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Be on the lookout for these N Street Village advertisements popping up on DC Metro platforms. Text “Village” to 80888 and your $10 donation will provide hope and opportunity to our city’s most vulnerable women.

Volunteer Spotlight: Carol Coonrod

IMG_8150 - CopyThis month get to know N Street Village volunteer, Carol Coonrod. Carol is a versatile volunteer who spends her time serving the community as a an Overnight Supervisor, Residential Assistant, Bingo Facilitator at Miriam’s House, and Administrative Assistant with our finance team. Let’s get to know Carol…

My husband John and I moved to the District in May 2012, after 27 years in New York City where we worked with an international nonprofit committed to ending hunger called The Hunger Project. After retiring in 2009, I became the volunteer coordinator and served on the Board of Directors for a food pantry in New York. I discovered N Street Village when reading “Street Sense” and recognized my own longing for community and a loving environment. I began volunteering at the night shelter as an overnight volunteer and later took on volunteer roles at N Street Village’s Miriam’s House and in the finance office.  Most recently, I walked in solidarity with those experiencing homelessness at the Village’s Community Walk. Born and raised in Michigan, I am drawn to lakes and woods, and spend six weeks each summer helping to run a camp in New Hampshire.

What is your favorite D.C. restaurant? Fire Fly

On a Saturday evening you will find me…Trying a new dinner recipe with my husband.

What is the last movie you watched (and enjoyed)? The Butler

What is your favorite D.C. landmark? National Museum of Women in the Arts

Share one of your favorite N Street Village memories? The first time I walked into the building to attend a volunteer orientation. Everyone was very friendly and helpful. I was so excited about finding a “home” for myself in Washington, D.C. I was ready to begin volunteering that night!

What has been one of your biggest surprises about N Street Village? How acknowledging you are of volunteers!

Describe N Street Village in 3 words or less. Loving. Nurturing. Authentic.

Staff Spotlight – Nicole Robinson

Photo1Meet N Street Village Permanent Supportive Housing Advocate Nicole Robinson. Nicole began working at N Street Village a year and a half ago.  As an Advocate with our Permanent Supportive Housing program, Nicole works with a team to provide intensive case management to 42 residents who live in shared apartments at our flagship location and are managing one or more of the following; chronic homelessness, mental health-related disabilities, addiction recovery and chronic physical illness or disability. Originally from Brooklyn, Nicole earned a BA in Sociology from Vassar College and an MSW from Washington University in St. Louis, MO. Let’s get to know Nicole:

NSV: What inspired you to work at N Street Village?
NR: N Street Village’s strong reputation for providing quality services to women and takes a holistic approach to recovery.

NSV: What do you do on a daily basis at N Street Village?
NR: I collaborate with my fellow intensive case management team members to provide information and encouragement to residents.  I assist residents in reaching their housing, income, education, mental and physical health, as well as substance recovery goals.

NSV: What is one of your favorite N Street Village memories?
NR: Our “Tea Time” events provide such a wonderful opportunity to laugh and celebrate with one another.

NSV: What do you wish other people knew about N Street Village?
NR: I wish for everyone to know about the level of commitment and care that goes into creating a welcoming and safe place for women.

NSV: If you could go to a concert tomorrow, what artist/group would you want to see and why?
NR: Prince!  Two words: Musical. Genius.

NSV: Describe N Street Village in 3 words.
NR: Renewal. Respect. Solidarity.

 

Ilana’s In-Kind Corner | Healthy Snacks

IMG_1299-001Thanks to everyone who responded to our previous In-Kind Corner post and provided our community with new bedding items and towels for our residents.   Your support means so much to our community.  Thank you!  We wanted to share another ongoing community need with you.  Please let us know if you are able to offer your support.

Current In-Kind Need: Healthy Snacks

healthy-snacks In addition to providing breakfast and lunch in our drop-in day center, we provide healthy snacks in the afternoon. Since these are items we need every day of the year, one of the best ways to help us stock up is to run a drive at your school, place of worship, or workplace.

Examples of healthy snacks include:

  • Fresh fruit for individual consumption: apples, grapes, bananas, peaches, oranges
  • Individually wrapped snacks: string cheese, low-sugar granola or breakfast bars, fig newtons, pretzels, goldfish, popcorn, hummus & pita chips

Please contact me with any questions
or to schedule a drop-off appointment.
Ilana Cookler
icookler@nstreetvillage.org | 202.939.2050

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

Just when…

Butterfly

Where to find it: Village wall art located on the 2nd floor outside the Wellness Center.

Volunteer Spotlight: Roslyn Banks and Meg Meyer

Meg and Roslyn 2This month, get to know N Street Village volunteer team Roslyn Banks and Meg Meyer.  Together, Roslyn and Meg volunteer once a month, serving lunch in our drop-in day center. They began their service at the end of 2011 and have volunteered over 40 hours at N Street Village. Both Roslyn and Meg  work for the National Association for Home Builders, have called the D.C. area home for many years, and share a passion for family, museums, and giving back. Let’s get to know Roslyn and Meg…..

Roslyn: I was born in Japan, grew up in San Francisco and have lived in D.C. for 21 years.  I have been employed at National Association of Home Builders for 18 years.  I am grandmother of 6 and all of my grand-children reside in California.   While volunteering with Food & Friends another staff member told us about N Street Village. Currently, I volunteer at N Street Village, Food & Friends, The Buddhist Center as a receptionist, and prepare meals at Capitol Hill Presbyterian Church. In the past, I volunteered with St. Anne’s Orphanage and Dress for Success.  Additionally, I love to visit museums and exhibits, and take photographs.

Meg: I was born in Chicago and grew up in a Chicago suburb. I came to D.C. in 1978 to attend American University.  I lived in Toledo, Ohio for a few years, where I had my son, who is now 30 years old.  I also have two stepsons and a stepdaughter.  I am the grandmother of three – two boys, ages 3 and 5 and a 10 month old girl. I moved back to D.C. in 1984 and have worked at National Association of Home Builders almost as long (29 years!).  Roslyn and I also volunteer together for Food & Friends.

Favorite thing about living in DC…
Roslyn: FREE Museums!
Meg: I am fascinated by politics and love the architecture and the museums.

On a Saturday evening you will find me at…
Roslyn: home relaxing
Meg: the movies, if I can talk my husband into it!

When I have free time I most enjoy…
Roslyn: taking photographs throughout the city
Meg: relaxing with a good book

Book you last read…
Roslyn: I am finishing “Garden of Beasts” by Erik Larsen
Meg: “The Art Forger” by B.A. Shapiro

Most played song on your iPod/stereo…
Roslyn: “The Need to Be” by Esther Satterfield
Meg: “What a Wonderful World” by Louis Armstrong

What do you enjoy most about volunteering at N Street Village?
Roslyn: It allows me to give back and reach out to women in need
Meg: Roslyn nailed this one!

Why it is important to support N Street Village?
Roslyn: Because there are too many women living on the fringes that require their services
Meg: Once again, Roslyn nailed this one too!

 

 

Every Walker Counts | N Street Village Strong

N Street Village StrongWalk with us on October 19 through our Logan Circle neighborhood at N Street Village Strong: A Community Walk.

Strength in Numbers
We’re counting on you to reach our goal of 2,000 walkers.  Together, we are strong.

You can join us and walk on October 19, or you can register as a “virtual walker” and count towards our goal without attending our Community Walk.

Every walker counts.  N Street Village Strong. 
Join our team today
!

If we reach our goal, our community will receive an additional $20,000 from Fannie Mae.  These additional funds are critical and will ensure that the nearly 1,400 women that walk through the doors of N Street Village each year will continue to receive the customized care they need to achieve personal stability and make gains in their housing, income, employment, mental health, physical health, and addiction recovery.  Please join our team.

Strength in Participation
Are you interested in supporting N Street Village Strong: A Community Walk in other ways?  Learn about opportunities to join our Community Walk Committee, sponsor a client walker, or host a community walk/event by contacting Naomi Ho at nho@nstreetvillage.org.

 

A country without compassion?

This blog post is in response to Charles Blow’s August 9, 2013 New York Times op-ed piece, “A Town Without Pity,” which was about America’s attitude toward the poor and homeless.  Blow’s article is a must read for all who are concerned about the poor and disenfranchised.  As Blow comments in his article, we were once the land of liberty that welcomed the world’s poor and homeless.

Yet today, many in America seem to have nothing but disdain for the poor.  Only last week, I wrote about the vengeance being unleashed in the House of Representatives against safety net programs for the poor. They propose massive cuts in these programs often wrapped in language of contempt for those in poverty.  As one who has been involved for 40 years with my congregation, Luther Place Memorial Church in D.C., serving homeless women at N Street Village, I want to offer a different perspective on the issues of poverty and homelessness in America then the one so prevalent in America today including in the chambers of our Congress.

My pastor of 27 years, John Steinbruck, gradually helped open our congregation’s eyes to the social justice message of the biblical texts, and he guided us in how to be good stewards of our church property and resources. N Street Village, a continuum of services for homeless and very low-income women, grew out of some old, run-down townhouses and a parking lot owned by the church. N Street Village supporters from multiple faith traditions helped build this amazing place of healing.

N Street Village

When our new facility was opened in 1996, we were proud to display biblical texts of compassion, justice, and hospitality on the entrance to N Street Village.

We discovered through working with the homeless women who came through our doors that they were not lazy freeloaders seeking to get a handout as often is the claim by those who want to cut safety net programs.  These women were desperately seeking help for lives that had seen abuse, abandonment, mental illness, addictions, loss of jobs and housing, and more.  We have witnessed so many wonderful transformations on our block through our customized safety net programs for the homeless.  N Street Village now serves more than 60 percent of the population of homeless women in DC and is one of the premier programs in the nation offering a complete continuum of services to women seeking to reestablish wholeness of life. Government support, along with private charity, and private participation were all instrumental in achieving our success.

Religious historian Karen Armstrong identifies compassion as the most important and common tenet among the world’s major religions and the Dalai Lama (who visited N Street Village in 2007) similarly says that compassion and social justice is the common message of all the world’s major religions. I end with words of Karen Armstrong who says: “We can either empathize with those aspects of our traditions, religious or secular, that speak of hatred, exclusion, and suspicion, or work with those that stress the interdependence and equality of all human beings.” The choice belongs to each of us.

Gary MaringBy Gary Maring – Gary is a member of Luther Place Membership Church and one of the founders of N Street Village.  He continues his commitment to N Street Village through membership on the Board of Directors and volunteer service.  Out of his 40 years of experience serving at Luther Place and N Street Village, he was moved to publish “Faith, Social Justice, and Public Policy.” He also authors a blog, which focuses “Faith, Social Justice, and Public Policy.”

Village Art

Village Art | The Woman Who…