Homelessness is the tip of the iceberg when it comes to poverty. It is the sharply visible peak atop our submerged crisis of inequity which keeps not only housing but many other basic resources out of reach for millions of Americans, like education, healthcare, employment, adequate income – not to mention safe and healthy neighborhoods. We know that these longstanding inequities are the ruins of our past and the defects of our present – most centrally structural racism and economic discrimination.

In our nation’s capital and home city of Washington D.C., the statistics speak for themselves:

  • D.C. has the highest rate of homelessness out of any state in the United States*
  • African-Americans make up 48% of D.C.’s population
  • African-Americans make up 88% of D.C.’s homeless population
  • D.C. has lost of 50% of all affordable housing in the past decade
  • In 2019, 6,521 persons were experiencing homelessness in the snapshot “point-in-time” January count
  • 26% of those persons were women, and 44% of those women had been chronically homeless

Here at N Street Village these statistics do not surprise us. We see this lived out every day where 78% of our clients are African American, 67% are over the age of 50, and half have no income when they arrive at our door.

Together with you, the clients we serve, elected officials, community partners, and key stakeholders, our collective voices can address and advocate for equity, inclusion, and fairness on every level for women in our community experiencing homelessness, violence, extreme poverty and health vulnerability.

*Source: The National Alliance to End Homelessness’s State of Homelessness Report.


Ways to Advocate


Educate yourself on critical topics like racism, discrimination, and policies of our country. Looking for a starting place? Check out this article by N Street Village CEO Schroeder Stribling on equity and inclusion.

Advocating and Working Together Across the City

Our CEO, Schroeder Stribling, received a Mayoral appointment to D.C.’s Interagency Council on Homelessness (ICH) in 2006 and has been re-appointed several times. She is presently serving on the Council and is Co-Chair of the Executive Committee.

The ICH is responsible for developing the District’s plan to address and end homelessness as we know it. Mayor Bowser’s administration has endorsed and resourced a bold vision in our citywide strategic plan, Homeward DC. In January 2020, the ICH will present the second iteration of this plan, Homeward DC 2.0. The following lays out the broad concepts and strategies from the original (2015 – 2020) plan:

  1. Finish the job of ending homelessness among Veteran
  2. End chronic homelessness among individuals and families
  3. Any household experiencing housing loss will be rehoused within an average of 60 days or less

The plan identifies a series of action items across five key strategies:

  1. Develop a more effective crisis response system;
  2. Increase the supply of affordable and supportive housing;
  3. Remove barriers to affordable and supportive housing;
  4. Increase the economic security of households in our system; and
  5. Increase prevention efforts to stabilize households before housing loss occurs.

We know that homelessness is solvable when we have a common vision, we keep a laser-like focus on outcomes, and we have the resources to get the job done. Together, we can ensure that homelessness in the District of Columbia is a rare, brief, and non-recurring experience.

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