What are the criteria for getting a bed at Joseph’s House?
Our primary mission is to homeless men and women with late-stage AIDS, and, as space is available, we also welcome men and women with terminal cancer. Our nurses review all referrals and consider a number of factors, including the availability of beds in the house, the individual’s diagnosis, current health status, and suitability for the care we provide, and the availability or lack of availability of other suitable options.

Why do you give first priority to people living with AIDS?
Community living room Our focus on serving people with AIDS goes back to our founding when we began as a home for men living with AIDS. We began to welcome women and people dying of cancer in 2006. We expanded because we saw great need and recognized that our service to those with AIDS had taught us a great deal that would also be of service to others.

Our funding from the D.C. Department of Health and a significant portion of our foundation funding is specifically for serving people with AIDS. We also receive dedicated funding that allows us to also serve those with cancer. We believe that our community has been greatly enriched by expanding our mission.

Does everyone who lives at Joseph’s House die there?
No. Everyone who comes to Joseph’s House is very ill with AIDS or cancer and the majority are hospice patients with a limited life expectancy. Most die while they are in residence.

Others who come to us are quite ill with AIDS and those referring them to us believe that they, too, are likely to die without the type of intensive care and personal support that we can offer. Most of these individuals do regain their health after more lengthy stays with us. When they do, we help them transition to a more permanent living situation and welcome them back for meals, medication assistance, and the fellowship of the community.

How long can people stay at Joseph’s House?
The length of stay varies from a few days to over a year, in some instances. The average stay is about two months.

Is Joseph’s House a religious organization?
Joseph’s House is a faith-based community and one of a number of non-profit organizations in our neighborhood and the greater Washington, D.C., area started by members of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour. Our life as a faith-based community includes periods of prayer and silent meditation, as well as a commitment to being a place of welcome for all who come through our door. All people, of all faith traditions – or no faith tradition – are welcome at Joseph’s House.

Where do you get your money?
We are grateful for the generous financial support we receive from individuals, faith communities, local businesses, foundations, and the D.C. Department of Health.

How do I become a volunteer?
In order to maintain the family-like atmosphere of the house, most of the volunteer service at Joseph’s House is provided by those who serve full-time or who serve two full days per week through established volunteer service programs. We also have a limited number of individuals who visit weekly to help prepare meals, as well as volunteers who assist with some administrative tasks.

Those interested in volunteering should contact us at info@josephshouse.org.