Employment & Income

Three in five women arrive at N Street Village with no income. Our goal is to meet her where she is and provide opportunities for income and employment growth. We also recognize the importance of community in the healing and recovery process, and we promote peer mentorship and peer leadership programs that help women feel connected and empowered.

Launched in 2019 to support women in their goals related to education, income and/or employment, the Marj and Mak Vocational Center (MMVC) provides women with access to job seeking, job training, education and financial capability building services.

Carol’s Story: Finding Hope and Healing

I grew up in the D.C. area. My parents had good jobs with the government, and I attended a private Catholic school from kindergarten through my senior year. When I was sixteen, I met a boy at a concert. I got pregnant and had my first child at 19. We got married, and had five more kids.

But despite the joy of my children, I endured three decades of violent abuse from my husband until I couldn’t take it anymore. I finally got the courage to leave him in 2007 and never looked back.

I decided to go to school and got a degree in criminal justice. I went on to work for the TSA for 13 years, but had to leave after I injured my back on the job.

The TSA paid me a year of severance – which was a blessing at first. But I soon found myself with nothing to do, still in pain, and alone with the traumatic memories from my marriage. I started using drugs as a way to escape, but then I couldn’t stop. My life spiraled faster than I could have imagined. I lost my apartment, then my car. My relationship with my family – who I had always been close with – started to really suffer. I began sleeping on whatever couch I could find until even my friends got tired of me. I don’t blame them — honestly, by that time, I was tired of myself too.

I was hopeless, homeless, and I couldn’t ignore anymore that I truly needed help. I checked myself into treatment, and that’s when I found out about N Street Village.

Going into the Village’s Recovery Program, I wasn’t sure what to expect. What I found was a sisterhood. As a survivor of domestic violence, it has been especially helpful to be surrounded by women who can understand what I’ve been through. These friendships keep me accountable as I learn about self-discipline, self-compassion, and how to live a life without drugs.

I’ve also been able to work with the Village’s MARJ & MAK Vocational Center. They have helped me apply for disability benefits, improve my credit score (so that I can get housing in the future!), and get a job as a pharmaceutical tech at a local drugstore.

I am excited for the future. It’s like I am starting new – my kids are grown, and I finally have what it takes to work on myself. My parents are proud of me and my children are proud of me. And I know I’ll always have the support of my Village sisters too.