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Bethesda Cares

No Rest for the Weary... or for Someone With No Bed

Amy L. Freeman | Posted 12.16.2015 | Impact
Amy L. Freeman

Sometimes my job breaks my heart. Today was one of those days. My desk is in earshot of Bethesda Cares' reception desk, in our Drop-In Center for clients suffering homelessness.

"Homeless People Are Lazy"... Uh, No.

Amy L. Freeman | Posted 11.11.2015 | Impact
Amy L. Freeman

"Homeless people are lazy and just don't want to work." That judgmental little humdinger came from the mouth of an eight-year-old boy, during a discussion I was leading at his school a few days ago. Even some of the other children looked shocked.

Ending Homelessness, Never Bet Against the House: Part Two

Amy L. Freeman | Posted 10.29.2015 | Impact
Amy L. Freeman

The days, weeks and months immediately after someone is housed are critical to ensuring that the placement sticks. Absent support, the placement could crater. Someone housed after a long time on the streets might simply walk away from that housing, away from a place of his own, back to the streets.

Ending Homelessness: Never Bet Against the House

Amy L. Freeman | Posted 10.15.2015 | Impact
Amy L. Freeman

Monday afternoon, a slightly disheveled, elderly man approached what will be his new studio apartment, for his first time. His few belongings in his hands, he walked into the space and looked around it, appraising.

"He's Homeless": A Rose by Any Other Name Sometimes Isn't.

Amy L. Freeman | Posted 09.16.2015 | Impact
Amy L. Freeman

"People suffering homelessness." Not, "people who are homeless." The distinction is crucial, and not just political correctness. We all know it: the way we speak of people both influences and reflects how we think of them, and that drives our behavior.

Queuing and Q-ing with Dignity

Amy L. Freeman | Posted 12.02.2014 | Impact
Amy L. Freeman

Initially faced with the brightly-colored truck outside our normal meal space, some clients were hesitant, assuming that this bounty could not be for them. Other clients walked up uncertainly, but broke into smiles we told them to just go to the truck and order.

Sometimes Your Clothing's Disposable Even If You'd Rather Keep It

Amy L. Freeman | Posted 10.18.2014 | Impact
Amy L. Freeman

For someone who is homeless, planning means coping with the immediate future. From where is the next meal coming? Will he find a safe corner in which to shut his eyes that night?

What If Your Safety Net Doesn't Feel Safe?

Amy L. Freeman | Posted 07.28.2014 | Impact
Amy L. Freeman

When surrounded by friends and family on whom one can count for support of every kind, it's hard to imagine the downward spiral that can land someone ...

Sometimes, You Just Gotta Get Away (Even If You're Homeless)

Amy L. Freeman | Posted 07.13.2014 | Impact
Amy L. Freeman

The conversation shifted to a kind of Yelp-type review of local and distant shelters, evaluating their safety, cleanliness and the competency of their staffs.

Teaching Children Social Responsibility, Responsibly

Amy L. Freeman | Posted 11.24.2013 | Impact
Amy L. Freeman

We must teach children to protect each other and the earth. However, in trying to instill social responsibility, many adults forget how powerless children can feel, and thus, large-scale instructions ("Save the Whales!") overwhelm or fall flat.


Amy L. Freeman | Posted 09.17.2013 | Impact
Amy L. Freeman

When I tell people where I work, people get a kind of glazed look in their eyes, tilt their heads to the side, go a bit slack-jawed and say something like, "Whaaaa? Homeless guys in Bethesda?" Yes, Virginia, there are people experiencing homelessness, right in the shadow of a busy Lululemon.