO, Anna Cooper House, in April 1993. Anna Cooper House provides permanent, dignified housing to 50 formerly homeless men and women.

In May 1993, Jeremiah House, SOME's third SRO opened. Jeremiah House provides permanent housing to the homeless in an environment that fosters respect, dignity, and independent living.

During the summer of 1994, a group of Shalom House residents trying to preserve their local housing subsidies founded Citizens About Real Empowerment. The group later expanded to all SOME SROs, advocating for safe neighborhoods, affordable housing, and fair policies in communities.

Maya Angelou House for women was dedicated in January 1996. Located on 45 acres (18 ha) that were donated to SOME, the program provides a 90-day residential substance abuse treatment program for homeless women.

SOME renovated and opened a new facilities for homeless individuals at 60 O Street NW in June 1996. The facility is a 16,000-square-foot (1,500 m2) building housing a new medical clinic with six exam rooms, a minor procedure room, x-ray clinic, a full eye clinic, a dental clinic, and social service and addictions counseling offices. In addition, it houses administrative offices that are necessary for running SOME.

In August 1996, Harvest House Women’s Program opened as 12-bed transitional housing with a job readiness training program for homeless women.

Women and Children's Dining Room on O Street opened in May 1997. Located next to SOME's main dining room, it was opened to better meet the needs of the growing number of homeless women and children.

In June 1998, SOME's Center for Employment Training opened as an employment training program that will incorporate support services, human development, basic education, and skills training in a program lasting from four to six months. The Center for Employment Training's goal is for adults to find full-time jobs with benefits at a living wage.

As an extension of the Thea Bowman House program, SOME's townhouses at 68, 70, 74 and 76 O Street NW opened in September 1998. They provide two-year transitional housing for formerly homeless families,


SOME opened Behavioral Health Services in January 2000, with the goal of combining SOME's addiction services with mental health and dual diagnosis treatment. Behavioral Health Services provides comprehensive interdisciplinary services, including outreach services, intake and assessment, psychosocial evaluation and treatment, individual and group therapy, case management, addiction outpatient and residential treatment, and dual diagnosis services.

Eight months later, SOME created the Social Justice Program to increase community awareness and education of the interlaced social justice issue that affect poor and homeless individuals and families. The program provides on- and off-site workshops, presentations, education packets, and service learning opportunities.

In April 2002, SOME dedicates the Jim Kozuch Building, intended for multi-program use. The new building affords improved space for Isaiah House. The Jim Kozuch Building stores clothing, household goods, other donations, and records, as well as the maintenance department and office space.

The Isaiah House vacated its building and was replaced by the Jordan House in October 2002. The Jordan House provided a safe and structured alcohol-free and drug-free residence for homeless individuals who are awaiting access to SOME's residential treatment programs.

In September 2003, the Leland Place annex project was completed by volunteer construction crews from Holy Trinity's Hands on Housing. The annex provides needed space for clients and counselors. Clients from Joshua House moved into the newly expanded Leland Place in order to increase program efficiency.

The Affordable Housing Development Initiative launched in January 2004. The goal of the initiative is to develop 1,000 new units of safe, affordable housing to meet the needs of 2,000 homeless and extremely poor men, women, and children. The next month, the Harvest House Women’s Program moved into the space previously occupied by Joshua House.

In March 2005, SOME opened the Michael Kirwan House in a donated building. Michael Kirwan House served as the new location of the Jordan House safe-house program. The program provides a safe and structured alcohol-free and drug-free residence for homeless individuals who are awaiting access to SOME's residential treatment programs.

The next month, the Jordan House Crisis Stabilization Program opened. As a new focus of Jordan House, the Crisis Stabilization Program provides seven beds of residential supportive services to District of Columbia residents who are experiencing a psychiatric crisis. The Crisis Stabilization Program provides comprehensive assessment, intensive individual counseling, and case management support.

Independence Place opened in September 2005, providing permanent housing that is safe, dignified, and affordable for 21 low-income and formerly homeless families. SOME's Place for Kids also opened at the same location to provide nutrition, recreation, mentoring, and academic opportunities for the children of Independence Place. Joseph Smith House opened the following month.

In May 2006, Freedom House opened, becoming SOME's fourth SRO and housing 30 single men and women. Freedom House provides permanent housing to formerly homeless men and women in an environment that fosters respect, dignity, and independent living.

Mary Claire House opened September 2006, providing safe transitional housing to eleven adults with chronic mental illness as they leave SOME's Jordan House Crisis Stabilization Program.

In December 2006, SOME placed a contract on a property on Good Hope Road with the intention to provide affordable housing to 45 seniors in SRO and efficiency units by 2010.

Three months later, Monsignor Ralph Kuehner House opened, providing transitional housing for six women enrolled as students at SOME's Center for Employment Training.

In April 2007, SOME purchased a property on Texas Avenue SE, with the intention of using it to provide 48 efficiency units for low income single adults. During the same month, Father Horace McKenna House opened in Winchester, Virginia, providing affordable housing in the Oxford House model to ten men recovering from addictions. Also in the same month, SOME bought a property called Bedford Falls on 50th Street SE, which will provide 76 single adults with affordable housing with supportive services. SOME also bought Chabraja House, a property on South Capitol Street SE that will provide affordable housing with supportive services to 51 single adults.

Barnaby House opened in June 2007 as an affordable family housing program in Southeast, Washington, D.C., providing safe, service-enriched housing to ten low-income and formerly homeless families. During the same month, SOME bought Chesapeake Street, two buildings that will provide 22 two- and three-bedroom apartments for families.

In February 2008, Zagami House opened as an affordable family housing program with supportive services for twelve formerly homeless and extremely low-income families.


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Form 990: Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax" (PDF). SOME Inc. GuideStar. December 31, 2013. Retrieved October 20, 2015. 
  2. ^ a b Levy, Claudia (August 28, 1971). "Bridging the Gap in Rehabilitation of the Alcoholic: Workers Bridging Gap for Alcoholics". The Washington Post. p. B1. 
  3. ^ a b Crawford, Alan (July 1, 1974). "SOME, $38,000 in Debt, Still Serving Meals: SOME, in Debt, Still Serving Free Meals". The Washington Post. p. B1. 

External links[edit]