Georgetown 5K Race Against Homelessness


Photos by Lauren Neville (COL, ’17)

 Although the sky was cloudy and threatened rain all day, the 4th annual Georgetown 5K Race Against Homelessness welcomed hundreds of runners and walkers for a few laps through Georgetown University’s campus on Sunday, March 26th, 2017. Hosted by the Center for Social Justice Research, Teaching & Service (CSJ), the event benefits our community partner, the Georgetown Ministry Center (GMC), and allowed members of the Georgetown community and the larger neighborhood to come together in the fight to end homelessness.

The GMC is a non-profit homelessness service provider in the Georgetown area that was founded in 1987 by the university and the Georgetown Clergy Association to fill a gap in vital services for people experiencing homelessness in our community. In addition to shower, laundry, computer access, medical, and psychiatric care, GMC also has a full-time social worker to help connect individuals to housing.

The 5K event raised over $16,000 for the GMC, and had in-kind sponsorships of over $12,000. One of the very generous sponsors was the Office of Campus Ministry, whose Lenten collections from services across multiple faith traditions will be used to provide new washers and dryers for the center once it undergoes renovation this summer. Other proceeds will support integral programs in the center. Most importantly, the event serves as a way to raise awareness amongst those on campus and in our community that homelessness is not confined to “other” parts of the District, but also exists in the affluent shadows of Georgetown.

I was most struck that a few of GMC’s guests had come to the post-race Spring Fling Celebration to enjoy the food and catch up with students and community members who have spent time at the center. I feel proud to say that the event was one which allowed us to raise money for imperative services at GMC, but also welcomed those often unseen members of our community experiencing homelessness into the Georgetown community.

Written by Melissa Bernard, Jesuit Volunteer/Homelessness Outreach Programs Coordinator; CSJ & Campus Ministry.