Brian has been volunteering with Thrive DC for about six months, and has become a valued member of our team while he’s been here. We caught up with him after one of his shifts at the front desk to ask him about his experience at Thrive DC.
I work for the Architect of the Capitol on Capitol Hill here in DC. I am originally from Alabama and still have property and family there.
What got you interested in volunteering here?
I was looking for somewhere to volunteer with the homeless in DC. After researching a few of the programs I decided to give Thrive a shot.
What is something new that you learned by volunteering at Thrive DC?
I will not say a task…for me the new things learned are the relationships with staff and clients.
What do you like best about volunteering with Thrive DC?
Without question it is the same answer as above. Interactions with people that are genuinely appreciative for your service is a reward each time I walk through the door. From building ongoing friendships with staff and regular clients to helping the new face that is unsure of what they need…I really appreciate being there for them in that moment.
What has been a funny moment that stood out to you?
That moment happens on a regular basis… me standing over the women’s underwear drawer trying to figure out what pair to offer a client that has asked for some. Lessons learned… always ask for a size and never assume!
If you could pick only three adjectives to describe Thrive DC, what would they be?
Caring, compassionate and grounded in the community.
Has Thrive DC changed how you view DC? If so, how?
To some extent. Now when I travel around DC I attempt to look for those I feel that could use information about Thrive and I pass out a trifold info card.
What service or program are you most proud of Thrive DC providing?
Serving meals… I know all the programs are important and many are the ones that will help individuals get themselves back on their feet to self-support. However, giving someone a good meal is an act of love.
It is hard enough to battle homelessness and the challenges that come with that. Doing it hungry is impossible.
What would you like to see Thrive DC do more of?
I would like to see more push toward affordable housing solutions. Not to say that Thrive would drive all of that but work with the DC gov’t to find solutions; maybe even have a Thrive representative that worked with the local government boards and went around to different parts of the city to interact with clients where they are.
Is there anything you wish the city was doing differently for the homeless now that you’ve been working with them?
I also deliver meals through a local church on Sundays and expanding on the answer above we need to do more for housing alternatives.
There are many proven gov’t led programs across the country that are working. DC needs to be proactive and not just go sweep tent encampments periodically. That does not fix the issue it only drives those that don’t want to stay in a shelter to move from one encampment to another.
Want To Volunteer?
If you want to be a volunteer like Brian, we always need good volunteers to work with our clients. Sign up for a Volunteer Orientation by clicking the button below!