Mission Focus - Christ House

Christmas Eve 1985, Christ House opened its doors, and members of BPC were there to assist. One of the first to step up, the continued support given by this church is lauded and applauded by the co-founders, Rev. Allen and Dr. Janelle Goetcheus. In a recent letter to BPC, Rev. Goetcheus wrote, “It is heartening to know that the friends and volunteers of Christ House are willing and able to remain committed to the cause of helping the homeless. I am forever grateful for your support of our work.”

Christ House provides comprehensive 24-hour health care, food services, case management, housing placement assistance, and other supportive services for those who are sick and homeless. It is the only facility in the Washington, DC, area providing these services in a residential setting.

At Christ House, homeless adult men are given a bed, food, clothing, medical care, and a welcoming community. Most are nursed back to health and helped to find a new home; others are too sick to stay at Christ House and are able to gain admission to hospitals with the support of staff. Each year some pass on to the next life. All who come are shown respect and love.

Although the capacity of Christ House is limited to 36 beds, there is no limit to the increasing severity of illnesses encountered there. Demand for services is now at the highest level in more than a decade. In 2010, Christ House volunteers and staff provided 10,407 patient-days of care—the most since 1997.

Throughout these 26 years of support from BPC, Christ House has been a line item in the church’s mission budget. Members donate clothes and toiletries for the summer shower
program, groceries for second-Saturday evening meals on a monthly basis, and, at Christmas, sweaters for every resident.

November is Sweater Drive Month at BPC. New sweaters are brightly packaged and presented to every Christ House resident during the annual carol sing and second-Saturday meal; carols and dinner are courtesy of the BPC choir. Used sweaters are collected to stock the Christ House clothing closet, so those who enter the residential facility and those still on the streets can have warm clothing through the winter months.