Dorothy Day Catholic Worker has served for over 40 years as a residence for a small community of members of the Catholic Worker movement, and for several families who would otherwise be at risk of homelessness. The large three-story house itself, in the Petworth neighborhood of Washington DC, dates back to 1897 and has been in the hands of DDCW since 1981 when a religious order, the Trinitarians, no longer needing the building, offered it to the Catholic Worker community in Washington DC.
The DDCW House, then, is more than due for major maintenance issues, including plumbing problems calling for major overhaul. DDCW has, over four decades, primarily repaired individual problems as they have occurred in the plumbing system we inherited with the house. DDCW has recently asked a couple of friends of the house with professional knowledge how concerning the old system and they both replied that a thorough updating of the plumbing systems is called for. With their help we were able to solicit estimates earlier this year for initial work. We have a quote for first phase work of approximately $14,000 the we can begin presently. Subsequent phases would easily surpass $30,000. to accomplish all of this work. The money for the first phase has been raised via an appeal that DDCW sent out in May of this year and will be started soon.
Dorothy Day House has always relied on the generosity of its benefactors to support its day-to-day operations and continues to do so today. It has seldom been their custom, over the years, to attempt a specific fundraising drive for such needs on behalf of Dorothy Day House.
Yet in view of the issues described and other anticipated major maintenance on a house that has seen three centuries built in 1897, DDCW thinks it is time to plan for major maintenance. The initial goal this year is to raise $50,000 for Dorothy Day Catholic Worker through the intercession of St. Joseph, carpenter extraordinaire and patron saint of the Catholic Worker movement. Around $30,000 still needs to be raised and Pax Christi Metro DC Baltimore is asking their membership to try to supply most, if not all, of this amount.
We are grateful to have served here over forty years time and provided hospitality to hundreds of families., With timely attention to our house's needs, beginning with a plumbing system overhaul this year, we hope to be able to continue to do so for another forty years.