Once a month, N Street Village staff gathers over the lunch hour for a time that is now termed “Chat & Chew.” Each month a different staff person hosts a topic. Topics have ranged from learning about countries of heritage, self-care tips, chair yoga, and sharing celebrity gossip to name a few. Associate Director of Programs, Nancy Nerad, helped to establish this monthly gathering, “The individual who is hosting can choose a formal presentation, lighthearted trivia, or something more serious. Chat & Chew allows staff to provide support to each other – and the support we offer and receive is a gift, and allows us to be our best selves in our work at N Street Village.”
In September, Case Manager Bianca Ward chose to share her motherland, Jamaica, serving delicious Jamaican fare (patties and plantains) and sharing the history of Jamaica. “Jamaica, my culture, my heritage means a lot to me. I think it’s important for my coworkers to learn a little more about me outside of my job description,” Bianca said after hosting the lunch.
This month, Director of Development, Stuart Allen, hosted a recipe swap. Staff shared their favorite recipes and for some-the stories that went with the recipes. The best part – the recipes shared at Chat & Chew will be compiled and created into a cookbook for N Street Village staff and some of the recipes may be shared in a cookbook currently being created by and for clients at N Street Village.
Please enjoy the photos from past Chat & Chew lunches.
Walk with N Street Village (in person or virtually) – This year, you can walk with us on the National Mall on November 19th or you can register for $35 as a “virtual walker” and count towards our walker goal without attending the Walkathon! Sign up your friends and family at the same time — just enter each name and click “register another walker” before making final payment. Join our Team!
By joining N Street Village’s team, you will provide nearly 900 homeless and extremely low-income women with access to our award-winning housing, employment, mental health, and addiction recovery programs this year.
Meet N Street Village Case Management Team Leader, Ashley Silva. Ashley has been working at N Street Village since April 2009. As Case Management Team Leader, Ashley works with her clients while coordinating N Street Village intakes and processes for welcoming newcomers to the N Street Village community. Ashley took a few minutes out of her very busy day to share a bit about herself and her work with N Street Village friends and supporters.
N Street Village (NSV): Tell us a bit about yourself.
AS: I come from a large family in Michigan where I was born and raised. Family is very important to me; I have four sisters, four brothers, and the two best parents a person could ask for. I graduated with my Master’s Degree in Social Work from the University of Michigan in 2008 where I focused on Interpersonal Practice in Mental Health. I currently hold an LGSW and I’m working toward obtaining my LICSW early fall 2012.
NSV: What brought you to N Street Village?
AS: N Street Village is the only place I applied to in D.C. and it turns out, it was the only place for me. When I was in school one of my classmates kept talking about a fantastic agency she used to volunteer at so when I came across the opening at N Street Village, I already knew it was a place I could proudly stand behind. As soon as I came here for my interview, I felt like I was right at home so I decided to make the transition from Michigan, where I lived my whole life, to D.C.
NSV: What was your first impression of N Street Village?
AS: When I came for my interview I passed by N Street Village several times; it was hard for me to imagine such a beautiful community could be the right place. No other social service agency I’ve been to compares. When I first walked through the courtyard and entered Bethany, I felt surrounded by joy and love. I felt at home right from the beginning.
NSV: What has surprised you most about working at N Street Village?
AS: Even when women in the community have transitioned on, they still come back to N Street Village for years to show their support for the community.
NSV: What do you find most challenging about working as a case manager?
AS: The most challenging aspect of working as a case manager is having limited time and resources. There are so many women ready to make a change in their lives and there aren’t enough places like N Street Village; we have 92 beds and there are always more women than we can serve.
NSV: What do you wish other people knew about clients you work with?
AS: I wish everyone could understand that the women we serve are more like us than not; any of us could experience an unexpected setback that could lead to homelessness.
NSV: What is it that N Street Village is doing to make an impact?
AS: N Street Village is giving women a safe place to eat a meal; lay their heads down; work toward their goals; and build positive relationships.
NSV: If you weren’t working as a case manager-what would you be doing instead?
AS: It’s hard to imagine doing something else, but I would love to do something in the sciences like archaeology. Or if I were really lucky I’d certainly enjoy being a food critic!
NSV: What would you tell someone who is thinking about supporting N Street Village?
AS: I would tell them if you care about helping women, then N Street Village is the best place to start! We offer wrap-around services to more than half the homeless women in D.C. It doesn’t take a large donation to make a difference; just $25 can feed 20 women in our Bethany Women’s Center.
1333 N Street, NW
Washington, DC 20005
T (202) 939-2076
F (202) 939-1380
CFC #90946 & United Way #8281