The dictionary defines celebrity as “one who is in a state to be celebrated.” N Street Village has been gifted with a multitude of celebrities over the years.
Take Dana, for example. She left prison nine months ago and made the courageous choice to live in our Recovery Housing. Now – for the first time in over a decade – she is no longer living on the street and has been clean almost a year. And then there is Carlita, who takes two buses to volunteer and teach classes at the Village every week after she put her life back together at N Street Village ten years ago. Or take Karen, a resident chosen by her peers to be an N Street Village Gala Honoree, who learned that her housing voucher has finally come through this week.
And, of course, there is Oprah Winfrey, Andra Day, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser, Richard Gere, Jennifer Holiday, the Dalai Lama – just to name a few. All of whom chose to support our mission because they agree that Dana, Karen, and Carlita are equally real celebrities – women whose hard work and personal triumphs are “in a state to be celebrated.”
Over the years, N Street Village has welcomed thousands of women. We see their pain and struggle, but also their grit and perseverance. I am especially moved to see many of these women return to work or volunteer here, adding their experience to the foundation on which our newest members will stand.
This is critical, as at least one new woman arrives at our front door every day. As much as we wish this were not the case – the need for our mission remains urgent. In January, the annual Point-in Time Count gave us a snapshot of homelessness in D.C.:
- Progress was made in reducing family homelessness with a nearly 21% decline.
- The number of homeless individuals increased by over 5%.
- Of those individuals, 650 (about one quarter) were women, most over age 45.
- More than half have experienced repeated episodes of homelessness, and the great majority are coping with substance abuse, mental health disorders, trauma, chronic health problems, or some combination thereof.
Here’s the good news: together we have created a Village that is both compassionate and effective in addressing the needs of women just like those 650 who were counted that night.
Over the past eight years, with your support and the leadership of our Board, the generosity of our investors, and strong partnerships with government and others, we have made significant increases in the reach and impact of our mission. We have expanded our wrap-around programs for health, mental health, substance abuse, HIV/AIDS, re-entry from corrections, and trauma. We have tripled our housing capacity.
And we completed a Capital Campaign which enlarged our supportive services, reinforced our commitment to integrated neighborhoods, and strengthened our financial position and sustainability.
We know there is hope for every woman who arrives and we stand ready to celebrate her when the time comes. We are grateful to you for continuing to hold open the door of hospitality and hope for the past forty-five years.
Thank you for making this possible. Today, and every day, we celebrate you.
Chief Executive Officer
N Street Village