He wanted to see an exemplary model of service to the homeless, so Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Steve Preston visited N Street Village. The Secretary, accompanied by HUD staff, came to N Street Village on a fact-finding tour on July 28. “It has been an extraordinary privilege to welcome Secretary Preston to N Street Village,” said Dr. Mary Funke, N Street’s Executive Director.
HUD Secretary Preston, in his address to the National Alliance to End Homelessness national conference the next day, remarked that visiting N Street Village was another “important opportunity to hear from the people we serve, the homeless, and our partners in service.” Preston said that N Street Village is a “very special place to the people who find the welcoming arms of N Street’s staff.”
When asked to arrange a visit for the Secretary, the Community Partnership for the Prevention of Homelessness chose N Street Village, because it “represents the best that the District of Columbia has to offer in terms of comprehensive, compassionate, and excellent services for homeless women,” said Sue Marshall, its Executive Director. Accompanied by Tamara Upchurch, the Partnership’s Federal Programs Director, Ms. Marshall reviewed the current situation with homelessness in our nation’s capital.
Secretary Preston toured N Street’s multi-service facility with Deputy Executive Director Schroeder Stribling, noting our full range of programs. While enjoying lunch in our multi-purpose room, Ms. Stribling and David Diedrich, Director of Finance and Operations, presented an overview of our mission to homeless and low-income women in Washington, D.C.
“It was an honor to host HUD Secretary Steve Preston here at N Street Village,” said Ms. Stribling. “In 1992, N Street received a $5 million demonstration project grant? appropriation? from HUD, along with the charge to become a national model in homeless services.” She added that N Street’s “selection as the sole site for the Secretary’s visit represents that we have fulfilled this mandate and are widely regarded as a leader in the community and in our work.”
Several residents who attended the luncheon told Secretary Preston about how their lives had changed as a result of coming to N Street Village. Resident Cheryl Barnes, who shared her story with the HUD Secretary, said that she “was proud to be part of the Secretary’s visit.” Secretary Preston “is open and compassionate toward the issues” related to homelessness, Ms. Barnes said.
Secretary Preston’s visit to N Street Village came at an auspicious time in the growth of the organization. “As we look forward to the future and our plans to expand our permanent supportive housing program, we are pleased and confident to be building on the solid foundation that has been laid with the assistance of HUD and our other many stakeholders, supporters, and friends,” said Ms. Stribling.