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Ten DC Charities You Should Know About to Help Those in Need


There is unfortunately more injustice and inequality in the world than even the least sensitive of us could tolerate and there isn’t a magical formula to fix them all at once. Doing nothing, however, will not only see them persist but even grow. How about we start right now and right here in Washington, D.C. to throw in our modest contributions to help counter the cruel tide?

Here is a list of 10 charities in the District — all tirelessly working for a noble cause and all could continue to do so only if you, too, take part in strengthening them.

Thrive DC

Serving more than 2,000 men, women and children each year, Thrive DC has been working to prevent and end homelessness in the nation’s capital since 1979.

People experiencing unemployment, housing instability and food insecurity benefit from email, phone and computer access, as well as daily hot meals, clothing, blankets, laundry facilities, toiletries and showers here.

So Others Might Eat (SOME)

Another safety net for some of the most vulnerable among our neighbors, So Others Might Eat (SOME) offers a variety of services, including affordable housing, counseling, addiction treatment, and job training.

The inter-faith organization also helps meet immediate daily needs by providing food, clothing, and healthcare to people living in extreme poverty.

Dreaming Out Loud (DOL)

With a different approach from the first two organizations on our list, Dreaming Out Loud (DOL) combines access to healthy food with economic opportunity through social enterprise and urban agriculture.

Since 2008, its community farmers markets have provided 40,000 low-income residents of the city with 300,000 pounds of food that doesn’t only fill stomachs that would have otherwise gone empty but also nurture a healthy life for the needy. What it commands is a vast and brilliantly sustainable, equitable food system. Isn’t it exactly what we all need today?

Street Sense

Delivering essential goods to those who most need them is a highly admirable cause and more than one organization on this list are really terrific at doing it.

Street Sense, however, goes even a step further and, since 2003, helps the homeless reach self-sustainability. Its approach is through enabling the writers, poets and artists among those people. It has a media center where over 100 men and women experiencing homelessness participate in free weekly workshops on writing, theater, photography, graphic design, digital marketing and more.

It also issues a bi-weekly street paper featuring the works of homeless people who earn some $50 a day for selling it in their communities.

Community of Hope

Also a federally qualified health center offering comprehensive services at three health spots in Wards 1, 5, and 8, Community of Hope helps the District’s low-income families achieve the goal of a stable home and a sustainable income.

Families access intensive case management, job support, youth intervention and mentoring, and support with budgeting, family stability, and substance abuse, all according to what they need and in which order.

New Futures

Poverty is often inherited and people who start off their lives without abundant resources just exceptionally achieve them in their later lives. New Futures wants to break that vicious cycle.

Here, low-income D.C. students learn how they can pursue fulfilling jobs by attaining community college degrees or vocational certificates. The scholarships they receive cover all their education costs and training in teamwork, time-management and communications to help them always stay on track during their careers.


Another group that is facing the greatest challenges across the U.S. is indisputably the immigrants. Thanks to Ayuda and its community of supporters, they can receive a wide range of immigration and family law assistance, along with social services support, regardless of their color, sex, age and ethnicity in D.C. The organization helps them feel fully and comfortably at home here.

Girls Inc.

Who can deny the fact that simply being female has already made far too many people vulnerable to horrible risks in our country? In full recognition of the tremendous challenges women endure at all stages of their lives, Girls Inc. has come up with this brilliant idea of empowering them right from their childhood.

Today, it helps girls with daily after-school sessions to offer mentoring and homework help, as well as health, wellness, financial and media literacy trainings.

It is proud to sustain an impressive 100 percent college admission rate among its participants who eventually become healthy and independent individuals with a fine education.

Wanda Alston Foundation

The amount of discrimination, social stigma and rejection that LGTBQ youth have to survive often becomes too hard to live with.

In the case of additional traumas such as poverty and homelessness, those individuals go through abhorrent experiences. Thanks to the Wanda Alston Foundation, they just don’t have to, at least in D.C.

In Ward 7, the organization offers 18 months of shelter and 24-hour care for the needy. Here, they receive daily meals and practical life-skills trainings, as well as assistance to secure permanent housing to continue going to school or, if they choose to do so, work.

Jubilee Jobs

You might not belong to the LGBTQ or the immigrant community or even be a teenager at the start of your career anymore, but it doesn’t mean you are immune to living a life full of terrifying challenges.

In fact, it is what happens to thousands of adults without a job in the District. And that is what Jubilee Jobs has been trying to fix for nearly 40 years now.

Since 1981, the organization has been running a compassionate job preparation and placement program through which it has helped train some 25,000 people for the jobs they secured next.

With the tragic and sudden unemployment trauma millions of more Americans endured due to the coronavirus pandemic, what it does has become even more essential today.

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