Related Posts by gregrockwell:

We Have Two New Showers!

Shower 2

2 + 2 = 4!

For a long time we’ve only had two showers. That means two showers for up to 200 people in our Morning Program, and two showers for up to 80 women in our Dinner Program.

That’s not nearly enough.

But now, thanks to a very special angel donor we have doubled our shower capacity! We’re thrilled to offer twice the capacity to our clients, who are so happy that twice as many people can shower in each program.

What She Learned Most Was To Have Patience


AntoinetteEight months ago Antoinette moved from New York City to Washington, DC to be with her boyfriend. But life here was difficult without a job and without any prospects to get a job.

She went to Skyland Workforce Center hoping to get help, and that’s where she found Thrive DC. With encouragement from Thrive DC’s Employment Specialist, Antoinette applied for the Real Opportunity program and was accepted.

Antoinette enjoyed everything about the program, which gave her extra incentive to get up early each day so she could make the trip from Anacostia.

The Real Opportunity Training Program was a great learning experience for Antoinette, exposing her to new cooking techniques and practices she’d never considered, everything from managing a pantry and rotating stock to the different kinds of cuts for meat. But what she learned most was to have patience…with others and with herself.

Antoinette drew strength from the people around her – the Thrive DC staff, her instructors, and her fellow program participants. The spirit of cooperation and respect was something she hadn’t planned on, but was incredibly thankful for.

Once Antoinette was placed at Dos Gringos for her externship, her learning continued. From chopping ingredients to stocking shelves and washing dishes, Antoinette gained experience in all aspects of the kitchen. She impressed her manager at the restaurant so much that once her externship was over she was asked to continue – as a paid employee!

Antoinette now feels more stable and looks forward to someday becoming a chef and perhaps owning her own business. She hopes to one day help others who are in situations similar to hers because: “If you’re going to take, you’ve got to be willing to give.”

A Job Training Program That Works

Want more information on Thrive DC’s Real Opportunity Training Program? Click the link to learn more about our comprehensive program supporting people out of homelessness.

More Stories of Hope

If you like this story, you might also enjoy reading about Dalton and Jeffrey.

“Change I Must, Or Die I Will.”


DaltonDalton liked to cook. That’s why he was so excited to hear about culinary training programs that could help him get back on his feet.

After leaving incarceration three years ago, Dalton struggled with homelessness and finding a job. He tried everything but kept running into a wall. What kept him going, however, was six words:

“Change I must, or die I will.”

“I just had to hold it together,” he said. “Lots of prayer.”

Dalton had heard about two programs he could try: one at Central Union Mission and the other at Thrive DC. He didn’t know which one he wanted to do, but he decided that he would choose based on how the food was at each place.

He went to Central Union Mission and thought their food was OK. But when he came to Thrive DC he thought: “Wow. They were working hard.”

Dalton was blown away by how full Thrive DC was all the time and how much people kept coming back for the food. He knew he wanted to go where people took pride in the work they were doing.

“I haven’t had people like Chef Terrence in my life. I made a good, conscious decision to pursue my career here and I’m so thankful of that.”

Thrive DC’s Real Opportunity Training Program is six months long and hard work, but Dalton was glad to be working. It helped keep him busy, helped him not to focus on his past incarceration or not having a home of his own to go back to.

“I ended up here as a result of committing to change. I really wanted to learn what these people had to offer, and I think I accomplished that.”

After six months, Dalton finally graduated. He took with him a great reference from his externship at Amsterdam Falafel, and is currently looking forward to passing his SafeServ certification and getting his Culinary Arts degree from Stratford University.

“I’m not quite finished yet. This is my new start!”

A Job Training Program That Works

Want more information on Thrive DC’s Real Opportunity Training Program? Click the link to learn more about our comprehensive program supporting people out of homelessness.

More Stories of Hope

Enjoyed reading about Dalton’s success? You might also like Jeffrey’s and Antoinette’s story.

“I want to return the favor for what Thrive DC has done for me.”


JeffreyJeffrey was homeless and needed help when he heard about Thrive DC. He needed a place that would enhance his skill set and give him a real chance at steady employment – something that would not just to sustain him but also help him reach his ambitions to be a manager.

He needed a place that would take the time to invest in him. There were lots of programs that were 6 – 8 weeks long, but it seemed like as soon as you started you were walking out the door.

That’s when Jeffrey heard about Thrive DC.

He was at Bread for the City when they gave him a referral to our Real Opportunity Training Program. At first he was unsure; while he wanted a better training program, Thrive DC’s was six months long and much more dense and challenging.

Ultimately though, the program was everything he was looking for:

“When I first came to Thrive DC, I was uncertain because I didn’t know a lot about the program. Now, Thrive DC is a place I would recommend. All the different programs Thrive DC has to enhance lifestyles are great and the staff is really professional. This has been an intense and gratifying program.”

Jeffrey is currently finishing his externship at Open City in Woodley Park and is under consideration for employment there. But after his time in the Real Opp program, Jeffrey also has a new dream.

“I want to return the favor for what Thrive DC has done for me. I’m working on getting my business license so that I can teach others about sanitation, knife work, and all of the skills you need when working in this industry. I want to be a food service consultant and train people in the private sector.”

When asked what he had learned through the Real Opp program, Jeffrey had just one thing to say:

“I have learned that you can always get what you want through hard work. You’re going to have challenges, but you have to work through them.”

“It was worth it.”

A Job Training Program That Works

Want more information on Thrive DC’s Real Opportunity Training Program? Click the link to learn more about our comprehensive program supporting people out of homelessness.

More Stories of Hope

If you like this story, you might also enjoy reading about Dalton and Antionette.

Homeless Women Have Unique Needs

Meet Our New Volunteer Coordinator!

Volunteer Coordinator

Meet Our New Volunteer & In-Kind Coordinator!

It’s been a good run, but as our former Volunteer Coordinator moves into his new role as Community Relations Manager, Thrive DC is excited to welcome Spencer Baldacci to our team!

A graduate of Boston University, she is fluent in both Spanish and Italian and is passionate about helping the homeless community. She’s only been here a week but is already finding new ways to involve volunteers and connect people to our clients. We can’t wait to see what happens next!

Volunteer CoordinatorWhat made you interested in working for the homeless?

I became interested in working with those without homes after I participated with a homelessness prevention nonprofit in Boston. Homelesssness has a solution – and it is vital that we lend a hand to those struggling to meet their basic needs.

Every individual deserves the opportunity to live the life they envision for themselves and I want to be one of those helping hands.

What makes Thrive DC different than other homeless programs?

Thrive DC is different than other programs because it has an incredible sense of community. Thrive DC is beyond welcoming to everyone and people feel very at ease by simply walking through the door.

The rapport between volunteers, staff, and clients is one of compassion, love, and trust.

What is an awesome moment you’ve had at Thrive DC so far?

On my second day I was talking to one of our clients and he told me how excited he was to have me here. He spent a few minutes giving me a pep talk about what a great job I was going to do and how amazing it was that Thrive DC had a new volunteer coordinator. It was at that moment I knew I was working in the right place!

What do you see as the biggest need among the people you work with?

The biggest need I see among the people I work with is a support system. Navigating government agencies, filling out endless forms, applying for jobs, etc – it is incredibly daunting and can feel impossible to accomplish alone.

Our staff does an incredible job of guiding people through the steps and providing support to those who need it.

What are you passionate about?

I am passionate about helping people receive an equal opportunity to achieve the life they want to live.

It makes a huge difference when everyone starts on the same playing field. I want our society to be one that gives all individuals the chance to succeed no matter the type of life they were born into.  

What’s your favorite breakfast food?

My favorite breakfast food is leftover cake. There’s nothing like waking up to a delicious piece of happiness coated in sugar.

What’s a cool and interesting fact about yourself?

A fun fact about me is that I was trained in classical piano from the age of 5 to 18.

Want To Volunteer?

If you are interested in volunteering, you can reach Spencer at [email protected] or (202) 503-1533. To learn more about volunteering at Thrive DC click the link below!

How To Eat, Drink, And Support Thrive DC Inauguration Weekend

All In Service

All In Service

“The events of the inauguration present a vital opportunity to serve our nation’s capital by creating inclusive spaces, in service not only to our guests, but also to our community. These are the fundamentals of hospitality, and it is in this spirit that we invite you to join us.”

Restaurants and businesses around DC have joined together this weekend to show what they are for, not what they’re against. And many of them are supporting Thrive DC!

If you go out this weekend, remember these places. We’re very grateful for them to choose supporting us over all the other great nonprofits doing work in the District.

All In ServiceThe Gibson
2009 14th St NW
Washington, DC 20009

This weekend The Gibson will be donating a portion of their proceeds to Thrive DC. Come visit (if you can find them) DC’s coolest speakeasy!

3418 11th St NW
Washington DC 20010

This weekend Maple will not only be donating a portion of their proceeds to Thrive DC, but will also be holding a coat drive happy hour Saturday night. Bring a coat and your first drink is on them!

Sudhouse DC
1340 U St NW
Washington, DC 20009

This Friday Sudhouse DC will be donating a portion of their proceeds to Thrive DC. Come celebrate or mourn the Inauguration, it’s up to you!

Each Peach Market
3068 Mount Pleasant StNW
Washington, DC 20009

In support of the Woman’s March on Saturday, Each Peach will be selling Woman’s March Snack Packs! Sales of the snack packs will be split 50/50 between Thrive DC and Planned Parenthood.

Ivy and Coney
1537 7th St NW
Washington, DC 20001

All weekend Ivy and Coney will donate 10% of sales to Thrive DC. Cub fans especially welcome.

Odd Provisions
3301 11th St NW
Washington, DC 20010

All weekend Odd Provisions will donate 5% of their sales to Thrive DC. Check out CoHi’s newest corner store!

Locale Workspace

1320 #B H St NE
Washington, DC 20002

All weekend, Locale will donate 30% of one-day passes to Thrive DC. Check them out on H St or 52 O St NW!

DC Bars Give Back To Nonprofits Over Inauguration Weekend

Inauguration Weekend

Inauguration Weekend

300 Homeless & Low-Income Clients Got The Welcome Warmth They Needed

Welcome Warmth

Friday, December 2nd Thrive DC served over 300 people breakfast in the morning and outfitted them with winter coats, hats, scarves, gloves, and blankets.

Thank you to everyone who supported us this month with donation drives and purchases from our Amazon Wish List. Thanks to you we had many items available to choose from and almost everyone in need was able to be satisfied.

  • 432 Coats
  • 324 Winter Hats
  • 216 Scarves
  • 163 Sweaters & Jackets
  • 159 Pairs of Gloves
  • 65 Blankets

Just In Time

This comes just in time as Arctic winds are expected to hit Washington, DC Wednesday – Friday this week. Temperatures will drop to the mid 20’s at night and struggle to rise above 40 degrees. The full outfitting Thrive DC was able to provide will hopefully prove lifesaving support to the individuals living outside in the freezing weather, risking hypothermia.

More To Come

Despite the strong showing this past Friday, Thrive DC will be hosting two more Coat Drives throughout the winter. Please help us spread the word to continue collecting much needed welcome warmth for our clients.


#GivingTuesday with Great Day Washington!

Great Day Washington

Helping The Homeless on #GivingTuesday

Meaghan Mooney and Great Day Washington spent the morning with Thrive DC on Giving Tuesday this year. Check out their segments below!

In The Kitchen With Chef Alvin

What Brings You To Thrive DC?

Great Day Washington 2

What Makes Thrive DC A Community Of Support?

Great Day Washington 3