A longtime partner to our firm, Miriam’s Kitchen works to end chronic homelessness in the D.C. area. Here’s how we help.
Lending unique expertise
Miriam’s Kitchen has long advocated for the “housing first” model, where homeless people are provided with housing quickly and then services are delivered after immediate housing is secured. Despite the up-front investments inherent in this model, Miriam’s feels strongly that “housing first” was the most effective and cost-efficient way to end chronic homelessness. Prior to 2014, Miriam’s did not have the data it needed to make the case to the city government to provide the needed up-front investment for the model.
A pro bono research team sourced from the Advisory Board Fellowship—a cohort of high‑performing employees being groomed for senior leadership roles who each participate in an impactful pro bono project—worked with Miriam’s Kitchen to create the first-ever map of health care costs related to chronic homelessness. This research, along with City Council testimony by Christopher Kerns, an executive director in our Research and Insights division, led to the Washington, D.C., City Council allocating unprecedented levels of funding for this model, putting the District on the path to ending chronic homelessness in the years to come.
Our Homelessness Cause Community has partnered with Miriam’s in many capacities: providing hands-on volunteers to serve meals, sourcing participants for pro bono projects (from leadership development training to creating marketing pitches and many areas in between), and hosting members of their advocacy team to educate our staff on chronic homelessness and the role each of us can play in its eradication.
Eric Sun, the Advisory Board executive advisor who works with Miriam’s, has been instrumental in thinking through how to expand the partnership in meaningful, focused ways, including several pro bono partnerships and the introduction of an in‑house educational series at the Advisory Board that equips employees to lobby local government for needed investments in ending homelessness.
Our CEO, Robert Musslewhite, served on the board of directors and leadership council at Miriam’s for six years, acting as a passionate and effective advocate for their work. Our chief talent officer, Mary Van Hoose, has since succeeded Robert as a member of the board.
During his tenure on the Miriam’s board, Robert wrote an op-ed article that made the case for why corporate-nonprofit partnerships like the one shared by the Advisory Board and Miriam’s Kitchen are effective in achieving mutual goals. This piece was published by the Washington Post in March 2015.
Dozens of Advisory Board staff volunteer regularly at Miriam’s. Their roles range from the more traditional (meal service, pro bono support) to the more creative (Michael Koppenheffer, vice president of strategic marketing, regularly plays his guitar for Miriam’s guests). This deep and ongoing partnership means that our volunteers walk away with an intimate knowledge of what’s needed to achieve the Miriam’s Kitchen mission, and these insights feed the many other ways that we support Miriam’s in our shared goal of ending chronic homelessness.
"The Advisory Board Company is our most valued partner at Miriam’s Kitchen. Their research team did what we could never do: gathered, compiled, and assessed the real-time health care costs incurred by our clients, individuals experiencing long‑term homelessness. Their results dramatically changed our message and how we educate lawmakers on our issue. Not only did the Advisory Board team help us prove that permanent supportive housing is cheaper than providing emergency health services, they created an approach to data collection and analysis that can be used by other organizations across the country to effectively advocate for long-term solutions to homelessness."
President and CEO, Miriam’s Kitchen