Staff Feature: The Dynamic Duo at the MARJ & MAK Vocational Center

Meet Chaquita Goode and Matthew LaBorde, the team behind one of the Village’s newest programs, the MARJ & MAK Vocational Center.

The Vocational Center provides drop-in classes as well as one-on-one trainings to support women in reaching their goals related to education, employment, benefits, income, and/or financial health.

Can you describe N Street Village in three words? Colorful, welcoming, and uplifting. The Village has a way of making people feel good and wanting to come back.

What has been one of your favorite Village moments since you started? We have a “Volunteer Corps” of clients/residents who volunteer. It’s amazing to see women, who are experiencing a wide variety of personal traumas and setbacks, share their free time to give back to the community.

What is one of the biggest challenges you encounter in your daily job? It can be hard to come to grips
with the realization that many clients have been abandoned by their community, their family, and their friends. It makes the time I spend with clients to gain their trust and work with them toward their goals that much more meaningful.

Why does having an organization like N Street Village matter to a city like D.C.? Many of our marginalized communities are seeking welcoming spaces that aren’t over-policed, stigmatized, and unsafe. The Village provides these, and much more.

What is your favorite ice cream flavor? Chocolate, all the way!

Come see Chaquita and Matthew and our latest renovations! Contact Megan McKinley Thomas to set up your tour at 202.939.2074 or mmckinley@nstreetvillage.org.

A Summer Village Thank You!

We are so grateful to the many Village friends, supporters, partners, and groups that have generously given their time, talent and treasure to support us over the last few months. From donating toiletries to cooking dinners to hosting fundraisers, thank you for investing in the lives of the nearly 2,000 women who rely on N Street Village every year!

• 2U Communications
• 305 Fitness
• The Ambassadors Council
• American Sociological Association
• ANXO Cidery & Pintxos Bar
• Artist’s Proof Gallery
• Ascend Cycle
• Kimberly Barbano
• Beauty Counter
• Beauty Within
• Bhakti Yoga DC
• The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
• Bloomberg
• Bray of Sunshine Designs
• Carol Mac Cookies
• Chef Amy Brandwein
• Brookings Institution
• Peter Brusoe
• CABI
• Sister Simone Campbell
• CapCo
• Casa Confetti Design Studio
• Compass Rose
• Consumer Action Network
• DACHA
• Deloitte
• The Dinner Dames
• Eastern Mennonite University
• Election Cycle
• Eva Lightfoot Photography
• Flores La Conchita
• Flow Yoga
• Google
• Honey & Hive Creations
• The Impact Committee
• Heather Kaye
• The Knot Worldwide
• Lee’s Flowers and Gifts
• M2057 by Maria Pinto
• Rachel Martin
• McEnearney Associates, Inc.
• Milk Bar
• Miss Pixie’s Furnishings & Whatnot…
• Morgan Stanley
• National Association of Broadcasters
• Nellie’s Sports Bar
• Nestle
• Next Phase Studio
• The Omidyar Group
• Maggie O’Neill
• Optoro
• Orr Strategic
Communications
• The Outrage
• Park Hotels & Resorts
• Plants & Blooms Reimagined
• PricewaterhouseCoopers
• Potomac Chapter of the Links
• PUNCH!
• Robert Half
• Shah & Shah
• She Loves Me
• SHELTER
• Linda Potter and Tim Shriver
• Takorean
• Urban Stems
• VIDA Fitness
• Washington Kastles
• Wesley Theological Seminary
• The Wing D.C.
• Wiley Rein

A Summer Letter from the CEO

Dear Friends,

A few weeks ago, I visited N Street Village’s emergency shelter, Patricia Handy Place for Women, and had the chance to visit with some residents. There, I met a woman named Queenie – a tall African American woman who had just come from work.

She told me proudly that although she was sixty years old, she could still keep up with her younger colleagues at the D.C. Public School where she has worked for over twenty years.

Queenie had come to N Street Village a month ago and was still astonished to find herself there. She couldn’t really imagine how it had happened; her rent kept going up over the years as her pay lagged farther and farther behind until she was evicted.

She described having to choose what she would take from her apartment. How much could she fit in a few bags? How much could she carry and still walk? The feeling of having to choose between what she would take.

Then Queenie asked me, “So when do I get housing?”

I am accustomed to this question, but it always hard to hear. This January, more than 6,500 people in our city were experiencing homelessness and many thousands are on the waitlist for rental assistance (which is presently closed because the list is so long). And, as we all know, homelessness is only the tip of the iceberg of poverty. Below, racism and discrimination breed inequity in all areas of women’s health and well-being, especially for African American women who are nine times as likely to experience homelessness and whose life expectancy is lower by a full nine years.

Back with Queenie, I could only tell her that we’d work with her as hard as possible.

We also know that Queenie’s story is just one of many, and that there is still much work to be done. But your voice as part of our Village community is a testimony that every individual in our city is deserving of
worth and dignity.

Housing, health, and well-being are for everyone in D.C. – with no exceptions, no one left behind.

Together, we are not GIVING charity, we are DOING justice. Together, we run on a different economy. We can see a day when every woman has a safe place to call home, and it starts with a marketplace of equity and a currency of compassion.

When I asked Queenie whether I could share her story with you, and if she would prefer that I use a pseudonym, she did not hesitate – “PLEASE tell them,” she said, “and use my name – I want them to know who I am.”

Every day at least one new woman arrives at our front door. Thank you for being there to greet her. Thank you for being there to seek justice and to embrace hope. Thank you for welcoming each and every woman in her full humanity and by her own true name.

Schroeder Stribling
N Street Village Chief Executive Officer

Carol’s Story – Finding Hope and Healing

I grew up in the D.C. area. My parents had good jobs with the government, and I attended a private Catholic school from kindergarten through my senior year. When I was sixteen, I met a boy at a concert. I got pregnant and had my first child at 19. We got married, and had five more kids.

But despite the joy of my children, I endured three decades of violent abuse from my husband until I couldn’t take it anymore. I finally got the courage to leave him in 2007 and never looked back.

I decided to go to school and got a degree in criminal justice. I went on to work for the TSA for 13 years, but had to leave after I injured my back on the job.

The TSA paid me a year of severance – which was a blessing at first. But I soon found myself with nothing to do, still in pain, and alone with the traumatic memories from my marriage. I started using drugs as a way to escape, but then I couldn’t stop.

My life spiraled faster than I could have imagined. I lost my apartment, then my car. My relationship with my family – who I had always been close with – started to really suffer. I began sleeping on whatever couch I could find until even my friends got tired of me. I don’t blame them – honestly, by that time, I was tired
of myself too.

I was hopeless, homeless, and I couldn’t ignore anymore that I truly needed help. I checked myself into treatment, and that’s when I found out about N Street Village.

Going into the Village’s Recovery Program, I wasn’t sure what to expect. What I found was a sisterhood. As a survivor of domestic violence, it has been especially helpful to be surrounded by women who can understand what I’ve been through. These friendships keep me accountable as I learn about selfdiscipline,
self-compassion, and how to live a life without drugs.

I’ve also been able to work with the Village’s MARJ & MAK Vocational Center. They have helped me apply
for disability benefits, improve my credit score (so that I can get housing in the future!), and get a job as a pharmaceutical tech at a local drugstore.

I am excited for the future. It’s like I am starting new – my kids are grown, and I finally have what it takes to work on myself. My parents are proud of me and my children are proud of me.

And I know I’ll always have the support of my Village sisters too.

Workplace Giving 101

N Street VillageWhat is Workplace Giving?

Nora Wagman: Workplace Giving is an easy way to use payroll deductions to make tax-deductible donations to your favorite non-profits!

NSV: Is it easy to enroll?

NW: It’s extremely easy, you can set it up once and then forget about it. If your employer has a Workplace Giving enrollment period, all you have to do is sign-up to make a monthly or quarterly pledge for the year. Your donation amount is automatically deducted from your paycheck—you no longer have to worry about sending checks, setting up online payments, or tracking for your taxes—all of this is done for you!

NSV: How can I find out if my employer participates in workplace giving?

NW: Many employers offer Workplace Giving, either through their own internal program, an online program (such as Benevity, JustGiving, Global Giving, etc.), or through the United Way/Combined Federal Campaign Fund (N Street’s United Way # is 8281, and our Combined Federal Campaign # is 90946). If you’re still unsure, ask your HR Department!

NSV: Can I make a one-time donation instead?

NW: Yes, you can make one-time donations through any of the above Workplace Giving avenues.

NSV: How can my employer participate in workplace giving?

NW: Many employers also offer matching gifts to the organizations their employees are supporting. Regardless of how you support N Street Village— either through Workplace Giving or volunteer hours, reach out to your HR department to see if they offer matching gifts or service grants. You could double, even triple, the impact that your gift makes in the lives of the women we serve!

NSV: If I have questions about workplace giving, who can I contact?

NW: If you have questions about how to find out if your organization has a Workplace Giving or matching gift program, and how to get set up, please reach out to me, Nora Wagman at nwagman@nstreetvillage.org.

NSV: Would an N Street Village representative be able to come to my workplace and share about other ways to get involved with the Village?

NW: We would love to attend a lunch, women’s committee meeting, or other event at your workplace, to share with your coworkers more about the organization you support! If you would like us to give a presentation to your workplace, please contact Makenzie at mdelmotte@nstreetvillage.org.

Three Things You Can Do to Build Diverse, Equitable, and Inclusive Communities

 

N Street Village staff attends a seminar about race, racism, and our
responsibility to carry the message of hope and progress forward. The Village
welcomed Tamara Copeland, the President of the Washington Regional
Association of Grantmakers and author of Daughters of the Dream.

 

1. Stay teachable. Listen deeply, share boldly, and help one
another to cultivate understanding, awareness, and empathy.

2. Trust intentions. Speak to the “highest mind and heart” in
each of us. Knowing that we will be imperfect, encourage ever
more open conversation by creating safe space.

3. Be purposeful. Intend to grow and to contribute to the
growth of others. Be enriched by our community’s diversity. Be
curious about yourself and your companions on the journey.

A Letter from the Chief Executive Officer

Dear Friends,

2018 was an incredible year for our Village, made possible by each and every one of you. We are all N Street Village and together enabled hope and healing for hundreds of women last year. And after pausing for a moment of gratitude, we must keep going – because our work is far from over.

D.C.’s 2018 Point-in-Time Count found there were 6,904 people experiencing homelessness in our city last year. On top of this, N Street Village’s Patricia Handy Place for Women has been at 100% capacity every night since it opened nearly three years ago.

Furthermore, it has become clear that a densely packed building with hundreds of highly-transient women in crisis will never be the dignified solution we would like.

And maybe that’s a good thing – because now we are more determined than ever to purse a better solution. The ultimate solution is of course quite simple: a home.

But the first step in the pursuit of housing exposes something far more complicated.

The crisis of poverty is like an iceberg, with the people on the street and in shelters as only the visible tip. Submerged directly underneath are individuals living on the fragile edge of housing and financial insecurity for long periods of time – with many falling in and out of homelessness without much assistance or intervention, if any.

The affordable housing crisis is inextricably linked to the forces creating and maintaining intergenerational poverty: structural racism, lack of equitable access to education and opportunity, the social determinants of disease and ill-health, blighted neighborhoods next door to unbridled gentrification, and so on.

This big picture problem is much larger than anything we can solve individually, and it will take energetic and efficient collaboration from multiple partners in the public and private sector arenas to make progress over time.

At N Street Village, our longstanding commitment is to that small segment of the iceberg tip who have multiple and compounding problems. They are women who need not only affordable housing but also built-in supports. Many are over 50, with chronic health problems. Almost all have experienced some form of trauma, and mental illness and/or addiction affect the majority. Most of these women want to work – they want the dignity and fulfillment that a job conveys, but few are likely to transcend barriers to employment like disability or health status, low-literacy or educational attainment, a criminal record, etc. And for the women who do work, they typically remain priced out of the D.C. housing market.

For many years we have been developing and refining our model of supportive housing. How do we know it works? We measure it. We have excellent success in helping women transition into permanent housing, stabilize their physical and behavioral health, and improve their self-reported quality of life.

Our work in chipping away at the iceberg’s tip will be even more effective when the submerged forces of poverty begin to melt. This will take a long time, and it will be dependent upon the appetite for justice, the vision for equity, and the moral fortitude of all sectors – government, business, philanthropy, corporate, non-profit, academic and so on.

In the meantime, we won’t stop chipping. For over 45 years, N Street Village has kept its promise to persist so long as there is need.

Together, we will accomplish a lot in 2019.

Schroeder Stribling
Chief Executive Officer

N STREET VILLAGE TO HONOR MAYOR MURIEL BOWSER AND THREE FORMERLY-HOMELESS AT ANNUAL GALA & AUCTION

N STREET VILLAGE TO HONOR MAYOR MURIEL BOWSER AND THREE FORMERLY-HOMELESS AT ANNUAL GALA & AUCTION

Event will also Include Special Guest and Grammy-Nominated Artist Aloe Blacc

WASHINGTON, D.C. – On Thursday, March 14, 2019 at the Marriott Marquis, N Street Village will host its Annual Gala & Auction, where nearly 1,000 guests will join together to show their support for providing a safe place for every woman to call home as well as celebrate stories of courage and hope from those who have experienced homelessness firsthand.

The event will recognize D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser as well as Rebecca, Rosalind, and Ruth – three women whose lives intersected through the organization and who found a home, healing, and the courage to tell their stories of overcoming trauma, health challenges, and homelessness at the Village.

Founded more than 45 years ago, N Street Village is the largest provider of housing and supportive services for women experiencing homelessness in Washington, D.C. Every year, N Street Village welcomes nearly 2,000 women and provides the programs and opportunities to help women make meaningful gains in their housing, income, employment, mental health, physical health, and addiction recovery in an atmosphere of dignity and respect.

The Village will honor Mayor Muriel Bowser with the 2019 Founder’s Award for her commitment to ensuring that homelessness is rare, brief, and non-recurring in the nation’s capital.

“N Street Village is proud to select Mayor Muriel Bowser for this award,” said Schroeder Stribling, N Street Village Chief Executive Officer. “Our mission is a vital part of D.C.’s anti-poverty movement, and we have been uniquely enabled to make progress under her leadership. Mayor Bowser has made unprecedented investments and encouraged innovation toward our shared goal of ending homelessness as we know it in our city. We are working in strong collaboration on her Homeward 2020 initiative. We all acknowledge that we have a long way to go, but we have measurable progress and we want to acknowledge this Mayor’s ambitious leadership in lighting the way.”

The evening will also feature Grammy-nominated artist Aloe Blacc, who will perform his single, ‘I Count On Me,’ from the Oscar-nominated film, Green Book. In addition, the night will include a live auction, raffle, and fund the need. All proceeds will directly benefit the mission of N Street Village and provide hope and healing for women experiencing homelessness.

###

About the Event

Thursday, March 14th at the Marriott Marquis
5:30-7:00 PM Reception & Auction, 7:00-9:00 PM Dinner & Program

Co-Chairs:
Hillary and Tom Baltimore
Erika and A. Scott Bolden
Kasey and Joe Crowley
Tina and Gary Mather
Jacqui Michel, Auction Chair

Honorary Co-Chairs:
Congressman Don & Mrs. Megan Beyer
Congressman Anthony Brown and Mrs. Karmen Brown
Senator Mike and Mrs. Diana Enzi
Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers & Mr. Brian Rodgers
Senator Krysten Sinema

Founder’s Award: D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser

Special Guest: Grammy-Nominated Artist, Aloe Blacc

Steinbruck Awardees: N Street Village Clients Rebecca, Rosalind, and Ruth

N Street Village is grateful to Milestone Sponsors Tina and Gary Mather, Peter Shields and Ace Werner/Wiley Rein LLP, and Ruth and Arne Sorenson as well as Platinum Circle Sponsors Altria Client Services, Inc., Cindy and Mark Aron, Hillary and Tom Baltimore, Erika and A. Scott Bolden/Reed Smith, Comcast NBCUniversal, Discovery, Inc., Mindy and Jon Gray, Marcia and Chuck Solem, Park Hotels & Resorts, and PepsiCo Foundation.

Lurinda’s Story

My name is Lurinda and I am proud to share my story with you.

I grew up in Southeast D.C., where life was rough. I watched my mother being abused. I looked around my neighborhood and saw nothing but killing, drugs, and poverty.

When you grow up like that, you don’t realize that anything else is possible. It feels almost inevitable that I ended up in the same situation as my mom, staying with an abusive husband and trying to escape my surroundings and hang onto my broken family.

What started out as curiosity at age 19 spiraled into a full-blown drug addiction in my 20s. When I saw other people who were high, I thought, “Wow, I want to feel like that.”

I didn’t want the responsibility of dealing with the trauma and all I had witnessed growing up. And although I hadn’t been diagnosed yet, drugs were the only way my younger self knew how to cope with my bipolar disorder, depression, and psychosis.

In the end, my 14-year addiction to drugs cost me everything – my kids, my family, all of it.

I went into recovery the first three times to try to get them back. But I kept falling into the same cycle. I knew I had to change or I was going to lose my family forever, or even die. That’s when I got to N Street Village’s Recovery Program, which was my fourth time trying to establish and maintain sobriety. To be honest, I didn’t want to be here at first.

Finally it hit me – I’d spent all those other times trying to get other things back, but first I had to get me back.

That realization – combined with learning how to set goals and a stable environment to take care of my mental health – started me down the long process of rebuilding my life at N Street Village.

The Lurinda writing to you today is totally different. She’s able to look in the mirror and see a woman who is wise, trustworthy, and courageous.

I graduated from the Village Recovery Program and moved into my own room in Permanent Supportive Housing on the fourth floor. Now, I am able to be a mom again. I volunteer at the Village’s Wellness Center to give back. I returned to school and got my GED. Then, taking the next step, I went even further and graduated from Cosmetology School. I have a good job that I love.

Today, I am excited to share that I’ve just gotten my own apartment, something I never would have dreamed of seven years ago. I am grateful for everyone who has made this possible, including you!

I talk with women I meet at the Village who are just starting their journey of recovery. I know they need a safe place to call home, just like I did. Today, you can give the gift of hope and opportunity to another woman like me.

Every dollar makes a difference in the story of the next woman who arrives at N Street Village.

With gratitude,

Lurinda

Want to support a woman like Lurinda? Make your 2018 tax-deductible gift today and your donation will be doubled – up to $40,000 – by our Board of Directors. Every dollar makes a difference!

Meet Jaqueena, Village Community Liaison

We are excited to have Jaqueena Manahan as our new Community Liaison at the Patricia Handy Place for Women. She builds bridges between the Village and the community, from representing our programs at city events to meeting with community leaders.

What three words would you use to describe N Street Village? Supportive, dynamic, and strong.

Can you tell us a little more about your current role? As the Community Liaison, I work with individuals and groups including community neighbors, government/private/partner agencies, staff, and clients to create mutually-beneficial partnerships that honor and support the women we serve.

Favorite Village moment so far? While I was exhibiting at a community event, a group of women from Patricia Handy Place for Women walked in. We were so excited to see each other! The connection we shared because of that moment fills me with the sense of pride and beauty that lives in a community.

Favorite flavor of ice cream? Vanilla Bean! More specifically, Häagen-Dazs Vanilla Bean. As this is a safe place, I am comfortable reporting that I currently have three pints in my freezer.