DC Summers are Hot. Here is How You can Help.

The heat is on! Everyone Home DC’s Street Outreach Team and Day Center, Shirley’s Place, have kicked into high gear to support our neighbors living outside in vulnerable situations. We often think of winter as the most dangerous time for people experiencing homelessness, AND the summer months can also be deadly for those who live outside. 

Every year, the District creates a Heat Emergency Plan to help keep everyone in our city safe during the hottest summer days. When the temperature or heat index reaches 95 degrees Fahrenheit, the city activates a Heat Emergency which triggers the opening of cooling centers. In addition, shelter transport vans will circulate to conduct safety checks, distribute water, and provide transportation to the cooling centers. 

Want to help? Here are a few ways to support our neighbors experiencing homelessness during the extreme heat: 

  1. Be aware of signs and symptoms of heat related illness like goosebumps, dizziness, heavy sweating, vomiting, faintness, loss of consciousness, or inappropriate dress for hot weather.
  2. When in doubt, call 911. If you are concerned that a person is experiencing symptoms of heat stroke (e.g. loss of consciousness, lack of sweat), call 911 and take direction from the dispatcher. 
  3. Save the number to the Shelter Hotline (202-320-7702) in your phone and call and ask for a safety check if you are concerned about someone on the street. 
  4. Purchase a bottle of water or a sports drink for a person experiencing homelessness. Staying hydrated helps prevent heat-related illness. 
  5. Sign up to receive alerts from AlertDC so you know when a Heat Emergency is activated. 
  6. Support Everyone Home DC by purchasing items off of our Amazon Wish List. We can never have enough undershirts, socks and underwear during summer. 
  7. Sign up to volunteer with Everyone Home DC’s Homeless Assistance Response Team. 

Please share this information with your friends, family, colleagues, and social networks as an easy way to make a difference in the lives of individuals who find themselves in extremely vulnerable situations. Thank you!

Image of Maya pulling green HART wagon with text "Make This Wish Come True"

Make a Birthday Wish Come True!

Support a birthday wish—to raise critical funds for individuals staying outside—in coming true!

Kate and Maya are new friends to Everyone Home DC. And within the last year, they have been so touched and inspired by Everyone Home DC’s vision of our city as a thriving and diverse community where all people can obtain and remain in safe, affordable, and comfortable homes that they decided to dedicate their shared June birthday month to raising critical funds for Everyone Home DC.

SUPPORT THIS WISH & MAKE A DONATION TODAY!

Kate started working for Everyone Home DC last August as our Director of Strategic Initiatives, bringing more than 10 years of nonprofit leadership and experience to our organization. Alongside Everyone Home DC’s dedicated staff, she is responsible for building the organization’s visibility, impact, and financial resources. Her oldest child, Maya, is nearing completion of the third grade and is Kate’s loudest cheerleader and a committed Everyone Home DC ambassador. Additionally, Maya is a concerned DC citizen when it comes to homelessness, affordable housing, and food insecurity. Maya most recently wrote her 3rd grade opinion piece writing project on homelessness and deployed with Everyone Home DC’s volunteer outreach program, HART. She is anxious to deploy again. 

Kate & Maya Ask YOU to Support Their Birthday Wish!

Their birthday wish fundraising goal is small, yet meaningful. Combining their ages (Kate turned 40 on June 1 and Maya is turning 9 on June 29) and adding a zero, they are hoping to raise $490 in support of Everyone Home DC’s Street Outreach program. A program that provides critical and life-saving support to individuals staying outside AND is entirely funded by the generosity of donors like YOU. 

We encourage you to visit their fundraising page, read their story, watch their videos, and help make their birthday wish come true by making a donation today!

INTERESTED IN STARTING YOUR OWN BIRTHDAY FUNDRAISER? You can easily get started by visiting Everyone Home DC’s Mightycause page and selecting the “Fundraise” button right under our logo and name. Then follow the prompts and within minutes, you can share your Everyone Home DC story and goal with your friends and family. If you have any questions or need any support, email Kate at akalonu@everyonehomedc.org.

Everyone Home DC Needs Backpacks & School Supplies!

As summer break is approaching for many of our city’s young scholars, it is hard to think about heading back to school–AND that is exactly what Everyone Home DC is doing. Every year, at this time, we begin planning for the next school year and we need your help.

Please join Everyone Home DC and make this year’s Back-to-School Backpack Drive the most successful, yet. Last year, thanks to generous community support Everyone Home DC provided nearly 450 children with backpacks filled with age appropriate school supplies to support them in starting the new school year with the materials they need to be successful. We have a similar goal for this year. Consider running a drive to collect backpacks and school supplies at your work, place of worship, exercise studio, book club OR you can sponsor a child or two individually. Every little bit helps. Below is more information on how to get started, what the needs are, along with when and where to drop backpacks off. Thank you for helping us bring backpacks to children in our community for the upcoming school year!

STEP ONE: GETTING STARTED
Contact Shelah Wilcox at 202-544-3150 or wilcox@everyonehomedc.org to share the number of backpacks you plan to donate and find out if there is an age group you should focus on.

STEP TWO: GO SHOPPING
Purchase new backpacks and school supplies, referring to the DC Public Schools 2019/20 supply list.

STEP THREE: ASSEMBLE BACKPACKS

  • Place the school supplies inside the backpack.
  • Attach the grade of the student being sponsored to each backpack handle.
  • On the side or front of each backpack include receipts and donor information in an envelope to receive a tax acknowledgement letter for your records.
  • Please keep copies of your receipts for your records.

STEP FOUR: DROP OFF BACKPACKS
August 12 – August 17
Shirley’s Place DayCenter | 1338 G Street SE
Monday-Friday: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

If you prefer to support Everyone Home DC by making a monetary donation, you can make a gift on Everyone Home DC’s website.

Deloitte Impact Day Visits Everyone Home DC

On Friday, June 7, Deloitte partnered with Everyone Home DC through its annual day of service–Impact Day. 15 volunteers arrived first thing in the morning, kicking off their service by learning about Everyone Home DC’s programs and community impact, followed by their impact project of beautifying four conference rooms at Everyone Home DC’s headquarters. These rooms are most frequently used to welcome families working with Everyone Home DC’s Family Homelessness Prevention Program. Deloitte provided the materials for the project, including four different paint colors that aligned with our new color palette to create stunning accent walls in each room.

Enjoy photos from the productive day on Everyone Home DC’s Facebook page.

Fox 5 Zip Trip Arrives at Eastern Market

On the morning of Friday, June 7, Everyone Home DC was honored to be a part of the Fox 5’s Zip Trip as a kick off event for Rediscover Eastern Market: A Celebration Marking 10 Years After Restoration.

Everyone Home DC had a table near the broadcast set and had the opportunity over the four hour event to engage with community members in attendance. We also unveiled our new (and very pretty AND popular) instagram frame and latest Everyone Home DC swag. Individuals who visited our table were also eligible to enter a raffle with a few stellar prizes.

It was an honor to be a part of this moment in time with Eastern Market. Visit Everyone Home DC’s Facebook page to see more photos from the morning. Thank you to everyone who stopped by to say, “hi.”

Everyone Home DC Responds to the Release of the 2019 Point-in-Time Count

Everyone Home DC’s Executive Director Karen Cunningham released the following statement in response to the 2019 Point-in-Time (PIT) Count of Persons Experiencing Homelessness.

“Every person has the right to a safe, affordable, and comfortable home. We are happy to see that family homelessness decreased by 11.8 percent and individuals experiencing chronic homelessness* decreased by 13.3 percent in Washington DC in 2018–reflecting the impact of the District’s prioritization of individuals and families living in the most vulnerable of living situations.

The 2019 Point-in-Time report confirms that more individuals and families are being afforded the right to a safe, affordable, and comfortable home through the coordinated actions of service providers, advocates, and policy makers.

At Everyone Home DC, we are proud of our contribution to this trend.

  • Last year, we provided homelessness prevention services to nearly 800 families.
  • And, through our Street Outreach program we helped 11 chronically homeless individuals move into their own homes.

But as the report concludes, there is more we must do to ensure no individual experiences the trauma of homelessness. There is a critical need for an increased supply of affordable housing, greater support for the delivery of wrap-around services, and dedicated efforts to decrease the disparity between income and housing costs in the District.  

To accomplish this, we call for the DC Council to act with urgency and fully fund the asks of The Way Home Campaign so more individuals can move from our city’s streets and shelters into safe, affordable, and comfortable homes.”

The PIT report notes homelessness prevention programs and permanent housing solutions as key drivers in the reduction of homelessness. Everyone Home DC is one of four organizations selected to run a family homelessness prevention program with the goal of helping families avoid a shelter stay, when possible, by stabilizing their housing in the community. In 2018, 94 percent of the families working with Everyone Home DC’s homelessness prevention program were diverted from a shelter stay.

The annual PIT report provides a one-night “snapshot” of the number of individuals and families staying either in shelter, temporary housing, or on the street within nine metropolitan area jurisdictions, which is essential information for policymakers and funder.  The complete report is available at mwcog.org/documents/homelessnessreport/.

*People who are chronically homeless have experienced homelessness for at least a year – or repeatedly – while struggling with a disabling condition such as a serious mental illness, substance use disorder, or physical disability.

Everyone Home DC Annual Spring Social Success!

On Tuesday, April 30,  Everyone Home DC celebrated its Annual Spring Social at the historic Hill Center at the Old Naval Hospital. Gathering with around 100 friends—old and new—those in attendance reflected on and shared stories of the organization’s vibrant history, celebrated this exciting moment in time, AND recommitted themselves to the work that must done every day to achieve Everyone Home DC’s vision of the District of Columbia as a thriving and diverse community where ALL people can obtain and remain in safe affordable, and comfortable homes.

The evening also went on to honor Nicky Cymrot with the Ruth Rappaport Wisdom Award. The annual award recognizes an individual who has displayed remarkable warmth, wisdom, and service to Everyone Home DC and the Capitol Hill neighborhood and who inspires us with their leadership and spirited joy of life and community. As Councilmember Charles Allen so perfectly said in his introductory remarks for the award ceremony, “Nicky is the best of us and an inspiration to all.”

It is the responsibility of each of us to end homelessness is Washington, D.C. and to build the welcoming and inclusive community our founders believed is possible. Executive Director Karen Cunningham shared, “Under our new name, we promise to communicate with you more regularly so you know what we are doing to end homelessness and create a more equitable city, how you can get involved, and the difference we make together. Thank you again for your support as we step into our future as Everyone Home DC!”

View photos from the evening on Everyone Home DC’s Facebook page. If you have any questions or want to discuss was to grow your partnership with Everyone Home DC, contact Kate Akalonu at akalonu@everyonehomedc.org.

Exciting News: CHGM is now Everyone Home DC

Dear Friends,

According to DC’s 2018 Point in Time homelessness count, there are approximately 7,000 of our neighboring families and fellow residents experiencing homelessness on any given night. Some may see this as a welcome decrease from the prior year—and I’m proud of our efforts that contributed to securing homes for many people in 2018—but our work is far from complete.

In fact, I’d say we’re just getting started.

For more than 50 years, Capitol Hill Group Ministry has partnered with people experiencing homelessness, and we’ve partnered with caring neighbors, fellow advocates, and city officials to end homelessness in the District. However, much has changed since our founding by a coalition of churches on Capitol Hill 50 years ago. In this milestone of our 50th anniversary, it was time to adopt a name that was truer to our mission, more reflective of our community, and more in line with our vision for our city as a thriving and diverse community, where all people can obtain and remain in safe, affordable, and comfortable homes.

And so, I am proud to announce that today, Capitol Hill Group Ministry becomes Everyone Home DC.

Our new name is a name and a mission statement in one. It is more welcoming of the diverse range of supporters it will take to achieve our vision and it gives our work a clear and recognizable descriptor. And one need not look further than our wide-ranging efforts in 2018 to see that our services and solutions reach far beyond the Capitol Hill community.

Our new name, however, will not impact our purpose, our programs, nor our special relationships with faith communities and Capitol Hill area partners. Our focused commitment continues, with a rigorous set of solutions for families and individuals experiencing homelessness in the Capitol Hill area and beyond.

The reality is, we’ve known a new name was needed for the past several years. So, about a year ago, with the support of our extended network, we began reflecting on the words we use to describe our beliefs, values, and impact. We refined our vision, mission, and strategic priorities, and then began considering how we communicate externally. Our process included conversations with staff, board, community members, and faith leaders, to ensure that our story was authentic and anchored by our core values and beliefs.

  • The New Name: Our new name – Everyone Home DC – gives our work a clear and recognizable descriptor, something we did not have previously. And it reduces the confusion that many people had about our previous name. Our services and solutions are no longer limited to the Capitol Hill community, and while we maintain strong alliances with DC’s faith community, we are not a religiously-affiliated organization.
  • Our New Logo and Visual Identity: Our new logo incorporates warm colors and connected row homes—an iconic DC visual that represents our unwavering commitment to this community. The gradient of a rising sun represents hope, optimism, and our belief in the self-determination and resilience of all people. We often heard that our prior mark felt dated and traditional—not at all like the work we do every day. The main focus of our rebrand, which includes a new website (everyonehomedc.org), was to bring clarity and connectivity to our work, and to help our current and future partners and colleagues better understand our work and our mission to end homelessness.

We are proud of the new brand we’ve built together at Everyone Home DC. We believe it’s a powerful reflection of who we are and what we stand for—something we’ve long known but not always expressed with such clarity.

We invite you to learn more and join us in this next phase of our journey. As I said above, we’re just getting started, and I look forward to all that we’ll be able to achieve, together.

In the spirit of service,

Karen E. Cunningham
Executive Director

Everyone Home DC Receives Anniversary Ceremonial Resolution from DC Council

On Tuesday, April 2, 2019, Everyone Home DC, formerly known as Capitol Hill Group Ministry, received the honor of a DC Council Ceremonial Resolution for its 50 years of service in support of individuals and families at risk of or experiencing homelessness in the District. Everyone Home DC feels so much gratitude to Councilmember Elissa Silverman and Councilmember Charles Allen for introducing & the entire DC Council for supporting. Many Everyone Home DC staff and supporters were in attendance to witness the ceremony. Everyone Home DC Executive Director, Karen Cunningham, shared these remarks with those in attendance:

On Tuesday, April 2, 2019, Everyone Home DC, formerly known as Capitol Hill Group Ministry, received the honor of a DC Council Ceremonial Resolution for its 50 years of service in support of individuals and families at risk of or experiencing homelessness in the District. Everyone Home DC feels so much gratitude to Councilmember Elissa Silverman and Councilmember Charles Allen for introducing & the entire DC Council for supporting. Many Everyone Home DC staff and supporters were in attendance to witness the ceremony. Everyone Home DC Executive Director, Karen Cunningham, shared these remarks with those in attendance:

“This is such a wonderful honor. Thank you to Councilmembers Silverman and Allen for introducing this resolution and the rest of the Council for supporting it. Thanks also to Pat Joseph who helped coordinate with us even before the resolution was introduced. It is really special to have CHGM’s 50 years of service to the District recognized in this way.


I’d also like to thank all the past and present staff and board members of CHGM, and the dedicated volunteers, donors, and in-kind supporters who have been essential to our ability to advance our mission. Most importantly, I’d like to acknowledge our clients–the strong and resilient individuals and families who teach us and motivate us every day. It is the people associated with CHGM that make us great.

Capitol Hill Group Ministry was founded in 1967 by Capitol Hill churches concerned about issues of racial and economic inequality and development that threatened to divide the community along racial lines and leave longtime residents behind. Their leadership and commitment to racial and economic justice inspires us as we continue to grapple with similar issues.


Today, Capitol Hill Group Ministry strives to realize our vision of the District of Columbia as a thriving and diverse community where all people can obtain and remain in safe, affordable, and comfortable homes.


We are challenged by the boom in the District’s population and economy that has been accompanied by a dearth of affordable housing and makes CHGM’s services needed more than ever. So this morning, we not only celebrate our 50 years of service, but also recommit ourselves to the work ahead. Thank you!”

Read the full Ceremonial Resolution here.

YOU are a Part of Mary and Tracy’s Story

At Everyone Home DC, we know housing is the solution to ending homelessness AND we understand it is not sufficient for long-term success. Families transitioning out of homelessness need resources beyond decent affordable housing to thrive: food, education, employment, parenting supports, children’s services, transportation, health and mental health care.

Families just like Mary and Tracy’s.

Mary grew up in Mississippi, where she experienced the trauma of parental abuse and lacked strong family attachments. When she was a young adult, an aunt moved Mary to the D.C. region hoping that she would find solace and success in a new environment.

With limited education and work experience, Mary was dependent on her aunt. When her aunt passed away, Mary found herself struggling to care for her family alone. She moved her family into emergency shelter after exhausting all other options. Stressed by her circumstances, Mary experienced depression and anxiety and used substances to self-medicate. Her addiction resulted in Tracy being removed from her care. Mary was tired and longed for change.

For Mary, it was intensive substance abuse treatment and connection to Everyone Home DC that allowed her to make lasting change. After getting clean and sober, Mary regained custody of Tracy and learned her family was eligible for housing through Everyone Home DC’s Permanent Supportive Housing program. She signed a lease for an apartment of her own and began receiving supportive services to ensure housing stabilization, maximum
levels of self-sufficiency, and a better quality of life. Everyone Home DC was there to help Mary and Tracy thrive in their new lives.

With stable housing and caring support from Everyone Home DC, Mary and Tracy were able to move beyond the past and focus on their future. Members of their Everyone Home DC support team have served as coordinators and advocates for Mary with landlords, service providers, and school administrators, and as motivators and cheerleaders for Mary and Tracy as they took on new challenges. Mary started attending Everyone Home DC’s parenting classes, finding comfort in the routine, while having a space to address parenting questions and creating meaningful friendships with other mothers in the program. Over the years, she rarely missed a class and grew into a leadership role, reminding her friends when meetings were scheduled and offering suggestions for how the group could evolve. Today, Mary is focused on improving her literacy skills and is looking for a consistent employment or volunteer opportunity.

Children experiencing homelessness tend to score lower on standardized tests and have lower graduation rates. It’s difficult to concentrate in class when you’re worried about your housing or don’t sleep well in shelter, and it’s hard to prepare for tests when you don’t have a home, let alone a quiet room where you can study. This was true for Tracy when she was homeless, but with her new stability in our housing program, Tracy enjoyed going to school and was able to focus on her homework, creating meaningful relationships with her friends, and pursuing her interest in fashion. Along the way, Everyone Home DC was there to help with navigating the education system, and with school enrichment fees, school supplies, and uniform costs. Tracy attended Washington Mathematics Science Technology Public Charter School all four years of high school. She excelled there and even took AP classes. This past spring, Tracy attended the school’s prom and shortly after, graduated from high school!

Thanks to her hard work and your support, Tracy’s story is just beginning. Tracy now has her sights set on attending university. She toured several campuses and has decided to stay in Washington, DC to attend Trinity University in the Spring. Tracy plans to be the first person in her family to graduate from university.

You are a part of Mary and Tracy’s story. Your continued support will make ongoing healing and progress possible for them and families like theirs. Everyone Home DC envisions the District of Columbia as a thriving and diverse community where all people can obtain and remain in safe, affordable, and comfortable homes. In the spirit of the season, please make an urgently needed contribution today. We need YOU to make this vision of opportunity possible. [LINK TO DONATE PAGE]