Humanitarian Spotlight: Jeffery Barnes

Mr. Jeffery Barnes is an entrepreneur and an advocate for the homeless. He is the epitome of paying it forward.

Since the age of eight, he has been in martial arts. Currently, he is an 8th-degree black belt grandmaster and has been teaching children and adults from the ages of 3 to 60+ years old for over 20 years at his studio, Jeff Barnes Taekwondo School of Martial Arts, located at 400 Van Buren St. NW, Washington, DC.

As a 14-year-old Barnes had to endure living on the streets. He fuses his two ambitions together every third Saturday at Franklin Square Park in NW DC, by feeding, providing clothing and ministry to those in need. “I wanted to articulate the aspirations of the people we serve,” Barnes speaks about why he started feeding the homeless. “I wanted to plant the seed within my students so they can know that they’re not better than anyone and that this can happen to anyone.”

Barnes stated that his studio has been the backbone and strength of his organization. “We haven’t received any contributions from any big organizations or churches. For 15 years straight, the work that we’ve done to feed the homeless has consistently come from the contributions from the martial arts class.” Mr. Barnes’ monthly budget is between $600 to $800 and they have a 16-foot pitch trailer stocked with 10 tables. Barnes receives his donations through the students of his school. “I don’t charge money. I charge them to fill the trailer. I ask that my students bring food to make sandwiches, fruit, fresh donuts, and clothes. In the wintertime, they bring hats, scarves, and gloves.” The students are required to come out at least every three months to give back, but they MUST donate every month.

What is Mr. Barnes’ next step? “Housing. I would like to improve and help with housing for the homeless and provide affordable housing to those who work minimum wage jobs.”

If you are interested in learning more about Jeff Barnes’ school, please contact him at

We are praying for Mr. Barnes’ next step which is housing for the homeless and underemployed. The Widow’s Pantry appreciates the work of Jeff Barnes and his students. If we all do a little we all can make a big difference.

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