Meet Christian Warrior of Cleveland Park

If you have been to Cleveland Park, or even simply passed through recently, you have likely seen Christian Warrior, clad in a black hoodie and pink bandana, standing for hours on Connecticut Avenue. A Native Washingtonian, Christian’s given name is Alwin Johnson III. For the first several years of his life, he lived with his mother in Southeast D.C. During Elementary School, they moved to the Northeast Quadrant where he remained for many years while mother worked at the Library of Congress. Alwin left high school to obtain his GED through a Job Corps program. When his mother died, he was unable to maintain his financial benefits. A police officer with the DC Metropolitan Police told me Alwin once saved an officer’s life but Alwin didn’t want to divulge the details. 

For nearly fifteen years, Alwin slept behind a church on a piece of cardboard underneath eight blankets. Each night he thought to himself that if he got enough sleep, perhaps the next day would be better for him. Alwin chose the name “Christian Warrior” for himself as a reminder to embody the values of Christ by loving all people on this planet. Eventually he was able to obtain a housing voucher from Catholic Charities. This is known as the Housing First Approach which provides shelter and safety for people experiencing homelessness, thus enabling them to gain control over their lives by meeting their most basic needs. According to the National Coalition for the Homeless, 98% of people are able to remain in housing after they receive a voucher without strings attached. In nearly all of these cases, people are able to get help for their mental health and/or substance abuse issues and even find employment. 

Christain has lived in an apartment in Cleveland Park for five years thanks to a Housing First voucher. He made the decision to spend his days on Connecticut Avenue rather than stay inside brooding over any negativity. He explained that “doors open when you go outside.” He listens to music (rap, rock and soft rock music), dances and offers public wisdom near the Metro. He is aware that not everyone appreciates the wisdom part but hopes they understand he is hoping to connect with his community. Remarkably, he is not bitter about his extraordinarily hard years, rather his current perspective is that this experience helped him understand the pain others were going through. Christian took it upon himself to serve the community in a tangible way when 7-Eleven Owner Naod Ejigu purchased a dustpan and broom for him. Daily he sweeps up cigarette butts and litter on Connecticut Avenue in the Commercial Strip between Porter and Macomb. The Cleveland Park Main Street Litter Cleanup crew has noticed a huge decrease in litter during their monthly plogging (litter pick up) excursions. 

Because of the Catholic Charities Housing First Program, Cleveland Park gained a new neighbor, one who is supporting our small businesses and commercial corridor in a tangible way. These are the types of connections that we at District Bridges/Cleveland Park Main Street love to see and facilitate. Like Christian, we believe that feeling connected to our community is crucial to building thriving neighborhoods. He wants to tell everyone “Let us love one another, come together and feel the full reward of being American citizens and residents of Cleveland Park.” At the heart of everything, he wants us to care about our community and believe we deserve to live in a clean environment. Christian is committed to letting people know that they belong and hopes his story of remarkable resilience can inspire others to not give up no matter who they are. 

24 Comments

  • Bonnie says:

    Thanks for posting about Christian. I had wondered about his story because he is such a fixture on Connecticut Avenue. I appreciate the way he pitches in to keep the neighborhood streets clean.

  • Kelly says:

    Awww! Great article about Christian! I lived on the corner of Ordway and Connecticut for a few years and would see Christian every day! He was always extremely kind and pleasant. Thank you for sharing his story, I also had no idea about his back story.

  • Emily says:

    Thank you to Christian for his kindness, community spirit, and his service. And thank you to Cassandra for telling us his story.

  • Tammy Gordon says:

    Thank you so much for sharing Christian’s story. I have always wondered what his backstory is. I always see him out on Main Street, often helping with trash removal.

    Nice to be able to put a name to the face and say hello more ahead.

  • Susan Troccolo says:

    I am so grateful to know Christian’s story! He is a unique fixture in Cleveland Park and your post has brought light to his struggles.

  • Courtney says:

    Thank you! He deserves this recognition.

  • Laura Narayani Gubisch says:

    This post is a wonderful service for us all. I’m so happy to know of such a kind soul as Christian and so glad he has housing in Cleveland Park !

  • Yes, I have learned so much from this man. I see him as a real friend. Maybe, others will learn from his valuable message too.

  • *KEEP THE FAITH IN EVERY COMMUNITY, DISTRICT, CITY AND CONTENDING FOR EVERYTHING WE HOLD DEAR UNTO HEART. IT’S WORTH ALL THE ANGUISH AND VEXATION THAT MOST DON’T DESIRE TO DEAL WITH. SO AGAIN I SAY, KEEP THE FAITH, AND TURN BACK FOR NO REASON. BUT NEVERTHELESS, BEING WILLING TO ENDURE WHATEVER MUST BE ENDURED FOR GREATER WORLD TO EXIST FOR ALL OF US. GOD BLESS EACH AND EVERYONE

  • Kelly says:

    Mr. Johnson is the best!!

  • Dijana says:

    Dear Chris, thank you so much for keeping our neighborhood clean. I feel much safer when I see you on the street where i walk Pepe everyday. You are like a neighborhood watch to me. It is a thrill to stop by everyday and see how you are doing. Thank you for the treats for Pepe! We love you! Stay cool, positive and have a very Merry Xmas and Happy New Year! Dijana

  • Jen Packard says:

    My favorite attribute of the CP community is that people care and support one another. Thank you for sharing Mr. Warrior’s story.

  • I BELIEVE THAT I. THE CHRISTIAN WARRIOR IS NOT THE ONLY ONE WHO FEELS THE NEED TO CONTEND FOR THE THINGS THAT WE HOLD DEAR. BUT IT’S GOOD TO BE A PART OF THAT LOVING TRUTH. GOD BLESS EVERYONE THAT DESIRES GREATNESS, AND A BETTER COMMUNITY, CITY, STATE, AND COUNTRY.

  • *I THANK GOD FOR THE MOTIVATION, AND I THANK GOD FOR THE OPPORTUNITY TO TOUCH ANOTHER HEART, GOD BLESS YOU, AND YOUR LOVE ONES.

  • *I THANK GOD FOR EVERYONE THAT COMMENTED AND RESPECTED THIS SMALL PART OF MY TESTIMONY. FOR SOMETIMES PEOPLE MISUNDERSTAND A D JUDGE, BEFORE THEY TAKE THE CHANCE TO FULLY UNDERSTAND THE PURPOSE OF ONE’S LIFE. GOD BLESS EVERYONE, AND MAY EVERYONE BE WILLING TO LOVE AND RESPECT ONE ANOTHER.

  • LET US NOT TURN BACK NOW, AFTER WE THAN ENDURED MUCH AFFLICTION. BUT NEVERTHELESS, LET US GIRD UP OUR MINDS AND PREPARED TO BE PERSISTENT, ACCEPTING THE CHALLENGES, AND PRESS FORWARD TO EXPERIENCE THE VICTORY AND GLORY ESTABLIDHED BY OF OUR GOD AND FATHER. GOD BLESS EACH AND EVERYONE.

  • I, THE CHRISTIAN WARRIOR IS NOT GOING TO LET THE ADVERSARIES OF THE FAITH THAT HAS BEEN INSTILLED IN ME. FOR IT DOESN’T MATTER HOW MUCH PERSECUTION AND VEXATION I MAY EXPERIENCE. I DON’T FEEL THE NEED TO TURN BACK, ASTHOUGH BEING BLESSED BY MY HEAVENLY FATHER ISN’T WORTH THE PAINS AND SORROWS THAT MIGHT BE HIS WILL. MAY GOD OUR FATHER HAVE MERCY ON MY SOUL, IN THE NAME OF YESHUA HA’ MASHIYACH, AMEN.

  • SHOULD I GIVE UP IN THE THINGS THAT ETERNAL, NO. SHOULD I RENOUNCE THINGS THE TRUTHS THAT INSPIRED ME, NEVER. SO LIKEWISE, LET IT NOT BE SAID, THAT WE AS A COMMUNITY, CITY, OR STATE HAS DONE ANY OF THE ABOVE. GOD BLESS EVERYONE DREAMER, AND EVERYONE THAT HAS THE FAITH THAT CAN MOVE MOUNTAINS. “KEEP IN PRAYER SAINTS.”

  • Amanda says:

    Thank you SO MUCH for posting this, I’ve always wondered what his story was, he is always there and never asks anyone for anything!

  • 💗THE CHRISTIAN WARRIOR💕IS NOT ONE, THAT BELIEVES THAT HYPOCRISY IS APPEALING. SO LET ME BE THE ONE THAT SAYS IT FIRST AND BOLDLY. WASHINGTON D.C. IS NOT THE PLACE FOR FALSENESS, BUT A PLACE WHERE TRUE AND SINCERE HEROICS MUST BE A TRUE REALITY. GOD BLESS EVERYONE THAT TAKES THESE FEW WORDS DEAD SERIOUS.

  • I WANT TO THANK ALL OF YOU WHO TOOK THE TIME TO COMMENT. AND MAY EACH AND EVERY ONE OF BE BLESSED FOREVER.

  • IF OTHERS DOESN’T FIND WHAT WE BELIEVE TO BE IMPORTANT,THAT SHOULDN’T DISCOURAGE US. IF WE ARE THE ANSWERS TO THE PRAYERS OF THOSE WHO HAS PRAYED AND HOPED FOR A GREATER OR BETTER WORLD. BECAUSE WE HAVE A PASSIONATE-FIRE IN US THAT’S COMPELLING US TO PERFORM ALL THE THINGS THAT SHALL ALLOW OUR WORLD TO BE PERFECTED. MAY GOD HAVE MERCY ON MY SOUL, AND MAY GOD BLESS EVERYONE TO PERFORM WHAT IS SUFFICIENT AND A BLESSING GLOBALLY, AMEN.

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