Gramma Berta’s Mother’s Day

IMG_6140This Mother’s Day, Alberta will celebrate with her family by her side. Her three children and six grandchildren will be there to give her hugs and kisses. In return, Alberta will spoil the young ones with treats.

A few years ago, such a gathering wouldn’t have been possible. Alberta was struggling with addiction and her family often didn’t know what she was doing or where she was.

Thanks to the support of caring supporters like you, N Street Village has helped Alberta overcome her addiction. Today, she has her own place through our Permanent Supportive Housing program and is working part-time. Not only is she a strong presence for her children and grandchildren, but she is a mentor to the other women of N Street Village.

This Mother’s Day, you can help women like Alberta and honor an inspiring woman in your life with a gift to N Street Village. You’ll help provide the mothers, grandmothers, godmothers, aunts, and mentors experiencing homelessness with a second chance to repair and rebuild their lives.

P.S. Make your gift today and we’ll make sure the special woman in your life receives a card before Mother’s Day. On behalf of all the women of N Street Village, thank you!

Staff Spolight – Abrar Sheikh

ABRARMeet N Street Village Education and Employment Intern Abrar Sheikh.  Abrar began working at N Street Village over a year ago.  In her role, Abrar offers ongoing support to clients as they pursue their education and employment goals. Originally from Saudi Arabia, Abrar is a senior at Catholic University where she is studying social work. She’ll return home after she graduates this summer. Let’s get to know Abrar:

NSV: What inspired you to work at N Street Village?
AS: When I first came to N Street Village in my junior year, I saw how everyone here is eager to help. This is the reason that I chose N Street Village as my internship site during my senior year. I felt it was and is the right place for me to develop my skills.

NSV: What do you do on a daily basis at N Street Village?
AS: Through my work in the Education and Employment Center, I help women by providing resources to assist with finding employment or furthering their education. This year, I also created a curriculum and led a course on time management.

NSV: What is one of your favorite N Street Village memories?
AS:  My very first Tea Time. This is a monthly event where the entire N Street community gets together to socialize. It was a really great experience.

NSV: What inspires you to continue with the work you do every day?
AS: The staff is really inspiring.

NSV:  Describe N Street Village in 3 words.
AS: Very warm place


“I Ain’t Gonna Let Being Homeless Get Me Down”

With these words, Lolita Mitchell’s deep voice resonated throughout Luther Place Memorial Church on a recent Sunday. Lolita, a resident of N Street Village’s Recovery Housing program, was leading N Street Village’s Ambassadors of Praise choir and Luther Place Memorial Church’s chorus as they sang at the church’s annual homeless memorial service.

Ambassadors of Praise

The Ambassadors of Praise at rehearsal

Two years ago, singing in a church choir was the last place you would have expected to find Lolita. Her mother had just died, and she was at the self-described rock bottom of her addiction. Now as a resident of N Street Village and a member of the Ambassadors of Praise, Lolita finds she is better able to focus on her recovery and make the changes she needs to lead a healthier, happier life.

An Ambassadors of Praise practice is a joy-filled space. The choir director is Rev. Karen Brau, pastor of Luther Place Memorial Church and member of N Street Village’s Board of Directors. She begins each practice by asking everyone’s name and how they are doing. Any woman who comes to N Street Village can be a part of the choir so from week to week, members change and new voices are welcomed. In the opening prayer, Pastor Karen gives thanks for “gifts that sound way better when they are together.”

Pastor Karen finds that the Ambassadors bring added vibrancy to worship at Luther Place Memorial Church, and the community has warmly welcomed them. Pastor Karen notes, “They give people who hear them an opportunity to receive joy.” She is hoping to have them sing there at least once a month, but for now they have been performing at special events including the homeless memorial service, Christmas Eve service, Pastor Karen’s own wedding, and the Soul Feast block party.  In perhaps their biggest performance, this past spring they sang a cappella at the Kennedy Center as part of the National Conference on Ending Homelessness.

For now, they gather every Wednesday in the Wellness Center to sing and give praise for the good things happening in their lives. Pastor Karen believes that music has a healing power, especially for women in recovery. For all the singers, the choir gives them an opportunity to be a part of something larger than themselves.

The choir also stretches their abilities. Many of the women have never performed before and often consider their individual voices to be weak. Lolita is one of those women. She insists that she doesn’t have a very good voice but notes that “when I sing for the Lord, the songs come out beautifully.”

Despite her reservations, in many ways the Ambassadors is a natural fit for her. She was raised in the church, and her mother was a longtime pastor’s aide. She stopped attending church and “went down the wrong road.” Now, thanks to N Street Village she is traveling down a healthier and happier road.

By Shane Yost, Manager of Individual Giving – story originally published in the N Street Village’s Village Voice newsletter.

Ilana’s In Kind Corner: Cleaning Season

IMG_1299-001Thanks to everyone who visited our last In-Kind Corner post and collected winter boots and hand warmers for our community.  Because of your generosity, we were able to provide our clients the items they needed to stay warm throughout these past winter months. It may be hard to believe but spring is right around the corner and our community is already thinking about spring-cleaning. So how can you help us this week?

This week’s need — cleaning supplies

cleaning-suppliesThe shelves that hold our cleaning supplies are empty.  With many cleaning projects scheduled over the upcoming months – we need your support. Our cleaning supply needs include: multipurpose cleaner, antibacterial wipes, toilet bowl and bathroom cleaners, dry and wet mop refills, oven cleaner, antibacterial spray, dish soap, dust clothes, and paper towels.

Please consider running a drive at your school, place of worship, or workplace and help us stock up our closet with new, unopened items.  Please contact me with any questions and to schedule a drop-off appointment.  Thanks for your support!

Ilana  Cookler | N Street Village Development Assistant | 202.939.2050

View a complete list of our community’s in-kind needs on our website.

Volunteer Spotlight: Greg Marzullo

“Greg Marzullo has been teaching a “vinyasa flow” yoga class for N Street Village staff for many months now and has attracted a happy following of Friday afternoon yogis. Greg’s class is a way to promote self-care and well-being for our enormously talented and hard-working staff,  AND — the gift of his volunteerism creates a full circle of giving as it is transformed by that staff into compassion and hospitality for the hundreds of women and families who will find help and hope here this year.” 
— N Street Village Executive Director, Schroeder Stribling

GregLet’s get to know Greg…
Greg Marzullo is a Registered Yoga Teacher with Yoga Alliance and, each year, teaches thousands of people the physical, mental and philosophical practices of yoga. Before becoming a yoga teacher, he was a reporter and then the features editor for the Washington Blade, the nation’s oldest LGBT newspaper. Greg got involved with N Street Village after discovering that one of his students, Schroeder Stribling, is the executive director of the organization. Every month, he looks forward to providing time and space for the incredible staff of N Street to breathe, move and find peace.

Where are you from originally and how long have you lived in the D.C. area?  I’m from New England, both Massachusetts and Connecticut, and I’ve lived in D.C. for 12 years, which virtually makes me a native.

On a Saturday evening you will find me…at Amma’s ashram in Potomac, Maryland. Amma Amritanandamayi is commonly called “the Hugging Saint.” She’s a woman from India who literally travels the world offering hugs to thousands of people at a time. She’s been known to hug people for over 22 hours at a stretch without a break! I am deeply inspired by her story and her work in the world -everything from feeding the hungry to helping those wrangling with suicide, so I spend time at a local center dedicated to her and her work.

What is your favorite D.C. restaurant?  I was just introduced to Tortino on 11th St. between N & M, N.W. It’s amazing Italian, and with a last name like Marzullo, I know my Italian food.

What is your favorite D.C. landmark?  It’s actually a little off the usual tourist path, but every time I have friends come into D.C. for the first time, I take them to the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception on Catholic University’s campus. I think it’s one of the most beautiful and peaceful spots we have in the city.

What is favorite yoga pose?  I love any of the heart openers. Give me a chance to get into a deep backbend, and I’m there with bells on.

Why do you feel yoga is important for nonprofit professionals?  So many people in nonprofit fields give deeply of themselves to make sure that others can lead a better life. More often than not, the well runs dry because we don’t place value on taking care of ourselves. Yoga is one avenue that can help to refill the reserves for nonprofit employees so they can continue to make life easier for others.

What do you enjoy most about volunteering at N Street Village?  Aside from the inspiration I take from the wonderful staff, my favorite moment is walking up to the building through a group of women usually hanging out outside of the front door. I recognize they’ve had a long hard road to get to that courtyard, but I feel my heart swell when I see that for this moment, in this place, safety is theirs.

What makes N Street Village unique to you? The extensive nature of its programming and opportunities! How incredible!

Describe N Street Village in 3 words or less. Giving. Radiant. Healing.

Charitable IRA Rollover — Deadline January 31st

piggy-bankPassed on January 1, 2013, the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 renewed charitable giving from individual retirement accounts (IRAs) for those 70-and-a-half or older.

By taking advantage of this opportunity in support of N Street Village — you will ensure that every woman who walks through our doors this year is offered care and compassion.

Some important information:

  • You must be at least 70 1/2 years old on the date of gift.
  • You have until January 31, 2013 to make a direct distribution to N Street Village from your IRA, and it will be applied towards your 2012 charitable IRA distribution.
  • The IRA must be a traditional or Roth
  • Maximum $100,000 per donor per year in qualified charitable distributions
  • The distribution must come directly from IRA to N Street Village.
  • The full value of the gift would be eligible for an income tax charitable deduction if it were not a qualified charitable distribution

We encourage you to take advantage of this immediate-cash planned gift.  You can learn more on the IRS website or by speaking with your financial adviser.

Photo of the Week

LPNS kitchen

This ole kitchen is about to get Crashed!  DIY Network celebrity designer Alison Victoria of Kitchen Crashers and her team will arrive on Monday to begin the renovation process of our night shelter kitchen.  The space hasn’t been updated in over 20 years.

Photo of the Week


The N Street Village Ambassadors of Praise share an impromptu and inspirational performance of songs they have been practicing under the direction of Pastor Karen Brau with Luther  Place Memorial Church.

Join us on Facebook!

Our community is fully immersed in the new year — setting goals and working towards achieving them. One of our goals this year is to make sure you are always the first to hear about what’s happening at the Village.

Facebook Like UsJoin us on Facebook and stay connected to what is going on in our community, as well as the issues that affect our community most – chronic homelessness, lack of affordable housing, accessible health care and preventative medicine, addiction, and unemployment.

“Just by being a fan of the Facebook page, I feel I am part of the community.”
Jaime Andrews, N Street Village supporter

What can you expect by connecting with us on Facebook?

  • You’ll get an intimate look at day-to-day happenings at the Village and see success stories from our community.
  • You’ll be the first to learn of ways to get involved with us through events, in-kind donation needs, and volunteer opportunities.
  • You’ll be able to start and join discussions on a variety of topics affecting our community and the women we serve.
  • And finally, you will join a community of like-minded individuals who care deeply about N Street Village and who share your interest in helping homeless and low-income women in our city.

So please join our page and invite your friends and family to join too!

Nicole NewmanN Street Village’s Facebook page offers a great way to stay connected, get updated and quickly spread the word about the amazing work going on at N street Village. It is also a way to truly see how your support makes a difference. N Street Village is transparent and open about its programs and client stories, helping me to better understand how my involvement makes an impact. –Nicole Newman, former N Street Village employee and supporter

Top 10 Blog Posts of 2012!

TOP 10 OF 20122012 marks the first full year of N Street Village’s blog. 
What better way to look back on this year of blogging than by sharing the top 10 blog posts of the past year.  Thanks to all of our followers who have read, shared, and commented on posts this year.  We are looking forward to what 2013 brings and sharing it with you!

  1. Staff Spotlight – Molly Chamberlain
  2. The 2012 Point-in-Time Homeless Persons Count
  3. A Pot of Black Beans for the Ladies at N Street Village
  4. Volunteer Spotlight – Jaime Andrews
  5. Life Stories: Beginning the Journey to the Kennedy Center
  6. Photo of the Week
  7. Faith and Justice
  8. A Knitting and Crochet Movement at N Street Village
  9. A Community of Radical Welcome
  10. In 18 Months – A Complete Turnaround