New Partnership Announcement: if, A Foundation for Radical Possibility

Everyone Home DC is excited to announce a new grant partnership with if, A Foundation for Radical Possibility, which will support Everyone Home DC’s continued commitment to dismantling power structures that uphold white supremacy. 

In the U.S., Black people are disproportionately impacted by homelessness. In Washington, DC, Black residents make up 86.4% of the homeless population while only representing 46.6% of the city’s population. The over-representation of Black Americans in the homeless population is no accident. Racism, violent land theft, and insufficient income and assets that create housing instability and widen the racial wealth gap has made Black people more likely to experience poverty and homelessness.

Everyone Home DC knows that the systems, programs, and individuals that exist to serve people experiencing homelessness must continue to intentionally address the myriad of injustices that have resulted from racism and racial inequity. And, Everyone Home DC is committed to addressing the disparities that exist in homelessness services across Washington, DC, and within our own organization. Everyone Home DC recognizes that we have much work to do to create long-term change and become a just and equitable society. 

“I am beyond thrilled that if, A Foundation for Radical Possibility has chosen to invest in Everyone Home DC. We know that homelessness cannot end without addressing racial inequity,” shared Everyone Home DC Executive Director Karen Cunningham. “As an organization, Everyone Home DC is focused on doing the work to ensure we are consistently examining the systems and structures of our organization through an antiracist lens.” 

To accomplish this goal, Everyone Home DC has contracted with C4 Innovations’ Racial Equity Design and Implementation (REDI) Initiative to audit the organization and its services to fully understand racial inequities and disparities within our work and correct them through equitable strategies and systems. C4 Innovations has extensive experience in this field and with similar organizations such as the York Street Project, NJ, and Shelter House, VA. They collaborate with the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments to complete a Racial Equity and Systems Analysis Project, which includes the Continuum of Care that Everyone Home DC is a member of.

The vision of the if Foundation is for Black people and people of the global majority to live powerfully, abundantly, and beautifully in healthy, self-determined communities free of social, economic, and ideological violence. They do this by supporting community-based and nonprofit organizations in the Washington, DC region that advance racial equity and justice. Learn more at https://www.iffdn.org/

 

Support Everyone Home DC Families This Thanksgiving

Support Everyone Home DC’s Goal to Distribute Gift Cards to Support Families in Celebrating Thanksgiving This Year.

This Thanksgiving holiday season is the perfect time to help families in our community who continue to be impacted by the global health pandemic. Everyone Home DC is committed to ensuring that the families we work alongside will have the flexibility to celebrate Thanksgiving in a meaningful way. Once again this year, Everyone Home DC will distribute grocery and debit gift cards to our community members, giving them the power to make their own decisions on how they spend these funds.

Everyone Home DC introduced this new approach last year and it was met with gratitude and appreciation from our families, who appreciated the efficiency of the process and the ability to personalize their shopping experience. This year, we are continuing with the same model because we are continuing to navigate a pandemic and it’s what the community wants.

Everyone Home DC’s goal this year is to distribute a gift card to each family that works with Everyone Home DC, which means we need 150 $50 gift cards to distribute to families in advance of Thanksgiving. 

We need YOUR help to reach our goal. You can make a monetary donation today here. You can also consider running a drive to collect gift cards at your work, place of worship, book club, OR set up a fundraising page, and watch your social network support you in reaching your goal! Every little bit helps. Below is more information on how to get started. Thank you for your continued support of Everyone Home DC!

Everyone Home DC plans to begin distributing gift cards to families by mid-November

GETTING STARTED

  • We want to hear from you if you plan to run a drive or collection! This will support Everyone Home DC’s planning (and budgeting) efforts. Contact Kate Akalonu at akalonu@everyonehomedc.org to discuss what types of gift cards to focus on collecting and to share how many gift cards you plan to contribute. We can also provide any brainstorming support to get the word out to your community if you are running a drive.
  • You can also make a monetary donation that will be used to purchase gift cards by program staff and sent electronically to families. Please note, families have openly expressed how much they appreciate the convenience of receiving gift cards electronically. Consider making a donation in $50 increments (or any amount) today!
  • Everyone Home DC families expressed most appreciating Visa, Mastercard, Harris Teeter, Safeway, and Giant gift cards.

GETTING CARDS TO EVERYONE HOME DC

  • You are welcome to skip the process of purchasing cards and make a donation on our Thanksgiving Celebration donation page. Program staff will then purchase gift cards and send them electronically to families. Consider making a donation in $50 increments (or any amount) today!
  • If purchasing gift cards at a store or online, you are welcome to mail them directly to Everyone Home DC’s main headquarters address. Please contact Kate at akalonu@everyonehomedc.org if you have any questions or to discuss dropping the gift cards off.

Mail Gift Cards to:
Everyone Home DC
Attn: Thanksgiving
415 2nd Street NE, 3rd Floor
Washington DC 20002

Please note: For our guests’ health and safety at Shirley’s Place, we will not be accepting gift card drop-offs at our drop-in day center (which has historically been the location for drop-offs in the past.) Thank you for understanding.

If you have any questions, do not hesitate to reach out! Thank you for standing with Everyone Home DC now and always. We are so glad you are here.

 

September Challenge Wrap-Up

Thank you for once again making this year’s September Challenge a massive success! Thank you for showing up for individuals and families at risk of or experiencing homelessness in DC during this time of extreme uncertainty. Together, we raised nearly $60,000, with close to 200 donations made throughout the month. 

We would not have seen this success if it wasn’t for our AMAZING September Challenge Sponsors, Benefactor Circle, and Committee members; our staff, volunteers, donors, event hosts & participants, fundraisers, online auction partners & participants, and many social media ambassadors. We know the need to raise critical funds to support people facing homelessness is even more urgent due to the prolonged global health pandemic. Everyone played a critical role in ensuring this campaign’s success. Thank you.

In addition to the funds raised, check out Everyone Home DC’s September Challenge by the numbers.

  • The top two fundraisers raised more than $3,500 and collectively raised more than $7,000. Huge thanks to Alison Harwood, Angela Beckham, AND Edith and Mark Sherman for sharing your time and enthusiasm with this year’s September Challenge!
  • The September Challenge saw an increase in support this year, welcoming thirty Sponsors and Benefactor Circle members. 
  • There were six events hosted this September that welcomed new friends into the Everyone Home DC family and raised more than $10,000.
  • Everyone Home DC’s online auction raised more than $7,000.

It is the responsibility of each of us to end homelessness in Washington, DC and build the welcoming and inclusive community our founders believed is possible. Thank you for joining Everyone Home DC as we continue the work of ensuring all people have access to safe, affordable, and comfortable homes in Washington, DC. We are so glad you are here!

 

It’s Back! Join the Challenge this September!

SEPTEMBER CHALLENGE IS BACK FOR ANOTHER YEAR!
A MONTH-LONG DIGITAL CAMPAIGN (& MORE!)

For the second year in a row, Everyone Home DC will be taking its signature Fall fundraising event online! And we know, the need to raise critical funds to support people facing homelessness is more urgent than ever. The individuals and families Everyone Home DC works with every day were struggling with crises and instability long before this global health pandemic, and are now disproportionately bearing its terrible impact. Please help by joining Everyone Home DC in a month-long digital campaign. With a variety of fundraising experiences, to raise $55,000 for people at risk of or experiencing homelessness in our city!

Join Everyone Home DC, and be a part of this transformative experience:

IT IS ALL GOING DOWN THIS SEPTEMBER.

Please email Kate Akalonu at akalonu@everyonehomedc.org
to discuss any opportunities or creative ideas you have in more detail.

Vote Everyone Home DC Washington City Paper’s Best Nonprofit

Thanks to YOUR support during the nomination process, Everyone Home DC has made it into the next round of the Washington City Paper’s Best Of DC readers’ poll.

Now it is time to vote Everyone Home DC DC’s Best Nonprofit in the People and Places category.

⭐️ Click this link to get to the People and Places voting page: https://bit.ly/VoteEHDC

⭐️Scroll to Best Nonprofit and VOTE for Everyone Home DC! if you already participated in the nomination process, you shouldn’t have to enter your email again.

Voting closes on September 19. Last year we took 3rd place and we are excited to see where we land this year! Thank you all for taking the time to vote!

Back-to-School at Everyone Home DC

Support Everyone Home DC’s 2021/22 Back to School Initiative to Distribute 200 $50 Gift Cards to Rising Scholars

It is hard to believe but the 2021/22 school year is right around the corner! Each year we begin planning around this time so that when our families start to think about the new school year, Everyone Home DC is ready to provide support with any back-to-school needs. 

Last year, Everyone Home DC shifted its back-to-school approach to ensure we provided families with flexible monetary support by providing families with gift cards. This new approach was met with gratitude and appreciation from our families, who appreciated the efficiency of the process and the ability to go back-to-school shopping as a family. And, we welcomed even more friends and supporters into the Everyone Home DC family. 

For the 2021/2022 school year, we will once again be collecting funds to distribute gift cards to our families to help with back-to-school shopping. Everyone Home DC’s goal is to distribute a $50 gift card to each Everyone Home DC scholar, which means this year we need 200 $50 gift cards. AND, we need YOUR help to reach our goal. 

Please consider hosting a drive to collect gift cards (Visa, Mastercard, Target, Walmart, and Amazon) at your work, place of worship, or with your favorite people. You can also sponsor a scholar or two individually, OR you can support our efforts by sharing the need with your friends and family by sending a quick email or posting on your favorite social media platform. If you want to create a fundraising page to share with your friends, we can help you with that too! Every little bit helps. Below is more information on how to get started and how to get the gift cards or cash gifts to Everyone Home DC. 

Everyone Home DC plans to begin distributing gift cards to families by mid-August.

GETTING STARTED

  • We want to hear from you if you plan to run a drive or collection! This will support Everyone Home DC’s planning (and budgeting) efforts. Contact Kate Akalonu at akalonu@everyonehomedc.org to discuss what types of gift cards to focus on collecting and to share how many gift cards you plan to contribute. We can also provide any brainstorming support to get the word out to your community if you are running a drive.
  • You can also make a monetary donation that will be used to purchase gift cards by program staff and sent electronically to families. Please note, families have openly expressed how much they appreciate the convenience of receiving gift cards electronically.  Consider making a donation in $50 increments (or any amount) today!
  • Everyone Home DC families expressed most appreciating Visa, Mastercard, Target, Walmart, and Amazon gift cards.

GETTING CARDS TO EVERYONE HOME DC

  • You are welcome to skip the process of purchasing cards and make a donation on our Back to School Collection donation page. Program staff will then purchase gift cards and send them electronically to families. Consider making a donation in $50 increments (or any amount) today!
  • If purchasing gift cards at a store or online, you are welcome to mail them directly to Everyone Home DC’s main headquarters address. Please contact Kate at akalonu@everyonehomedc.org if you have any questions or to discuss dropping the gift cards off.

Mail Gift Cards to:

Everyone Home DC
Attn: Back-to-School

415 2nd Street NE, 3rd Floor

Washington DC 20002

Please note: For our guests’ health and safety at Shirley’s Place, we will not be accepting gift card drop-offs at our drop-in day center (which has historically been the location for drop-offs in the past.) Thank you for understanding.

If you have any questions, do not hesitate to reach out! Thank you for standing with Everyone Home DC now and always. We are so glad you are here.

 

Nominate Everyone Home DC for Washington City Paper’s Best Nonprofit

It is that time of the year…Best of DC is here and this year the process looks a little bit different. This year, Washington City Paper will start the voting process with an Open Nominations phase, where readers can write in their top choice. This phase will go until 8/1 @ 10:59 pm Central. Then, in the next phase is the Finalist Vote where readers can select their top choice from the finalists. Voting in the final stage will begin on 8/18 @ 11:01 pm Central. As Washington City Paper says on its website, “The new process will give local organizations and businesses more opportunities to rock the vote and be selected for the final ballot, and it’ll make it easier for readers to cast their ballots.

Take a couple of minutes (if that) and nominate Everyone Home DC Washington City Paper’s Best Nonprofit in the “People and Places” category. Here is what you need to do: click this link to get to the People and Places online ballot. Scroll down the alphabetical list stopping first at “Best Nonprofit” and type Everyone Home DC in the vote box, then enter your email address, and select nominate. That’s it!

Last year, Everyone Home DC landed in THIRD PLACE in the Best Nonprofit category and we are hoping to see a similar (or better!) performance this year!

Each year, Washington City Paper gives its readers a list of categories and asks YOU to name the very best of everything in DC. At Everyone Home DC, we believe our long-time work of and leadership in creating a thriving and diverse city where all people can obtain and remain in safe, affordable, and comfortable homes makes Everyone Home DC an obvious “Best Nonprofit” choice. THANK YOU IN ADVANCE FOR YOUR SUPPORT!

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

It isn’t even Memorial Day, and we are already experiencing temperatures well into the 90’s here in DC. 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 summer heat:

  • Support Everyone Home DC by purchasing items off of our Amazon Wish List
  • 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.
  • When in doubt, call 911. If you are concerned that a person is experiencing symptoms of heatstroke (e.g., loss of consciousness, lack of sweat), call 911 and take direction from the dispatcher. 
  • 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. 
  • Purchase a bottle of water or a sports drink for a person experiencing homelessness. Staying hydrated helps prevent heat-related illness. 
  • Sign up to receive alerts from AlertDC, so you know when a Heat Emergency is activated. 

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 highly vulnerable situations. Thank you!

Staff Spotlight: Jessie Henry

Everyone Home DC is excited to introduce you to Jessie Henry! Jessie has been working as a Street Outreach Coordinator at Everyone Home DC for more than 2 years. Everyone Home DC’s Street Outreach team works with chronically homeless individuals living in Capitol Hill. Jessie and her team use a person-centered approach to build and maintain relationships with our chronically homeless neighbors and supports them in meeting their immediate needs and achieving their long-term goals, which include obtaining stable housing. Jessie grew up in Williamsburg, Virginia, and has lived in DC for the last seven years. Prior to joining the Everyone Home DC team, Jessie worked at a homeless services organization called Friendship Place as a Rapid Rehousing Case manager. Recently, Jessie completed a three-and-a-half-year part-time Social Work program at The Catholic University of America and plans to get her clinical license after getting her graduate license. Jessie spends most of her free time with her husband and attempting to keep their 16-month-old son, who enjoys climbing on dangerous objects, alive. She also enjoys refinishing furniture and traveling anywhere and everywhere. Jessie recently shared a bit about herself and her experience at Everyone Home DC.

Describe working at Everyone Home DC in three words or less.
JH: Supportive, engaging, motivating.  

What keeps you motivated to come to work every day?
JH: My clients keep me motivated to come to work every day. My clients constantly teach me what it means to be resilient. They have embraced me into their community and make me want to work towards lasting systemic change. 

What do you wish other people knew about Everyone Home DC?
JH: We are dedicated to advocacy and believe this is the most vital part of seeing oppressive systems changed. We are always looking for people to join us as we advocate for more PSH vouchers along with more affordable housing. 

What do you wish other people knew about people experiencing, or at risk of experiencing homelessness?
JH: We are all humans and deserve dignity. Just because someone doesn’t have a doorknob to turn doesn’t mean they deserve anything less than respect and dignity. 

What’s your favorite activity to do in your free time?
JH: Anything and everything on the water. I grew up wakeboarding and waterskiing. Although I am a bit rusty these days I still try to get on the water any chance I can. 

What would you most like to tell yourself at age 13?
JH: HA! Resist the trend to wax your entire eyebrow off. It will never grow back the same. – kidding. I would likely tell myself to breathe and give myself grace. Life is challenging and unpredictable for us all but we can get through it by leaning on one another and giving a whole lot of grace to everyone. 

What is one of the first things you would like to do post-pandemic?
JH: Hug my friends and family. I would love to have a group of friends over for dinner or go to a restaurant and laugh for hours. 

Your 2020 Annual Report

Everyone Home DC is pleased to present—on behalf of our Board of Directors, staff, and clients—your 2020 Everyone Home DC Annual Report

2020 introduced new situations never before experienced in Everyone Home DC’s 50 years of existence. Within these pages, we celebrate all that you made possible. Thanks to you, Everyone Home DC was ready and available to support the many individuals and families at risk of or experiencing homelessness who needed us more than ever as the pandemic threatened their health and what little income they had.

As we look forward, Everyone Home DC recognizes that we must not only continue to meet the immediate needs of those who are struggling but also do very intentional work to dismantle the systemic and institutional racism that perpetuates a myriad of injustices, including homelessness and disinvestment in communities of color.  We are committed to continuing to do this work here at Everyone Home DC, and we know we cannot do it without you. 

Thank you for standing with us during this historic time.

Today, we should all feel a collective sense of pride for what we have accomplished together and re-energized to continue fighting for a city where no one lives or dies without the dignity and security of a safe home. 

Our sincere thanks for your continued confidence and support. We are so glad you are here!

If you aren’t able to see Everyone Home DC’s 2020 Annual Report below, click this link to view it in a new tab.

Annual-Report-2020-Everyone-Home-DC