‘It lifts you up’: Maryland organization hosts Father’s Day luncheon for homeless men

Maryland nonprofit aims to inspire through special Father’s Day luncheon

A Maryland nonprofit group hosted a special Father’s Day luncheon Thursday in an effort to uplift homeless men in the community.

The event in Fort Washington, held by ANEW Inspired Change, aimed to bring joy and a sense of belonging to fathers who are experiencing homelessness.

It was a gesture of compassion, respect and hope.

“We reach out to a lot of recovery, mental health and reentry programs and invite their men in for a day of pampering,” explained Porshia Everett, the program director with ANEW Inspired Change.

The group, which is based in Prince George’s County, helps people with hardships and encourages an environment where they can thrive.

More than 60 men signed up for the luncheon.

“All of the people attending are impacted by homelessness,” Everett said.

The lunch included steak, shrimp scampi, chicken, macaroni and cheese and mashed potatoes, but that wasn’t the only benefit for those who attended.

They also received free suits and haircuts.

“They can take the suit and go interview for jobs,” Everett said. “We use this as a platform to build and inspire.”

The meal was prepared by local chefs who volunteered their time and skills.

Some who attended came from A Step Forward, which is an organization that provides support services to people who are recovering from drug and alcohol abuse.

Robert Alston, one of the organization’s managers, said the luncheon sent a strong message.

“They welcome you with open arms and you get to meet your peers and you know that you’re not alone,” said Alston. “It lifts you up.”

The luncheon also served as an opportunity for community members to come together and show their support, according to Lanise Thompson, the community outreach manager at Wellpoint, which is the managed care plan for Medicaid insurance in Maryland.

Wellpoint helped to organize the event.

“The big benefit is it lifts up the men to make them feel special,” said Thompson. “They’re going through the programs that their in, and they’re achieving a lot, and we’re here to support them.”

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Nick Iannelli

Nick Iannelli can be heard covering developing and breaking news stories on WTOP.

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