Germantown: Facing Poverty Head On

Keith has been a client of Face to Face for many years.

Face to Face is a non-profit organization where anyone is welcome to a hot meal, legal advice and an array of social services, all free of charge. What originally began as a soup kitchen in 1985 has grown into human services organization, providing vital resources for the homeless and the impoverished.

Face to Face serves hot, nutritious meals to low income families, single, and homeless people.
Face to Face serves hot, nutritious meals to low income families, single and homeless people.

“The one thing we don’t provide is shelter,” said Mary Kay Meeks, the executive director at Face to Face.

“We have what we call a Washeteria,” Meeks said. “Where anyone can come in, and have a hot shower, and clean clothes. It’s completely confidential. Aside from age and gender, we do not ask for any personal information from anyone to use the Washeteria.”

"AC" says the Health Center helped him with his diabetes.
AC said the Health Center helped him with his diabetes.

Something as simple as a clean place to take a shower can make a huge difference on the lives of those who don’t have one at their disposal. That, and access to medical services, which for the poor can be a costly expense. At Face to Face there are nurses who manage the Health Center, providing free blood pressure screenings and health promotion programs, such as diabetes education. Alvin “AC” Charles is a diabetic client at Face to Face.

“My experience here has been amazing,” Charles said. “I started coming here about three decades ago because of the Health Clinic. It has helped me so much that right now my [blood sugar] is down. All those resources from the health center has helped me tremendously.”

In addition to assisting underprivileged adults, Face to Face also has programs specifically set in place for children. They have an after-school program, a 3-week summer camp which runs through July and a “Back to School Readiness Camp” which kicks off in August. w=500 h=281]

– Text, video and images by La’Rene Cassells.

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