A Letter from Schroeder Stribling

Dear Village Family,

The past few months have impacted N Street Village in ways we could have never expected. From the pain and difficulty to the generosity and heroics, I am inspired daily by the resilience and dedication of our entire Village family – each of you.

We continue to prioritize the health and safety of the women we serve and our frontline staff as the COVID-19 pandemic unfolds – and hopefully, recedes. We are working closely with our government partners and peer providers to have a coordinated response and minimize the impact of the crisis on those experiencing homelessness and the staff working to keep our programs open. You have our commitment to keeping you informed and engaged as we make decisions.

Looking at the long road ahead of us, we are planning for the inevitable increase in need for our services. While we are on strong footing to weather this immediate shock, thanks to the generosity of our community, our strategy is focused on achieving long-term sustainability which assures that our doors remain open for those in need today and in the future.

We see the leading indicators here in DC of food insecurity and rent shortfalls and know that this crisis will further imperil those who were already on the margins. For those of us involved in anti-poverty work our (collective) pre-existing condition of racial injustice is not news. Black and Brown residents of our city were already grossly underrepresented on all relative metrics of economic and social vulnerability, from housing insecurity to healthcare access. This virus will find a new way to both target and aggravate our inequities. We are watching this unfold before our eyes as our Black and Brown neighbors begin the bear the brunt of this crisis far more heavily than their white counterparts.

Here’s my case for hope:

  • This crisis offers a glaring x-ray of our fractured socio-economic structures. All of us concerned with racial and economic justice have an opportunity, if not an obligation, to use all the civic powers at our disposal to write, vote, teach, run for office, testify, etc. and use this moment to raise (MORE) awareness.

  • It will not be enough to simply “re-build” from this crisis, we need to re-engineer. We know everything we need to know about effective anti-poverty programs – this isn’t a knowledge deficit but rather an opportunity to re-examine how we were operating before and explore what we can do better. This is our chance to improve efficiency, reduce barriers and lead together with those we serve.

  • We can’t afford not to. Hope is an essential ingredient in fueling our message and creating change.

You are the community who has stood with the women of the Village since our founding almost fifty years ago.Thank you for your generosity, both in years past and present. We know that we can count on your continued investments as we build a sustainable future to meet the immediate and downstream effects of the crisis.

Here at the Village, we are rich in community. You are part of that wealth alongside all of the women whom we serve. I am not only grateful – I am relieved. Because going forward, we will need each other in new ways – some of which are yet unknown. It will take a Village and a unique blend of resilience and generosity.

In gratitude and hope,

Schroeder Stribling
Chief Executive Officer

PS – If you are looking for a starting place, check out our Advocacy page or explore some of my recent writings on Medium.

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