Volunteer Spotlight: Derrick Thornton

This month, get to know N Street Village Volunteer Derrick Thornton. Derrick is a middle school computer science teacher at the Mattawoman Middle School in Waldorf MD. He has been volunteering with the community since September 2018. Derrick is a very special member of the community who supports our events, including our annual Gala, Family and Friends Day, and Christmas in July. Let’s get to know Derrick

 

Where are you from originally and how long have you lived in the DC area? 

I was born in Newport News, Virginia. As the son of an Army man, I moved around quite a bit growing up but consider Colorado home.

 

What is your favorite D.C. area restaurant?

Pappe when I want to sit down, Cava when I want something fast.

 

On a Saturday evening, you will find me…

Usually doing something with my wife. Always depends on what is going on in the city.

 

What is the last movie you watched (and enjoyed)?

Fear Street Trilogy

 

What is your favorite D.C. landmark? 

The Lincoln Memorial, especially the panoramic view from the back of the monument with a view of northern Virginia, and the skyline of the Washington Monument and Capitol Building are amazing at night.

 

Describe N Street Village in 3 words or less.

Community Of Caring

 

What makes N Street Village unique to you?

The Village is a place that truly looks out for its clients in any way they can. They will go beyond the call of duty to make sure residents and clients get what they need and deserve – treating them as people despite how society might view them.

Community Builder Spotlight | Barbara Mitchell

While we slowly welcome volunteers back to the Village, we are spotlighting some of our incredible community members that give time, talent, and treasure to N Street Village. Meet long-time Ambassadors Council member and Community Builder, Barbara Mitchell.

Q. How did you get involved with N Street Village?
A. A fellow Ambassadors Council member invited me to an N Street Village reception, and shortly after I agreed to be an Ambassador Council member for the Village.  I am a community builder by nature and a social worker by profession, so it did not take much convincing for me to begin volunteering 5 years ago and here I still am now.

Q. Can you share your favorite N Street Village memory?
A. N Street Village is such a great organization, and it warms my heart when I reflect on the many conversations that I have had with some of the ladies at the Village. Whether at a resident dinner, craft event, or an employment preparation workshop, the exchanges have been nothing short of delightful.

Q. What inspired you to become a recurring donor in addition to volunteering your time with N Street Village?
A. I believe that I am on this earth to serve.  The stories that women share with me about how they are not just surviving but thriving at N Street Village tugs at my heartstrings. In the past, I have researched an organization to support each year, but once I began volunteering at N Street Village and working side by side with some of the wonderful people that I refer to as my peers, I knew my research was over.  Other activities that I have participated in include Ambassadors Book Club, preparing snack bags for the day residents, and the Annual Shero Walk.

 

What’s Happening at the Village | Summer 2021

In this edition of the Village View find an interview with our Director of Permanent Housing Programs, read a parting letter from former CEO Schroeder Stribling, enjoy photos from Friends & Family Day, and save the date for Celebrate Logan this Fall!

CEO Schroeder Stribling Takes New Position

Message from the Board of Directors: 

Dear Members of the N Street Village Community,

On behalf of the N Street Village Board, we want to share big news—our admired and much loved Schroeder Stribling has accepted a new position as President and CEO of Mental Health America, a national mental health nonprofit located in the DMV. She will leave N Street Village at the end of this month as our fiscal year comes to a close. And, most importantly, she will always be a part of the N Street Village family.

Our Board’s Executive Committee has known about this possible change for a few months, giving us time to start actively looking for N Street Village’s new leader. We expect the change in leadership to be completed by this Fall. In the meantime, Stuart Allen, Chief Development Officer, and Kenyatta Brunson, Chief Program Officer, will continue to lead the staff and the Village during this period.

Please keep the Village and Schroeder in your thoughts as we undergo these changes—all born of success. We are in a position of strength and will make sure, with your help, that we keep it that way.

We want this to be a seamless change for Village clients, our most important constituents.

Thank you for being an important part of N Street Village. We look forward to keeping you informed and seeing you in person soon!

With gratitude,

Peter Shields and Ruth Sorenson
Board Chair and Vice-Chair


Message from CEO Schroeder Stribling

Dear Village Family,

After 18 joyful years with N Street Village, I will be leaving my role as CEO at the end of this month. I have accepted a position as the new President and CEO of Mental Health America, an organization dedicated to addressing the needs of those living with mental illness and promoting the mental health of all.

As I leave the Village, I will carry with me our commitment to each woman’s unique journey of recovery and healing. I look forward to the opportunity to elevate the issues we care about at a national level with Mental Health America’s mission to promote individual mental health and social justice through advocacy, education, research, and direct services.

In my time at the Village, I have been inspired and uplifted by the thoughtfulness and generosity of your commitment to our mission. With your support, we have grown from one location to eight, and have rapidly scaled our permanent housing offerings while also activating emergency shelter programs.

None of this would have been possible without every one of you – it does, truly, take a Village. You will forever have my gratitude and admiration for your many forms of contribution and caring. I will miss this Village and all her people greatly, and I will forever be a supporter and friend to this vital mission.

With affection,

Schroeder Stribling
Chief Executive Officer

Spring Village View

In this edition of the Village View find your one-year COVID-19 impact, meet our new Client Leadership Council, and read a recap of our 2021 Virtual Gala & Auction. Click here to find these stories and more.

Volunteer of the Month | Eliza Fox

This month we want to celebrate Village volunteer, Eliza Fox. Eliza truly exemplifies what it means to be a Village champion. Her work throughout the pandemic ensured that each new resident who walked through our doors received a fluffy new towel, an activity kit, a snack, and many other countless necessities. Let’s get to know Eliza…

 

“I was born in London — my dad is British, and my mom is a native Washingtonian.  I moved to the United States when I was seven years old, and I am now a 7th grader at Westland Middle School.

This year, I had my Bat Mitzvah and chose to work with N Street Village as the service part of my Mitzvah year.

My friends and I had done a project with N Street Village in 6th grade and had visited the N Street location.  I was struck by how important its mission is and so when it came time for me to decide how I wanted to give back to my community, I picked N Street Village. I wanted to do something to help women who lived in my city.

Unfortunately, because of COVID 19, I could not volunteer in person. However, I was able to support N Street Village by organizing monthly drives to collect important items needed during the pandemic. For six months, I rallied my friends, family, and community to help with the drive and collected everything from shampoo and cleaning supplies to socks and candy.”

  • Favorite activities? I love hanging out with my friends, swimming, running, baking, and playing with my dog Archie.
  • What is the last movie you watched (and enjoyed)?  Enola Holmes
  • What do you enjoy most about volunteering with N Street Village?  I was glad I could support the women in such a stressful year.
  • Fun fact about you – I had a British accent until I was 8 years old.

Community Builder Spotlight: Michelle Martz Easley

 

While we cannot wait for the day when we can welcome volunteers back to the Village, we are spotlighting some of our incredible community members that give time, talent, and treasure to N Street Village. Meet long-time volunteer and Community Builder, Michelle Martz Easley.

How did you get involved with N Street Village?

I began volunteering at N Street Village in 2019 as a New Year’s resolution. I wanted to find a consistent volunteer opportunity that matched my values. While there are many impactful organizations in Washington, DC, N Street Village stood out to me. The Village is a place that takes a whole-hearted approach to empower homeless and low-income women to claim their highest quality of life. I believe this specific mission is why unlike my previous resolutions (i.e., lose weight, read more, declutter), volunteering became a lasting commitment.

Can you share your favorite N Street Village memory?

I found joy in volunteering by serving breakfast on Sunday mornings at the Bethany Day Center. Over coffee and cereal, I experienced the clients celebrating their and the group’s successes on their unique journeys to heal and recover. I have numerous memories of these early mornings at the Village. Each moment providing evidence that through the simple work of serving meals, I found a humbling act of love.

 

What inspired you to become a recurring donor in addition to volunteering your time with N Street Village?

In March 2020, volunteering onsite was suspended so that clients, staff, and volunteers could remain safe during the rising cases of coronavirus. While the pandemic continues, I miss those mornings serving breakfast. In this physical absence, I decided to continue supporting the Village by making monthly donations. I’ve found that even supporting the Village from afar is a rewarding experience. When it is safe to volunteer onsite again, I will be back to serve meals while continuing my recurring donations, knowing that my commitment is beyond a yearly resolution.

Media Kit – 2021 Gala

CEO Schroeder Stribling Speaks to Holy Trinity Catholic Church

On January 26, 2021, Schroeder Stribling, CEO of N Street Village, joined the Holy Trinity Catholic Church as one of their CommuniTea guest speakers. Exploring how we rebuild for justice in 2021 and beyond, Schroeder Stribling talks about social justice from a racial, economic, and social lens. Find the recording here.

 

Reflections | Message from our CEO

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dear Village Friends,

I ended this week in a meeting of Village program leaders. There were nineteen people on our Zoom screen, mostly African American women, talking about their week. The shelter staff described how they responded to white supremacists marching past the shelter yelling racial slurs and angry epithets. They ushered the women inside, turned off the news, and put movies on instead. They ate dinner as a community and remained safely inside. They recalled their determination to project calm and to stay engaged in helping others. And then one staffer shared that her son was one of the officers wounded at the Capitol on Wednesday. His leg is broken, his shoulder hurt, but he will be ok, she said. Everyone listened quietly and offered their prayers for her and for him. They talked about how they felt as their shifts ended that day and they headed home. They recounted the upwelling of anger and fear. A moment of silence followed.

And then they went back to business – there was work to be done to keep the Village going for the women who need us. At the end of the meeting, the generous chorus of caring goodbyes rang out like a long ovation.

Much is being written and said about the racist assault on our country this week and the attempt by a few to tear down the true and universal democracy we intend for all – we intend, but clearly have not yet realized. And here at the Village, we experienced that assault firsthand.

At yesterday’s meeting, the affirmation and empathy for those who directly endured the taunts of Tuesday’s rioters were abundant. One colleague noted that the staff actions were a direct rejection and discreditation of racialized hate – they demonstrated “resistance with integrity.” They kept a building full of frightened people calm. They answered the attack by turning their backs to the rioters and turning their hearts toward one another. “Only light can drive out darkness, only love can drive out hate.”

At N Street Village the core of our mission demands that we resist and reject racism and inequity in all their forms. I often bemoan our designation as a “charity”- a term which is at best incomplete and at worst paternalistic. We know that were it not for our country’s history of slavery and systemic oppression there wouldn’t be the need for N Street Village as we know it. And as my friend, Sister Simone Campbell says, “there is no charity before there is justice.” We must be justice-seekers first and foremost. We must work each day for a world where everyone – everyone, no exceptions – has what they need to live free from aggression in both its’ visible and hidden forms. A world where everyone has a safe place to live, the opportunity to thrive, help for themselves when they need it, and the soulful satisfaction of helping others as well.

Some of us would say that we are responsible not only to speak out about the current racist assault on our country but also to amend for a history’s worth of wrongs. And I am sure that all of us would say that we are responsible for everything that happens next. That is how history is made. We are accountable now to our future and we have a long road before us. As former President Obama said, “If you’re walking down the right path and you’re willing to keep walking, eventually you will make progress.”

We are making history. What we each do next together has the power to create the inclusive and equitable future we envision. No effort is too small and all of our intentions matter. Sign our pledge, talk to your neighbor, share your perspective, say a prayer. Follow the lead of the N Street Village staff at the meeting yesterday – reject and discredit racism and hate. And then get back to work and do it all over again.

That’s what we’re doing here. And we thank you – every one of you – for being on this journey with us.

Schroeder Stribling
Chief Executive Officer