Staff Spotlight – Mary Douglas

This month, meet N Street Village staff member Mary Douglas.  Mary began working part-time at N Street Village in 2009 at Luther Place Night Shelter as a Residential Support Services Program Assistant. She recently transitioned into a new full-time position as Health Promotion Specialist.  In her new role, Mary encourages clients to make and achieve goals related to health promotion and disease prevention.  Mary sat down with us to share more about herself and her experience at N Street Village.

NSV: What brought you to N Street Village?
MD:  I first learned about N Street Village when I was checking references on a potential hire at a previous job and spoke with now Executive Director Schroeder Stribling on the phone.   I remember while speaking with Schroeder thinking N Street Village sounded like an amazing place to work.  After having my son, I was thinking about going back to work and I noticed a part-time job working with residential programs and applied.  The rest is history.

NSV: What was your first impression of N Street Village?
My first impression was that N Street Village was a warm and welcoming community.
I also immediately recognized that this is a very collaborative working environment, which is really nice.

NSV: What has surprised you most about working at N Street Village?
 I am continually surprised at how much is accomplished here and the full extent of services offered.

NSV: What do you find most challenging about working as a Health Promotion Specialist at N Street Village?
New ideas come up all the time.  I wish I had more time in the day to accomplish everything I would like to.

NSV: What do you wish other people knew about N Street Village?
The women we serve are just like you and me.  Our clients and residents don’t all fit the stereotypical picture of what people assume is homeless.  The women we work with are former teachers, secretaries, mothers, and grandmothers.  We can all learn from the experiences they are going through.

NSV: What is it that N Street Village is doing to impact the issue of women who are homeless or very low-income?
Specific to the Wellness Center, we offer a wide range of health services.  Often, when living an unstable life or faced with not having a home, our health can be one of the first areas we neglect.  Once a woman begins participating in our programs and utilizing our services they can slow down and really begin focusing on health and wellness.

NSV: What would you tell someone who is thinking about supporting the work of N Street Village?
We have a wide range of services that have a huge impact in so many areas: education, employment, recovery, housing, health and wellness.  And we are successful at what we do.

NSV: If you weren’t working at N Street Village, what would you be doing instead?
I would most likely be at home raising my children.  Also, I would probably be baking more cakes!

NSV: What do you enjoy most about living and working in D.C.?
I love all of the cultural activities available in the city and so much of it is free! Exploring the city with my son is a lot of fun.  Some of our favorite activities are swimming, skating, and exploring all of the great parks.