Christ House celebrates 50 years of serving Alexandria

Alexandria, Va.-In September 1973, Catholic Charities opened Christ House to serve as a homeless shelter and provide emergency assistance to vulnerable members of the community. 

Catholic Charities' evening meal has been Christ House's centerpiece, served 365 days a year for five decades. The only break in service was during a brief period in the 1980s when the Christ House director was re-assigned.

Since then, Christ House has served a hot dinner to approximately 48 people a night (oftentimes more) come rain, snow or shine. Roughly 40 parish and community groups help to prepare and serve the nightly meal. The meals continued throughout COVID but were handed out in to-go bags instead of being served in the dining room.

On Thursday, September 28, Catholic Charities will celebrate the 50th anniversary of Christ House by inviting clients to one of two sit-down meals. Birthday cake and other items will also be distributed. On September 28, the Saint Catherine of Sienna Catholic Church (Great Falls) Knights of Columbus Council will provide the meal. 

Dinner will be served at 5:00 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.

During the past year, Christ House has seen a 42.3% increase in the number of evening meals served. Between July 2021 and June 2022, Christ House distributed 12,311 evening meals to homeless and low-income men, women and children. This past fiscal year, which ended June 30, 2023, Christ House distributed 17,627 evening meals. These numbers have held steady since the beginning of fiscal year 2024.

Catholic Charities staff have observed an increase in evening meal participants whose COVID benefits have expired, as well as more individuals who are experiencing greater mental health challenges resulting in homelessness.

50 th anniversary of Catholic Charities Christ House

Christ House
131 S. West Street
Alexandria, VA 22314

Thursday, September 28, 5 p.m.

Media interested in covering the event should contact Mary Shaffrey, director of media relations, at 703-841-2517