WHO CAN HELP? WES members and friends.
WHAT? Volunteers prepare a meal at home to serve to the women of Luther Place Night Shelter, a transitional facility providing food, shelter and supportive case management for up to 30 women.
WHERE? Luther Place Memorial Lutheran Church, just north of Thomas Circle in Washington, D.C., at N & 14th Streets. 
WHEN? WES serves at Luther Place the 2nd Saturday of each month. Volunteers arrive at Luther Place by 6:45pm to serve the meal at 7:00pm. Once the meal is served, the volunteers clean up, pack up any extra food, and depart between 8:15pm and 8:30pm. This is a very safe experience with the homeless community, fulfilling a clear and vital need, and often children accompany their parents.
HOW? Contact the WES Luther Place Coordinator, Naomi Goldstein, at 240-305-9849 or ncg1@aol.com 
Somewhere on this planet, someone has a solution to the world’s problems. 
In might be one of us.
With your help, we can build a more hopeful world.

-Marianne Larned

Specific instructions for participants in the Luther Place program
WES members and friends join together to prepare, deliver, and serve an evening meal to the women residents of Luther Place Night Shelter.
Between cooks and servers, this is an activity for 2 – 5 people. There should be 2-4 adult servers at the shelter; if there are enough volunteers for the given date, cooks need not serve and servers need not cook.Date/Time:2nd Saturday of each month; from about 6:30 – 8:30pm.
Top floor of Luther Place Memorial Lutheran Church. The church’s address is 1226 Vermont Avenue NW (on the north side of Thomas Circle). The Shelter entrance is on the side – N St. between 13th and 14th. (Southbound on 13th Street, turn right onto N, left onto Vermont. Dupont Circle (Red Line) and McPherson Square (Blue/Orange Line) Metro stations are each a 15-minute walk away. Parking is limited, so if you drive, try to carpool. Please contact your group’s coordinator to arrange carpooling.  Click here for a map.
Suggested Menu/Amounts:
Coordinate among the group to bring enough food for a healthy, balanced meal for 30 people.

    • 2 Main Dishes  (about 4 pounds total: meatloaf, grilled chicken, lasagna, chili, casserole; try to provide 1 meatless dish)
    • 1 Green Salad (1 head of lettuce, 1 cucumber, etc.; there’s dressing there)
    • 1 Side Vegetable (about 3 pounds)
    • 1 Side Starch (about 4 pounds, cooked: potatoes, pasta, rice)
    • 1 Bread or Rolls (equivalent of 2 baguettes)
    • 1 Desserts  (large cake, 3-4 dozen brownies or cookies, large bowl of fruit salad, 1 – 1 1/2 gallons ice cream plain or as sundaes)

Dishes should be ready to serve; ovens are available for keeping things warm but not for heating from room temperature/chilled.
Volunteers should have the dishes in the shelter kitchen by 6:45pm. Dinner is served from 7:00-8:00pm.

Other things to bring:

    • Servers are welcome to bring musical instruments, board games, or other means of entertainment
    • Informal placemats, tablecloths and/or centerpieces are always welcome. (There are 5 round tables and one long table.)
    • Storage containers of all sizes are useful for packing the leftovers for the frig.
    • Sometimes there are dishtowels and sponges, sometimes not – feel free to bring some along – again, they’ll be welcome as donations.
    • This is a good opportunity to donate all of those little toiletries you’ve been collecting from hotels around the world.
    • Please also bring a handful of WES brochures, as you’re sure to get some questions.

** Group Coordinator, please note: you will need to check out with the Overnight Volunteer at the end of the evening. She’ll want to know how many volunteers worked for how many hours preparing and serving the meal, so check with your crew ahead of time.

Useful Details

Getting there:

    • If approaching from 13th Street, turn right onto N Street, left onto Vermont Avenue. Look for red brick church immediately on your right. There is a circular drive, and a statue of Martin Luther in front. (You may park in the driveway, if there’s space – just let the night supervisor know your car is there.)
    • Enter the shelter on N Street, between 13th and 14th, to the right of the Vermont Avenue entrance. Follow the directions on the security phone at the top of the wheelchair ramp to dial Luther Place Night Shelter to be buzzed in. Mention if you will need the elevator. Once buzzed in, either continue straight ahead and take the stairs to the fourth floor or go through the double doors to your left for the elevator. The kitchen is at the end of the hall, next to the shower room.
    • WES group’s coordinator should check in with the Shelter’s Overnight Volunteer (her office is on the 4th floor at the other end of the hallway from the kitchen). She will announce dinner when given the cue by the WES folks.


    • Put salt and pepper shakers (they’re in a tray on the dining room side of the counter) on each table. Other condiments (salsa, vinegar, etc.), as well as a pitcher of cold water, should be put on the end of the counter.
    • Dishes are in the cabinet below the salt and pepper. The women will pick up their own cutlery, and will pass through a cafeteria-like line. Try to give small servings – it allows people to try more things, cuts down on the food waste and folks are always welcome to come back for seconds.
    • Ask the Shelter Overnight Volunteer whether any of the women are out and whether any plates need to be filled and set aside for those women. Also, invite her to share the meal!
    • Once the first round of dinner is served, put the desserts out on the counter for the women to serve themselves; let them know what’s there.
    • Please feel free to enjoy the meal with the women.


    • Put away leftovers, either in large containers or single servings – some of the women will take these for lunch. Containers should be marked with date and contents; let the Overnight Volunteer know if there are leftovers in the refrigerator. (Remember, large or small storage containers, with lids, are welcome contributions.)
    • We are responsible for cleaning up the kitchen and serving space only – someone from the shelter will clean up the dining room and do the dishes, which we should just stack in the sink.  (Double-check to be certain someone’s been assigned to KP.)
    • Wipe down the counters. Dirty towels and aprons can go in the pink laundry hamper near the office.
    • Dinner is served from 7:00 – 8:00pm, so we are usually finished between 8:15 and 8:30 pm.