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What did you do this year?

Schroeder 2 - CopyAs I look back on the past year at N Street Village, you come to mind.

In the midst of your busy days in 2014, you found a way to make a difference here.

Because of you:

  • 171 women had a safe place to call home in our transitional or permanent supportive housing programs
  • 51 low-income families had affordable housing
  • 31,457 nutritious meals were served
  • More than 1,000 women had access to life-saving programs through our Day Center and Wellness Center

Thank you. Your investment ensured that N Street Village was here to provide comprehensive, wrap-around services and programs to those who need us most.

As I now look forward to 2015, I know that there are many challenges still ahead. Affordable housing in DC continues to be in critical shortage, and the wait for a needed rental subsidy can last many years. The average cost for a one bedroom apartment is now more than $1,400 – far beyond the reach of someone who is working a minimum wage job. These truths leave so many women at risk of poverty, homelessness and the myriad of health, mental health and other consequences that ensue.

This holiday season and every day of the year, N Street Village is committed to providing shelter, housing, food, health care, income supports, crisis assistance, and day shelter for our city’s most vulnerable women. And we are privileged to watch many wonderful stories unfold as these individuals use the resources of our Village to transform their lives and reach their personal goals.

I imagine that you think much as I do: when any of us are in need of support, we want to be greeted with dignity and kindness, and we want to know that the help we receive will be effective. That happens daily as together, we work to keep the doors of this Village open, to create our community of respect, and to empower women to make measurable progress in their lives.   This past week alone we welcomed 21 new women to N Street Village – we are extending this same promise and possibility to each of them.

Today, let us celebrate what we have accomplished together this year. And may we find inspiration and strength for the journey ahead in the coming New Year.

Yours in gratitude,
Schroeder Stribling

 

 

From the Executive Director: A “Close-Up” Perspective

Schroeder 2 - CopyDear Village Friends:

You may have seen the article in The Washington Post this week by Petula Dvorak.

I am sure that you have been hearing the many media reports about the situation at DC General. The problem is a very real and pressing one—and yet, the story told publicly often misses much of the overall complexity of the issue. I have been involved in DC’s policy and planning work as a local leader/advocate and also as a member of the DC Interagency Council on Homelessness and have had a “close-up” perspective.

From that perspective, I would like to emphasize the following:

  • For 2 years now, we have seen a dramatic spike in family homelessness in DC (in most cases, “families” are “women with children”); many more families than anticipated came to request shelter in the winter months. Acting on an emergency basis to this crisis, the District housed hundreds of people at DC General and also put families in hotels—an unideal, inefficient solution and one to which there seemed no alternatives given the few resources in the hands of those charged with addressing it
  • Over the past 5 years we HAVE made some progress in addressing individual (often ‘chronic’) homelessness in DC—and programs such as N Street Village’s Erna’s House are examples of what we have accomplished in working together between government funders, private developers, and service providers
  • A situation like DC General however won’t be fixed by simply addressing that crisis, but rather by understanding and beginning to remediate the underlying problems which are causing the crisis…such as:
    –A shrinking and dramatically inadequate amount of affordable (and decent) housing in DC
    –Vast and unyielding socio-economic disparities in education, health, and access to vocational opportunities

We have a lot of work to do in all of these areas and it will take every community, every board/group/mission/organization, AND our government partners to make progress and to address deeply entrenched poverty and its related problems, such as those exemplified by DC General. I always encourage us to remember and share the idea that “we are more alike than we are different.” A few small turns of fate of circumstance could render us in one another’s position—and whether we are motivated by our faith or a sense of justice or compassion—we should fulfill a social compact that ensures equity, dignity and opportunity for everyone.

With thanks to Petula and The Washington Post for printing this article, we DO hold N Street Village as an example of what can be possible. AND it is the dedication and generosity of all of you—our Board, our volunteers, our neighborhood, our contributors and others—who have created this community of compassion and potential.

May we all stay ‘on fire’ for the mission of N Street Village and for the larger objectives of social equity and opportunity that we represent.

With gratitude for all of you, who are so committed and engaged.

Schroeder Stribling
N Street Village
Executive Director

P.S. We did not know that Petula was going to write about N Street Village in her article, it was a nice Tuesday morning surprise.

More reading on the topic:

Photo of the Week

PIT Board

From right to left – N Street Village Executive Director Schroeder Stribling along with Village Board Members Gary Maring and Robin Halsband pause for a quick team photo during last night’s Point-in-Time Homeless Persons Count. The annual census collects data on homelessness in our community.  Results of the census are used to see what programs may have worked to reduce homelessness over the past year and to help our local government develop policies that can ultimately eliminate it.

One Powerful Village Story Featured in WAMU 88.5 Series

This week, in a five-part series, WAMU 88.5 is exploring the influence of the crack epidemic in the late 80s and early 90s on our city.  The emergence of crack cocaine on DC streets was a major influence on the founding years of our N Street Village community, and we continue to cope with the effects of this addiction.  

A few months ago, Evelyn Green, whom many of you know as the manager of our day center program and a role model to so many, sat down with her daughter and with WAMU reporter Kavitha Cardoza. Together, they bravely and honestly shared their story of Evelyn’s addiction and the affects her addiction and recovery has had on their family.

Their story aired this morning on WAMU 88.5 Morning Edition in a segment titled, “Crack-Addicted Mothers Gave up Everything – Even Kids.” A supplementary digital story, on the same topic, featuring a resident living in our Recovery Housing program, Lynda, can also be found on this page.

Additionally, on Friday at 1 p.m. the entire five-part series will be sewn together into an hour long documentary, where there will be extended footage from Evelyn and her daughter’s interview, and there will also be excerpts from an interview that I did with Kavitha.  The segment featuring N Street Village will begin around 1:22 p.m.

Listen to the complete series on WAMU’s website.

Thanks for all that YOU do to make these stories of hope and healing possible.

Schroeder and Stuart Signatures - Copy
Schroeder Stribling, N Street Village Executive Director

[Video] Village “Happy” Dance

This week marks the 50th anniversary of President Lyndon B. Johnson’s “War on Poverty” announcement, which introduced legislation that would significantly grow the government’s role in fighting poverty.

Today that “war” is far from over and the need to find solutions to the entrenched causes of poverty and its numerous negative effects remains urgent.  Yet while we should feel disquieted about the justice that is still to be achieved, there are many small victories that we can and should feel proud of on this anniversary.

Here at N Street Village we are witness to moments of healing, happiness, and joy every day.  We are privileged to stand in solidarity with women and families who are overcoming their personal struggles and reaching out to help one another.

What better way to celebrate this feeling than through…dance. Recently, our community was inspired by a Pharrell Williams’ 24-hour interactive song and video called “Happy.” Knowing that we have a very talented community of movers and shakers, we decided to join the “24 Hours of Happy” viral movement and create own Village “Happy” dance.  We wanted to “share the love” with you today – we hope you enjoy this moment of happiness N Street Village-style.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HCClw_vhaNk&w=640&h=360]

May the daily and inspirational achievements of those we serve give us strength and courage for the journey ahead. 

Much happiness,
Schroeder Stribling
Executive Director of N Street Village

Soviet Jewry Exhibit at Washington Hebrew Congregation

By Schroeder Stribling, N Street Village Executive Director

It was an honor to be present for the opening of an exhibit at Washington Hebrew Congregation on Sunday night December 8th, to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the vigil and movement to liberate Soviet Jewry.  N Street Village is especially honored by the deep ties that we share to the leaders in this extraordinary history – including Norman and Joanne Goldstein, Marcia and (the late) Rabbi Joe Weinberg, Joan and Oscar Dodek, and Pastor John and Erna Steinbruck, among others.

The Soviet Jewry exhibit – which will be up until April 6, 2014 – is a great testimony to our human potential.  This history is a vibrant example of the fact that we can indeed unite and work in communion and in community for justice, peace and freedom.  Especially this past week as we honor the legacy of Nelson Mandela, may we be bound together in hope and determination to continue our efforts and see the promise ahead for the social justice we have yet to achieve.

 

Our Community Champion

Schroeder Mystics 2On July 6, N Street Village Executive Director Schroeder Stribling received the honor of Community Champion from the Washington Mystics and Capital One Bank.

At every home game the Washington Mystics and Capital One Bank partner together to recognize heroes in the greater D.C. area.  Schroeder was selected for her leadership to N Street Village as well as her caring spirit.  Our Village community salutes Schroeder for her achievements and for the dedication she shares with us every day.

Please join me for my birthday on June 18th…

IMG_2082For my birthday on June 18, I’m asking YOU – my friends and family – for a special remembrance: help me raise $4,700 for N Street Village.

**This year, every dollar donated (up to $25,000) will be matched by the Community Foundation for the National Capital Area.  Make a donation today and double your gift AND impact!**

Thanks to the generosity of our donors, this year N Street Village will provide approximately 1,400 homeless and low-income women with housing and comprehensive services, and another 51 families with affordable housing. For 10 years now it has been a personal honor to serve this community where hope and healing happen every day.

Please join me in supporting the N Street Village mission by making a donation With this matching offer, together we can provide an entire year of safe shelter AND meals for 2 women in our Luther Place Night Shelter.

(Exclusive: Village celebrity SchrElvis will apparently be sending a special Thank-You video to all birthday donors…)

Peace and gratitude,

Schroeder

Photo of the Week

Video

Richard Waganer with CRE-A-TV captures community footage for this year’s gala video. This is Richard’s sixth year shooting the Comcast sponsored video that will be viewed at the Ritz-Carlton, Washington, DC on April 10th at N Street Village’s Annual Gala.   Pictured: N Street Village Executive Director Schroeder Stribling with the 2013 Erna and John Steinbruck honorees in N Street Village’s Bethany Women’s Center.

You Helped Pat

PatOne night after being beaten and verbally assaulted one too many times, Pat finally got the confidence to leave her abusive boyfriend.

With only the clothes on her back, Pat left – and for the first time in her life, she was homeless. Looking for somewhere safe where she could focus on getting her life back together, Pat found N Street Village.

At the Village, Pat moved into Luther Place Night Shelter, a transitional shelter where a woman can stay until she locates more permanent housing. Pat began feeling hopeful again as she started the hard process of rebuilding her life.

After working with our Employment and Education Center, Pat now has two jobs and is able to afford a place of her own. Pat is happy again—she is safe from violence, employed, and has her own home.

There are so many more women like Pat who find themselves in circumstances they could never have imagined. Please make a gift this holiday season to offer these women a new beginning.

Because of your support of N Street Village, our city’s most vulnerable women have a place to go.  By making a gift today, you will ensure that every woman who walks through our doors in 2013 is offered care and compassion.  These women are counting on you.

Wishing you and your loved ones a Happy New Year,
Schroeder Stribling
Executive Director

P.S. Be sure to make your tax-deductible gift before December 31 – you will be helping women like Pat make a new start in 2013.