From frontline stories to top ways to get involved, check out what’s been happening in and around the Village this spring.
Dear Village Family,
The past few months have impacted N Street Village in ways we could have never expected. From the pain and difficulty to the generosity and heroics, I am inspired daily by the resilience and dedication of our entire Village family – each of you.
We continue to prioritize the health and safety of the women we serve and our frontline staff as the COVID-19 pandemic unfolds – and hopefully, recedes. We are working closely with our government partners and peer providers to have a coordinated response and minimize the impact of the crisis on those experiencing homelessness and the staff working to keep our programs open. You have our commitment to keeping you informed and engaged as we make decisions.
Looking at the long road ahead of us, we are planning for the inevitable increase in need for our services. While we are on strong footing to weather this immediate shock, thanks to the generosity of our community, our strategy is focused on achieving long-term sustainability which assures that our doors remain open for those in need today and in the future.
We see the leading indicators here in DC of food insecurity and rent shortfalls and know that this crisis will further imperil those who were already on the margins. For those of us involved in anti-poverty work our (collective) pre-existing condition of racial injustice is not news. Black and Brown residents of our city were already grossly underrepresented on all relative metrics of economic and social vulnerability, from housing insecurity to healthcare access. This virus will find a new way to both target and aggravate our inequities. We are watching this unfold before our eyes as our Black and Brown neighbors begin the bear the brunt of this crisis far more heavily than their white counterparts.
Here’s my case for hope:
- This crisis offers a glaring x-ray of our fractured socio-economic structures. All of us concerned with racial and economic justice have an opportunity, if not an obligation, to use all the civic powers at our disposal to write, vote, teach, run for office, testify, etc. and use this moment to raise (MORE) awareness.
- It will not be enough to simply “re-build” from this crisis, we need to re-engineer. We know everything we need to know about effective anti-poverty programs – this isn’t a knowledge deficit but rather an opportunity to re-examine how we were operating before and explore what we can do better. This is our chance to improve efficiency, reduce barriers and lead together with those we serve.
- We can’t afford not to. Hope is an essential ingredient in fueling our message and creating change.
You are the community who has stood with the women of the Village since our founding almost fifty years ago.Thank you for your generosity, both in years past and present. We know that we can count on your continued investments as we build a sustainable future to meet the immediate and downstream effects of the crisis.
Here at the Village, we are rich in community. You are part of that wealth alongside all of the women whom we serve. I am not only grateful – I am relieved. Because going forward, we will need each other in new ways – some of which are yet unknown. It will take a Village and a unique blend of resilience and generosity.
In gratitude and hope,
Chief Executive Officer
Monday Morning, June 1, 2020. This is a morning when I would rather not write anything. This is a moment when words are grossly inadequate to the task. This is the most mournful Monday in America that I can remember.
I was born in the 1960’s. Racial and social unrest were tearing through the country. We were at war. Our government was found to be corrupt, and our country was divided. Young people were protesting, mothers were weeping, our foundational ideals were quaking.
Written on the heart of that decade is also the founding of N Street Village. The 14th Street corridor burned after the killing of Dr. King. The mentally disabled were newly homeless and a drug epidemic was emerging. A new poverty was ravaging us and its claws were scratching a line right down the racial diamond of our city.
Have I just told you about history or have I told you about past this weekend?
Suffice to say, this moment is historic.
I am a white leader of an organization that serves mostly Black women. That’s because we serve people in poverty – which greatly disadvantages Black women. That’s also because of white privilege – which has greatly advantaged me.
So my job now is to use that advantage on behalf of others. At this very moment white allies and white leaders are needed to come forward – from everywhere. If I were Glinda the Good Witch I’d wave that damn wand wildly and hope that ALL white allies – rookie or regular – come running.
However, the only wand I have now is a keyboard – and what words are at all sufficient? A “description of our disgust at what we’ve seen?” A “decry of the entire history of white on Black violence”? A “lament that some of us thought lynching was history until we saw for ourselves what happened to Rodney King?”
No, today, my words fail.
I can only think of a fable: I had a yoga teacher once who – when having us bend forward – would say “surrender your head to your heart.” In our hearts we do not need words. We need only the willingness to surrender to feelings of grief and rage and fear on behalf of our Black and Brown neighbors and friends, and those Black and Brown neighbors and friends yet unmet.
Especially to those of us who are white, may we surrender. May we surrender our thinking heads to our feeling hearts. May we let ourselves be moved to anger and despair. And then be moved again. Then may we be changed. Then may we act. Then may we be moved again, changed again, and act – again.
We are working every day to create and maintain an anti-racist community at N Street Village. Join us – find out more about what we are doing at our Advocacy Page at www.nstreetvillage.org.
This year, all Auction items are available for bidding online! You can access the Silent Auction using your computer or mobile device. If you purchased individual tickets through our auction website, you have already received a text message with a link to your personal bidding account.
Please do not register for a new account to begin bidding; rather, you should click through that personal bidding link to access your account without the need for any login or password. As your bidding link is connected to your credit card on file, please only share it with individuals who are authorized to bid on your behalf (such as your spouse).
How to Register
If you are not attending the Gala and/or did not purchase tickets through our auction website, you can register by clicking here to visit our auction website and then choose “Sign In” in the top right corner of the page. (Choose “Sign in with email” and follow the instructions on screen.)
You will be asked to place a credit card on file to complete your registration, but nothing will be charged unless you are a winning bidder or make a donation. Once you have completed your registration, you will receive a text message with a link to your personal bidding account. Use that link throughout the auction to access your account without a login or password!
How to Bid
Once you have accessed your account, browse by category or item name to begin bidding. On each item, you will see various options”
- Bid: Hitting “Bid” will allow you to automatically enter the next pre-established bidding increment.
- Set Maximum Bid: Before confirming your bid on an item, the system will allow you to manually enter any amount greater than the next bid or set a maximum bid. As others bid on this item, the system will automatically increase your bid, up to your maximum bid limit.
- Watch: Clicking “Watch” will put this item in your “Activity” section, accessible by clicking the person icon in the top right corner of the page, for easy access.
As you enter a winning bid or are outbid, you will receive a text message alerting you of your status. You will be notified at the end of the Silent Auction if you are a winning bidder!
All Silent Auction items will be available for bidding until the silent auction closes the evening of Tuesday, March 10. Please contact Makenzie Delmotte at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
With the complex intersections of age, mental health, economics, and deep societal inequities, even deeply affordable housing is out of reach for many Village clients.
That is why N Street Village provides Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH), which combines affordable housing with supportive services that provide clients with the tools to cope with mental health, addiction, trauma, physical health problems and other issues they might be experiencing.
According to the National Alliance to End Homelessness, PSH reduces the usage of publicly funded crisis services (like jails, hospitalizations, and emergency departments), and increases stability and well-being.
N Street Village is currently the largest provider of PSH for women in D.C., offering over 140 units combined at the Flagship location, Erna’s House, Miriam’s House and Phyllis Wheatley YWCA.
*Source: 2015 National Alliance to End Homelessness Report on Permanent Supportive Housing
In keeping with my tradition, I wanted to write you this reflection today as we celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King. Here at N Street Village a vital part of our mission and our commitment is to be engaged in the cause of furthering social justice.
Every day we are witness to the racial injustice which persists in America today. I believe that we are also called to hold fast to the dream of true equality and liberation toward which Dr. King pointed and to discern our individual roles in its pursuit.
I think often about my responsibility as a white leader and what it means to be an ally in the struggle for racial justice – particularly in a time of national crisis when hatred and bigotry has been invited out of the shadows and has become so visible and vulgar on “main street.”
We are a long way from where so many of us would like to be – our work is far from over. And those of us born in the 60’s or before know that we are starting to pass the torch to a younger generation of people in hopes that you will go farther and longer than we have been able.
This year I want to share with you three things: a short movie (15 minutes), a medium length listen (30 minutes), and a quick read (5 minutes). These are things which have affected me over this past year, and I hope you will find interest, learning and inspiration from them. They all revolve in some way around the current and historical issues of segregation, the disenfranchisement of the Black community, and DC’s particular racial equity challenges related to affordable housing and homelessness.
- Segregated by Design: This short film is narrated by Richard Rothstein, author of The Color of Law and it borrows from his work. It is a vivid and clear (and quick) education about the ways in which African Americans have deliberately segregated by legal (“de jure”) means, denied the wealth accumulation enjoyed by the white community, and ultimately fated to impoverished communities and an intergenerational cycle of poverty.
- Ta-Nehisi Coates Interview: You may be familiar with Coates, who became well-known after publishing articles in The Atlantic and elsewhere – one of which was called The Case for Reparations. In that article, Coates argues that during slavery and post-slavery, white wealth accumulation in America was created ‘on the backs of Black labor which was stolen.’
- Racial Equity preface to Homeward DC 2.0: As you probably know, the Interagency Council on Homelessness will be releasing our second iteration of our city-wide plan to address homelessness in two months (at the March 10th Full Council meeting, open to the public: 2pm @ 441 4th Street (One Judiciary Square)). Last summer I co-chaired a sub-committee on Racial Equity with Robert Warren from the People for Fairness Coalition. Our assignment was to discuss how the topic of racial equity should be embedded into Homeward DC 2.0. There had been no explicit mention of racial equity in our 1.0 version and we sought to correct this.
In gratitude for all of your good work, and wishing us all a year ahead with more justice, more peace,
N Street Village CEO
You did it! We are excited to share this record-setting three year partnership total thanks to Washington Post readers, staff, and Village friends. Thank you to all who have followed along on this journey and shared in the stories of hope and healing!
Columnist John Kelly wrote nearly 30 stories featuring clients and alumna like Cheryl (pictured), who showcased the Village’s programs, impact, and history.
2017 Washington Post Helping Hand articles:
- The holiday giving season starts with The Washington Post Helping Hand
- From life on the streets of Washington to a home with N Street Village
- N Street Village specializes in making connections — and changing lives
- Every afternoon in Chinatown, women line up outside Patricia Handy Place
- ‘I was helpless, homeless and hopeless,’ says an N Street Village success story
- Christmas can be rough on the poor and the homeless. These groups help.
- Three women from N Street Village’s homeless shelter share their stories
- Being homeless is bad enough. Imagine being sick, too. N Street Village helps.
- A strong finish for The Washington Post Helping Hand: We smashed past our goal
2018 Washington Post Helping Hand articles:
- At N Street Village’s Green House, women in recovery are poised for growth
- ‘Being homeless is like being in quicksand.’ N Street Village is a lifeline.
- N Street Village offers a warm coat for a cold winter — and so much more
- When an artist lost her home — and entire portfolio — N Street Village helped
- ‘Being homeless is like a shock to the system.’ N Street Village soothes the pain.
- Food for the body and food for the soul at N Street Village’s day center
- The Washington Post Helping Hand raises record $816k for beneficiaries Bright Beginnings, N Street Village and So Others Might Eat
2019 Washington Post Helping Hand articles:
- Watch them blossom: At N Street Village, homeless women create floral art.
- Women living with HIV find a welcome home at Miriam’s House.
- In the intimidating quest for Social Security benefits, N Street Village is there.
- At N Street’s Dog Time, the women are homeless. The dogs don’t know that.
- Before getting to the ‘how’ of recovery, addicts must get to the ‘why’ of addiction
- A woman named Jewel shines again: ‘N Street Village really helped save my life’
- You did it! Readers donate a record-setting amount to Post Helping Hand charities
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