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.

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.

Media Kit – 2021 Gala

Letter from our CEO

As with the rest of the country, our attention at N Street Village has been focused on the COVID-19 pandemic. Managing through this time has been extremely difficult but there are bright spots of inspiration and courage which deserve to be uplifted.

The difficulties are obvious and are most observable in the work of our frontline staff. The inspiration can be harder to perceive, but it is also most evident in the work of those same staff. As we have profiled in our “Frontline Fridays” series on social media, our staff are working with three distinct priorities: meeting the immediate and urgent needs of the women we serve, implementing critical health and safety measures through the use of PPE, social distancing and health screening, and safeguarding their own health and that of our colleagues and families. The inspiration comes from the relentless compassion and resilience with which our frontline staff approaches these priorities. We have been able to maintain the quantity, the quality, and the “heart” of our services because of their tireless efforts.

We are particularly appreciative during this time of the close collaboration that we have with our city government partners who have been speedy and effective in managing the risk of COVID-19 contagion. We have been able to do immediate contact tracing for any positive cases and adequate amounts of remote shelter and housing have been provided for Isolation, Quarantine, and Medically Vulnerable Individuals. These efforts have minimized the community spread of the virus and kept individuals safe to the best of our ability. As publicly reported and updated daily, there have been slightly over 350 cases of Coronavirus amongst persons in DC’s homeless services system and over 20 fatalities. Any illness or death grieves us but we are grateful that of the thousands of people in the homeless services system, we have thus far managed to keep these numbers as low as they are.

It is too early to know what effect the pandemic will ultimately have on human welfare and housing in the District. The eviction moratorium is still in place and will be until 60 days after the Public Health Emergency ends. As of several months ago, Brookings Institute reported that there were already 51,000 unstably housed residents in DC – 51,000 persons or households who are uncertain of their ability to maintain their rent and back-rent payments. In October, the Capital Area Food Bank projected a potential 60% increase in food insecurity due to the pandemic.

This early data reveals an obvious truth: economic and housing insecurity is on the rise and it is difficult to imagine a scenario in which we do not see an increase in homelessness over the coming year.

Here at the Village, we are doing our best to address the immediate needs at our front door while also preparing for the future: we have opened two new permanent supportive housing locations which together will house close to 60 individuals. Our Patricia Handy Place emergency shelter in downtown DC continues to keep its doors open and we have recently added a temporary shelter location that will serve up to 30 women.

As we enter a new year, we are all looking for good news, and here at the Village that is you. Without the interest, engagement, and commitment of our allies, stakeholders, donors, and partners we would not be able to continue to meet our mission imperatives. We thank you.

2020 Fall Village View

Two new locations, a SHERO recap, an interview with Heidi Gauthier, Director of Vocational Development and Volunteers, and more! Check out our Fall Village View.


Meet Community Builder Emily Johnston

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

Q. How did you get involved with N Street Village?

A. After moving to DC I was looking for a way to give back to my community and started researching volunteer opportunities with an emphasis on helping women. I was drawn to N Street Village because of its amazing mission, record of success, and the opportunity to serve women directly.

Q. How long have you been serving the Village community?

A. I have been serving breakfast at Bethany Women’s Day Center once a week since May 2018. It’s one of the highlights of my week and I have loved building relationships with women in the Village family over time.

Q. Can you share your favorite N Street Village memory?

A. As a volunteer at the Annual Gala, I got to watch some of the women I normally see bright and early at breakfast perform on stage as the Ambassadors of Praise Choir. Their joy was contagious!

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

A. Since volunteer activities have been suspended because of COVID-19, it was important to me to find another way to support the Village. Signing up to become a recurring donor was an easy way to stay active in my support and to provide financial assistance as the Village takes on unprecedented challenges.

Thank you, Emily, for all the ways you support the women of the Village!

Summer Village View

Community Builder Spotlight: Brigid Cafferty

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, Brigid Cafferty.

Brgid at our Annual SHERO Walk. Learn more about our upcoming SHERO Virtual Walk.

Q. How did you get involved with N Street Village?

A. I got involved with N Street Village because I wanted to do more to empower women. I looked at some local organizations and N Street Village really stood out as an established member of the community. I wanted to be a part of that mission.

Q. How long have you been serving the Village community?

A. Since 2016

Q. Can you share your favorite N Street Village memory?

A. One time serving breakfast, the fire alarm went off during the meal. I had the best time chatting with all the women while we waited outside. We were standing in the middle of the street cracking jokes.

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

A. Through volunteering I learned about all the different programs that the Village has to offer. I think it is essential that N Street Village can support women in so many stages of their journey. The more I learned the more I loved. Being a volunteer and a donor makes me feel even more like a member of the Village family.

SHERO Social Media Kit