Community Reflection – Words of Gratitude

As the Thanksgiving holiday approaches, it seems like a perfect time to reflect on what individuals in our community are grateful for.  Here are some of the responses we received.  Let us know what you are thankful for this holiday season on our Facebook page or on Twitter using #NSVthanks.

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“This Thanksgiving, I am grateful for change.  Since I have been at N Street Village, a lot of changes have been made in my life.  I was reintroduced to recovery and on November 16th I celebrated being one year clean.  With change came a new positive attitude and outlook on life.  Setting goals – short, medium, and long-term – for myself; knowing that I don’t have to be perfect but that I must be accountable for my actions. I have learned that with change comes patience, love, and tolerance.  I am no longer embarrassed about being in a shelter.  This is a temporary phase in my life, a vacation for my mind, body, and spirit to recover so that I may be able to handle life’s pressures out in the world.  I am thankful for the staff at N Street Village.  I am still smiling and cannot believe all that I have done.”
                                                                                    LaJuana Clark, N Street Village resident

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“I am grateful for people who ask you how you are and really mean it.”
                                              Kristyn Carrillo, Associate Director for Residential Programs

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“I am grateful for all the love here at N Street Village.  I am also grateful for the surgeries that I have had.  I am grateful for moving into my own place. Thank you to everyone who has made these opportunities possible.”
                                                                                                             N Street Village client

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“Even when my heart is weak and weary, there is always someone around to let me know it’s going to be alright. And for that I am truly grateful.”
                                                                 Evelyn Green,  Bethany Women’s Center Manager

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“I am grateful for the wonderful mix of foundations that support us. We have a combination of new and well-seasoned relationships, public and private, large and small organizations that choose to invest in our programs and services. I’m especially thankful for the groups that supported us through our recent year of expansion.”
                                                  Tim Fretz, Manager of Foundation and Government Giving

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“I am grateful to wake up every morning knowing that I have another chance to change, correct, enhance, re-direct, pass on, receive, accept, move on, let go, give, be blessed, and live as happy as possible.”
                                                                                                            N Street Village client

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“Experiencing hope and optimism every day in the N Street Village community makes me feel grateful. ”
                                                                                          Ann McCreedy, Director of Programs

Village Inspiration

Sign created by N Street Village Program Assistant Tanya Kahn; displayed in Bethany Women’s Center.

Staff Spotlight – Bianca Ward

Meet N Street Village Clinical Care Specialist Bianca Ward.  Bianca began working at N Street Village two and a half years ago.  As a Clinical Care Specialist, Bianca offers ongoing support to her clients while also coordinating N Street Village intakes and processes for welcoming newcomers to the community. Originally from Chicago, Bianca has lived in Maryland for the past 10 years and is currently working on getting her masters in community counseling.  Let’s get to know Bianca:

NSV: What has surprised you most about working at N Street Village?
BW: The thing that surprised me the most about N Street Village was the warmth that you feel as soon as you walk into the door. I think some would expect to see a lot of sad or melancholy faces on our clients when they walk into our shelter or in our day program but I’m always greeted with a warm smile. There’s an amazing feeling of peace and hope at the Village.

NSV: What do you find most challenging about working at N Street Village?
BW: There are many times when I just feel helpless because of the lack of resources that may be available to my clients. Often times if you don’t have a history of substance abuse, mental illness, or disability it can be a challenge to get housing or services. Women who are just having a hard time finding employment or who do not make enough money to afford independent housing have fewer options.

NSV: What do you wish other people knew about N Street Village?
BW: I wish people knew just how AMAZING our clients are! There is so much talent, resilience and positive energy in the women we serve that I wish we could package and sell it.

NSV: What’s one lesson you learned from your experience at N Street Village?
BW: I have learned just how easy it can be to become homeless. A loss of employment, a divorce, or a medical condition can change someone’s life in a matter of days. I don’t think many people really know just how easy it can be to lose everything.

NSV: What inspires you to continue with the work you do every day?
BW: I love being a witness to someone’s growth. Every day I am able to see these women transform and evolve into people who they have always wanted to be.

NSV: Describe working at N Street Village in 3 words or less.
BW: Support. Determination. Paperwork *smile*.

You Did It!

A few weeks back, SchrElvis promised a victory dance if we reached our 4,000 walker goal.  Today we are excited to share that with your support, over 4,000 walkers joined N Street Village this year, in-person and virtually, guaranteeing that our community will receive an additional $50,000 from Fannie Mae!  You helped raise over $225,000, which exceeds our goal and ensures that we continue to provide award-winning programs for over 60% of our city’s homeless women.

Thank you for participating in all of our efforts by walking (in-person or virtually) with us on October 6th, hosting community walks, sponsoring walkers, spreading the word through your social networks, and recruiting your co-workers, friends, and family!

This dance is for YOU!

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vEDq-wo2Nes]

 

A New Look | Your Help the Homeless T-Shirt

By Hilary Tollefson – Hilary is an intern at N Street Village this fall through The Washington Center internship program. She attends Hanover College in Indiana and is majoring in International Studies and is a Business Scholar.  Hilary was born and raised in Minnesota and enjoys starting off her mornings with a strong cup of coffee. Hilary encourages you to sign up for N Street Village’s Close the Gap Virtual Walk to help N Street Village reach 4,000 walkers to receive $50,000 from Fannie Mae – less than 100 walkers to goal!

Wondering what to do with your XL Help the Homeless t-shirt from this year’s Community Walk?  Check out this easy step-by-step process that will turn your over sized t-shirt into a fashionable tank top in just 6 easy steps.

Step 1:  Lay out your t-shirt (over-sized works best) and gather your supplies. You will need scissors and a pen or marker.

Step 2:  Trace the lines of where you plan to cut your t-shirt.  You will be cutting off both sleeves, the collar, and the waist hem.
Step 3:  Cut!  First, cut the sleeves off. Next, cut off the collar. Lastly, cut off a strip at the waist hem.  Save the hem trimmings!  It will be used to tie the back of your tank top.
Step 4:  Layout your freshly cut t-shirt and polish up the areas you just trimmed.  Consider making a deep v neck cut at the collar.  You will then reuse the trimmings to tie the back of your new tank top.
Step 5: Tie a single knot or a knot running up and down the back of the shirt.  Your choice!
Step 6:  Wear your new Help the Homeless tank and start stepping!
This is one of the many ways to where your Help the Homeless T-shirt.
How will you wear yours?

Celebrity Walker?

Celebrate with N Street Village at our Community Walk on October 6th and you could meet Village celebrity and Queen of Walk and Roll – SchrElvis!

What? Haven’t heard of SchrElvis?  Check out what happens when SchrElvis brings her microphone to N Street Village.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nf-ZPPvXTzU]

This isn’t the last you’ll hear of SchrElvis.  Follow SchrElvis on Twitter.

Staff Spotlight – Tim Fretz

 

This month we would like to introduce you to N Street Village staff member Tim Fretz. Tim grew up in southern Ontario in Canada and went to University of Guelph, Ontario.  He worked in international development in Bangladesh and Ethiopia before coming to D.C. in 1990. Tim joined N Street Village as the Manager of Foundation and Government Giving in October last year, as a part of the merger with Miriam’s House, where he had worked since 1998. Let’s get to know Tim:

NSV: What do you do on a daily basis at N Street Village?
TF: I’m responsible for foundation and government grants, so a lot of reading, writing, and arithmetic. I have a rolling calendar of applications and reports to foundations. The government grants have monthly invoices to be assembled. I work a lot with program staff and the finance department, as well as the rest of the team in the development department.

NSV: What have been some of the most obvious changes you have witnessed since Miriam’s House and N Street Village merged together?
TF: Seeing Miriam’s House residents around the N Street Village flagship building as they come in for the programs and services. N Street Village is gaining more recognition in the world of AIDS service organizations.  One of the regular volunteer groups at N Street Village included working in the Miriam’s House garden as part of their service day. And…I’m not doing building maintenance anymore.

NSV: How did you manage to go through the merger process – shift roles, join a new team, move to a new work place – and stay so positive? What is the secret?
TF: It makes a difference to believe in the mission and vision. The journey is as important as the destination. My life has been full of challenging times, and I’ve learned lots along the way; I try to use that experience in whatever the next challenge is.

NSV: What story about a woman we have served has stuck with you most?
TF: The stories in the dramatic presentation that our women did at The Kennedy Center were amazing, as was the entire performance. It was an intense reminder of the healing power of community, an affirmation of who we are and why we do what we do

NSV: What was your greatest accomplishment of the past year?
TF: I feel the merger was a huge accomplishment (and a huge amount of work). It was successfully completed, is a major improvement for the residents of Miriam’s House, and is good news for N Street Village.

NSV: What’s one lesson you learned in your [time] at N Street Village?
TF: It doesn’t matter how big or small the organization, communication is central.

NSV: Describe working at N Street Village in 3 words or less.
TF: Challenging. Collegial. Community.

 

Photo(s) of the Week

 

A few weeks ago, we launched the “Why I Walk” campaign to raise awareness about our October 6th Help the Homeless Community Walk.  The campaign captures the portraits of our supporters and their reasons for walking to end homelessness.

“We wanted to reinterpret cardboard signs so that they are no longer synonymous with transiency and homelessness.  Our signs display messages of power, hope, and community.”
                – Naomi Ho, Development Associate and Community Walk Coordinator

The signs were then used in a pop-up campaign in front of Luther Place Memorial Church off of Thomas Circle to build a house that represents what community can do when working together. Enjoy photos from the pop-campaign and please join us by signing up to walk in-person or virtually on October 6th to raise critical funds for our lifesaving programs.

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One Month Until…

One Month until N Street Village’s October 6th Help the Homeless Community Walk!

We have almost 1,500 walkers already — but need 4,000 walkers to receive an extra $50,000 from Fannie Mae. We need your support! If you haven’t already – please join our team and invite your friends too. Register to walk (in-person or virtually) and be eligible to win a $50 gift card to Teak Wood Thai and Sushi Bar.* 

If supporting 1,000 homeless women and free sushi isn’t motivation enough – watch as longtime Help the Homeless walker and N Street Village Grants Manager, Tim Fretz, offers yet another great reason to walk with N Street Village this year.

We did it last year.  Let’s do it again.  Join our team today!

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2pxgLZONMi8?list=UUVAqEiHYN6QiiIvM9WoEAmA&hl=en_US]

*Contest open until September 12th, winner will be notified by email within 1 week of contest’s close. Join N Street Village’s Team to enter!

Photo of the Week

N Street Village staff “hard at work” posing for a photo at this year’s staff appreciation event.  Photographed from left to right: Donna Jackson (Evaluation and Office Manager), Tracy Cecil (Director of Operations), and Sharon Hart (Community Organizer).  Photo by Becky Harlan.