As COVID-19 continued to sweep the country this year, working class, poor, and Black residents of Washington D.C. disproportionately continue to face bleak obstacles like housing, job, and food insecurity. In Black, working class and poor neighborhoods where government resources are often lacking, community led volunteer programs are some of the best ways to provide support to our burdened community members. BLAC D.C. compiled a list of organizations which center around helping marginalized groups, such as LBGTQ members, lower-income Black families, and homeless folk, to connect to vital resources. The following list includes five powerful community service organizations, information on how volunteers can lend their time to these organizations, and information on where those in need can connect with these organizations to resources.
Concerned Black Men Inc. D.C. Chapter:
CBM DC Chapter is a Black-centered leadership organization seeking committed volunteers who are dedicated to improving the lives of DC area youth. CBM supports DC area youth through facilitating workshops, trips, competitions, scholarships, and mentorship programs. You can volunteer and connect with CBM DC to receive resources by visiting www.cbmdc.org.
Food & Friends:
Food & Friends delivers meals 365 days a year to more than 4,000 adults and children in the DC region facing AIDS/HIV, cancer, and other serious illnesses. It offers a number of ways to get involved during the holidays. Families with kids 14 and over can volunteer at Food & Friends to help with food preparation, food delivery, or pie distribution throughout the holiday season by visiting www.foodandfriends.org/volunteer. Those seeking to receive resources from Food & Friends can call (202) 269-6820 to speak to a client services representative.
My Sister’s Place (MSP):
MSP is a domestic abuse hotline and shelter that seeks to provide resources for survivors of domestic abuse through connecting survivors to counseling services, emergency shelter, and temporary and permanent housing. You can volunteer with MSP by visiting www.mysistersplacedc.org/volunteer. You can receive resources from MSP by visiting the “Get Help” page on their website.
Casa Ruby: Casa Ruby is the only woman of color run LGBTQ bilingual and multicultural organization in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. Casa Ruby provides social services and programs catering to transgender, genderqueer, and gender non-conforming people. Their goal is to help transgender, genderqueer, and gender non-conforming people pursue their dreams and achieve success without fear of discrimination, harassment, or violence due to their sexual orientation and or gender identity/gender expression. You can volunteer with Casa Ruby by visiting www.casaruby.org/donate. You can connect to receive resources from Casa Ruby by visiting www.casaruby.org/our-services.
Organizing Neighborhood Equity is an organization that strives to empower Black and marginalized voices in DC communities through involving grassroots people in the decisions that affect their lives, minimizing hierarchy and professionalism in organizations working for social change, and engaging direct action to resolve social problems. You can contribute to ONE DC’s mission by visiting www.onedconline.org/donate.