at Lafayette Park
POB 27217, Washington, D.C. 20038 USA

April 17, 1984

President Ronald Wilson Reagan
The White House
Washington, D.C.

Dear Mr. Reagan:

It has come to our attention as your nearest neighbors that there are a great many homeless citizens in the streets of Washington, D.C., many more than the shelters can accommodate. (The Washington Post recently estimated from 7,000 to 10,000 homeless in D.C. alone, with only space for 1,500 in shelters to which most are afraid to go because of the violence, theft, and alcoholism).

Our 24-hour vigil at 1601 Pennsylvania Avenue N.W. finds us in the same search for food and rest room facilities as the homeless. While various organizations such as McKenna's Wagon, church groups, Salvation Army, etc., perform a very loving service in bringing to the homeless donuts, coffee and juice in the morning, or soup and sandwiches in the evenings, there are still many hungry people. Therefore, we have been calling on grocery stores, restaurants, and pharmacies for their donations of food and vitamins.

We have a problem, however. Since the regulation against cooking utensils in Lafayette Park precludes our properly preparing some of the food donated, we wondered if you, as our nearest neighbor, would be kind enough to allow us to use your kitchen to cook the beans and rice and vegetables and such for our friends the homeless? We will be happy to use it to accommodate your staff's working hours, and will leave it as clean as we find it.

God bless you for your consideration.

Your friends,


P.S Incidentally, if there's anything you could do about unlocking the public restroom facility in Lafayette Park that for some unfathomable reason remains closed off to the homeless, we would be most grateful. Alleys are humiliating places to be driven to.