February Volunteer Spotlight

This month get know N Street Village volunteer, Stephanie Mencimer. Stephanie has been serving the community for over 15 years. During this time, Stephanie has worn many volunteer hats, which include overnight supervision assistant, breakfast server in our Day Center, as well as weekend dinner server at The Patricia Handy Place for Women. Let’s get know Stephanie…

Mother Jones staff headshots

I’m a reporter at Mother Jones magazine, where I cover politics, law and social policy. I have two kids, both of whom who have served breakfast at Bethany. I got started volunteering at N Street Village at least 15 years ago, maybe more, after the women’s shelter I had been volunteering in closed down. I started volunteering as an overnight supervision assistant at Luther Place Night Shelter until I was about 7 months pregnant with my second child. After she was born, I took a bit of a hiatus from volunteering, but came back a couple of years ago and have been at N Street Village pretty regularly ever since.

Where are you from originally and how long have you lived in the DC area? I’m originally from Ogden, Utah, but have lived in DC since 1991.

What is your favorite D.C. restaurant? Zaytinya

On a Sunday morning you will find me…

Directing the children’s choir at Foundry Methodist Church on 16th Street

Who is one of your favorite musicians?  Mavis Staples

What is your favorite D.C. landmark?  The MLK library.

Describe N Street Village in 3 words or less. Desperately needed.

What do you enjoy most about volunteering at N Street Village? I think that it keeps me grounded in reality.

Share one of your favorite N Street Village memories?  Way back in 1996 or ’97, I wrote a story for City Paper about homeless women living in these really awful trailers at 3rd and L Streets, where they were packed like sardines into bunks inside tractor trailers. One of the women I interviewed for the story was clearly suffering from severe mental illness, and she had been in and out of the DC jail as a result. One night many years later, I encountered her again when I was doing an overnight shift at Luther Place Night Shelter, where she had become a resident. I think it took a while, but Village folks eventually managed to get her stabilized, and now I serve her breakfast in the Day Center. I’m told that she’s now living in one of N Street Village’s supported housing units and doing really well. It’s been really wonderful to see her transformation, and I’m so glad she’s not living in those trailers anymore.