Nats, Dream Foundation Revitalize Shirley’s Place
As part of its annual Community Rebuilding Project, the Washington Nationals Dream Foundation partnered with Rebuilding Together DC last week to revitalize Shirley’s Place, a daytime hospitality center for homeless families in Southeast D.C.
From electrical repairs to carpentry projects, volunteers from the Nationals facilities staff were hard at work enhancing the safe, healthy environment that the facility provides. Improvements included new interior and exterior handrails to assist the organization’s disabled clients, expanded storage space thanks to shelving units built on-site by Nationals Park carpenters and installation of a brand new washer and dryer that was generously donated by Multi Housing Depot by ARI. In addition, walls and moldings throughout the two-story townhouse received a fresh coat of paint, courtesy of front office volunteers. Even Screech, the Nationals official mascot, rolled up his sleeves to help.
“It’s a wonderful thing to have these improvements done,” said Jacob Wilkins, Communications and Development Associate for Capitol Hill Group Ministry, which has operated the facility since 2007. “It means so much to us, especially with hypothermia season coming up, that we are able to increase our capacity and just make the facility so much safer in general.”
Shirley’s Place is an important part of the D.C. community, offering the city’s homeless a place to warm up or cool down, bathe, do laundry and enjoy a meal. Staff members are also available to assist clients with medical and social service needs. The organization was selected as the fourth Community Rebuilding Project based on a number of factors, such as its close proximity to Nationals Park and commitment to serving children and families.
“This organization has been doing great work in the area for quite a while,” Dream Foundation Manager Vera Maher said. “We wanted to provide improvements that will help make life a little easier for their clients.”
While the organization benefitted from some necessary repairs to the facility, it was the Nationals volunteers that gained the most from the experience.
“It feels really good to give back,” said Joe Baggott Sr., a painter with the Nationals Park facilities management staff. “This is the third year I’ve done it and it’s great to see people get the place fixed up and have experienced technicians put everything in place.”