❤ 2020 Executive Director Reflection ❤

2020. What an unbelievable and unexpected year it has been! When we sat down at the end of last year to reflect and plan for the year ahead, a global health crisis was not on the vision board. Nor was a national reckoning with police violence against Black Americans that sent millions of people into the streets to declare Black Lives Matter.

This year, we have all been tested personally and professionally in ways we could never have imagined. As I look back, I am overwhelmed with appreciation for our smart, skilled, compassionate, and dedicated staff and Board of Directors. They have worked tirelessly and continuously reimagined how Everyone Home DC provides critical services and resources for individuals and families at risk of or experiencing homelessness during this unprecedented and constantly evolving time. And my heart is full as I remember how we lifted each other up as we experienced anxiety, isolation, grief, and rage as we witnessed so much loss and the disproportionate toll the pandemic and police violence took on Black people and those who had already been struggling.

All of us at Everyone Home DC are filled with extreme gratitude for the love we have felt from our amazing champions (YOU!). You have reached out to ask how to help, shared words of encouragement, and made donations that enabled us to respond with flexibility and efficiency over these last nine months. Thank you!

2020 introduced new situations never before experienced in Everyone Home DC’s 50 years of existence. Thanks to your support, we continue to provide urgent and critical resources to the individuals and families we work with who are feeling far more exposed to the harshness of our new reality. In 2020:

  • Our Street Outreach team did COVID health checks and distributed undergarments, body wipes, hand sanitizer, and other items essential to the health and safety of those with no place to shower or wash their hands, and ensured that everyone had enough to eat.
  • Our family housing and prevention programs pivoted seamlessness to remote and limited in-person case management to safely support families, ensuring housing stability and access to much-needed resources and support. As Everyone Home DC families are at high risk for COVID-19, attending to their physical and mental wellbeing has been a critical part of the care we’ve provided this year.
  • After a brief pause in service to establish safety protocols and secure necessary supplies, our drop-in day center, Shirley’s Place, reopened to provide laundry, showers, mail pickup, grab and go snacks and toiletry bags, and emergency clothing.
  • Our first-ever digital campaign—September Challenge, in the Spirit of Sip and Savor—far exceeded our expectations and raised more than $70,000, with close to 400 donations made throughout the month.
  • The traditional in-kind donation drive for back to school, Thanksgiving, and holiday gift-giving shifted from distributing goods and items to giving gift cards, which have offered families the flexible support they need during this time. We collected nearly $40,000 from more than 200 donors, which we quickly distributed to our housing program families.
  • We advocated strenuously to preserve DC funding for homeless services, housing, and social safety net programs in the face of enormous revenue shortfalls.

None of this would be possible without you. In a year when everything has felt so incredibly different, your support has remained constant, offering Everyone Home DC much needed stability and inspiration. Thank you for standing with us during this historic year. With your support, Everyone Home DC plans to be here not just today but in the months and years ahead, working as a community to ensure that the needs of our most vulnerable residents are at the center of a just recovery. Thank YOU for helping Everyone Home DC make it through 2020. As we look towards 2021, we are confident we will get through the challenges ahead together.

With warm wishes for a joyful holiday season,

Karen Cunningham
Everyone Home DC
Executive Director

It’s GivingTuesday!

In case you haven’t heard in an email (or two) already—today. is. GivingTuesday!

GivingTuesday is an all day global generosity movement that strives to build communities where the catalytic power of generosity is at the heart of the society we build together—unlocking dignity, opportunity, and equity in DC and around the globe. There are so many ways to participate in #GivingTuesday this year! Whether you give your voice or your money, being generous is a way to fight for the causes you care about and help people in need.

Here are some ways to share this very special day with Everyone Home DC:

DONATE. Your GivingTuesday gift ensures all people living in the District have access to safe, affordable, and comfortable homes along with meaningful relationships that connect people with supportive networks. This is even more important during the ongoing global health emergency. Make your year-end #GivingTuesday gift TODAY!

SHARE YOUR MERRY. Every family deserves a joyful end-of-year experience! Everyone Home DC is committed to ensuring that families have the flexibility to celebrate their winter holiday and experience the joy of giving gifts. Learn more about this year’s new approach and share your merry with a family today!

SPREAD THE WORD. Share with your friends and families what Everyone Home DC means to you. It can be a video of why you give or a story of your favorite moment engaging with our mission. However you choose to share, tag @EveryoneHomeDC

DO GOOD ALL DECEMBER. Check out the 2020 GivingTuesday Do Good calendar and get daily “Do Good” ideas for the entire month of December. 

Thank you for standing with Everyone Home DC on #GivingTuesday and always.

Feeling Thankful

Today on Thanksgiving, Everyone Home DC wants to express how grateful we are for the communities, partners, staff, volunteers, and donors we have the privilege of working alongside. This year has been met with a global health crisis, racial reckoning, and increased uncertainty for people at risk of or experiencing homelessness. Our work at Everyone Home DC has never felt more urgent.

The one thing that is forever constant is your continued support, allowing Everyone Home DC to respond with speed and flexibility during this unprecedented time of need. We are honored to work alongside you to ensure all people living in the District have access to safe, affordable, and comfortable homes as well as meaningful relationships that connect them with supportive networks. All of which is even more important during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Thank you.

From All of Us at Everyone Home DC, Happy Thanksgiving!

‘Tis the Season to Share Your Merry!

The winter holiday season is right around the corner and YOU can ensure Everyone Home DC families experience a joyful holiday by supporting Everyone Home DC’s efforts to distribute gift cards to families during these times of uncertainty. 

While everything continues to look very different, Everyone Home DC is committed to ensuring that families have the flexibility to celebrate their winter holiday and experience the joy of giving gifts, while also continuing to encourage social distancing and limiting traffic to our drop-in day center. Everyone Home DC is shifting this year’s model to distribute gift cards to families in most need during these uncertain times. Based on the family size, we will provide gift cards valued between $150 and $500. We plan to distribute cards to families by mid-December so that they can shop before the Christmas holiday

Please consider running a drive to collect gift cards (Target, Old Navy, TJ Maxx, Marshalls, Amazon, Homegoods, DSW, Foot Locker, Sephora), making a donation of any size, 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! If you have any questions, do not hesitate to reach out.

 

GETTING STARTED

  • We would love to hear from you if you plan to run a drive or collection, so we can plan (and budget) appropriately. Contact Kate Akalonu at akalonu@everyonehomedc.org to share your interest and discuss community needs.
  • To keep things easy, you can also make a monetary donation so program staff can purchase gift cards and send electronically or by text to families. We have learned that this is one of the most efficient and most appreciated approaches during this unprecedented time! Consider making a gift of any size today!
  • Kate can also support you with setting up a fundraising page if that is of interest and brainstorm ways to get the word out to your community if you are running a personal campaign. You can see an example of a page set up for the back to school drive here.
  • Everyone Home DC families expressed most appreciating Target, Old Navy, TJ Maxx, Marshalls, Amazon, Homegoods, DSW, Foot Locker, Sephora gift cards.  You can also purchase gift cards in smaller values, like $10, to Subway, Dunkin Donuts, Chiptole, Chick Fil A, McDonald’s, 7Eleven.

GETTING CARDS TO EVERYONE HOME DC 

Please note: For our staff and 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 purchasing gift cards at a store or online, you are welcome to mail them to Everyone Home DC’s main headquarters address. Please contact Kate if you have any questions or to coordinate a drop-off.

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

You are also welcome to skip the process of purchasing cards and make a donation on our Holiday Season of Giving donation page. Program staff will then purchase gift cards and send them electronically or by text to families. 

Do not hesitate to reach out to Everyone Home DC if you have any questions. Thank you for standing with Everyone Home DC now and always!

 

 

Virtual Happy Hour. All Are Welcome.

Join Everyone Home DC friends, volunteers, and staff for a virtual Halloween themed Happy Hour event on Wednesday, October 28 at 5:30 p.m. We are excited to come together in friendship to discuss ways we can support our community during these uncertain times. Sign up to receive the Zoom information in advance of the gathering today.

AND, back by popular demand. Everyone Home DC supporters and volunteers will kick off the Halloween themed gathering by walking participants through the steps to make their very own Black Widow Smash cocktail. Below is the ingredient list for those who want to join the fun of making the cocktail.

Consider embracing the Halloween theme by wearing a costume, dressing your pet/s in costume, adding a Halloween themed Zoom background, or whatever else feels fun! And just seeing your face in Zoomland is more than enough!

BLACK WIDOW SMASH COCKTAIL INGREDIENTS

  • 8 fresh blackberries, plus more for topping
  • 1-2 teaspoons fresh rosemary, plus a sprig for serving
  • 3 tablespoons/ 1.5 ounces lemon ( about 1/2 of a lemon)
  • 1-2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 1/2 – 2 ounces / 1 – 1.5 shots / 3-4 tablespoons tequila or Mezcal
  • a couple dashes of Angostura bitters
  • sparkling water, for topping
  • 5-8 ice cubes

Support Families This Thanksgiving

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

Each Fall, as we all start thinking about the upcoming holiday season, Everyone Home DC hosts its Thanks-GIVING Basket Drive to provide Thanksgiving meals for families living in our city. This year, everything continues to look different as we all continue to navigate our daily lives during a global pandemic. This holiday season, Everyone Home DC is committed to ensuring that the families will have the flexibility to celebrate Thanksgiving in a meaningful way. 

Everyone Home DC is shifting this year’s model to collect $50 grocery gift cards and monetary donations. Our goal 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 by November 12. 

We need YOUR help to reach our goal. Consider running a drive to collect gift cards, make a donation, 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!


GETTING STARTED

  • We would love to hear from you if you plan to run a drive or collection, so we can plan (and budget) appropriately. Contact Kate Akalonu at akalonu@everyonehomedc.org to share your interest and discuss community needs.
  • To keep things easy, you can also make a monetary donation so program staff can purchase gift cards and send electronically to families. During this unprecedented time, we have learned that this is one of the most efficient and most appreciated approaches! Consider donating in $50 increments today!
  • Kate can also support you with setting up a fundraising page if that is of interest. You can see an example of a fundraising page set up for the back to school drive here. We can also provide any brainstorming support to get the word out to your community if you are running a personal campaign.
  • Everyone Home DC families expressed most appreciating Harris Teeter, Safeway, and Giant gift cards.
  • Everyone Home DC plans to distribute gift cards to our families no later than November 12.


GETTING CARDS TO EVERYONE HOME DC 

Please note: For our staff and 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 purchasing gift cards at a store or online, you are welcome to mail them to Everyone Home DC’s main headquarters address. Please contact Kate at akalonu@everyonehomedc.org if you have any questions or to coordinate a drop-off.

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

You are also welcome to skip the process of purchasing cards and make a donation on our Thanks-GIVING donation page. Program staff will then purchase gift cards and send them electronically to families. Any amount towards our goal is appreciated. Consider donating in $50 increments today! 

If you have any questions, do not hesitate to reach out to Kate Akalonu at akalonu@everyonehomedc.org. We are on standby to provide support in the same way that you are always on standby to provide support for our most urgent needs. Thank you!

September Challenge by the Numbers

Today, on this beautiful first day of October, we celebrate the success of our first-ever digital campaign—September Challenge, in the Spirit of Sip and Savor. Together, we raised nearly $70,000, with close to 400 donations made throughout the month.

Not being able to host our signature fundraising event—Sip and Savor—this year was truly heartbreaking, especially when the need to raise critical funds to support people facing homelessness is even more urgent due to the global health pandemic. Thank you for pivoting with Everyone Home DC so gracefully to ensure we reached our goal. And, thank you for showing up for individuals and families at risk of or experiencing homelessness in DC during this time of extreme uncertainty!

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. 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.

  • Last night in the final hours, Stacie and Tim’s fundraiser in support of Everyone Home DC climbed five spots on the leaderboard to take the number one spot, raising more than $6,000.
  • Seventeen sponsors returned to support our efforts, even though this year looked incredibly different from our usual Sip and Savor event, and we welcomed three new sponsors.
  • Fourteen families joined our Benefactor Circle.
  • Everyone Home DC’s staff participated in a little friendly September Challenge competition and blew past their goal of $10,000 to collectively raise nearly $18,000.
  • There were ten events hosted this September that welcomed nearly 200 people and raised almost $8,000. Two more events are coming up this weekend. Learn more below. We would love to see you there!
  • Everyone Home DC’s first-ever online auction raised more than $5,000.
  • Twenty-four fundraisers were created in support of Everyone Home DC’s September Challenge goal!

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! 

The Challenge Auction is Officially Open

Everyone Home DC is excited to announce the September Challenge Auction’s kick-off, which will take place entirely online from now until Friday, September 25. Join The Challenge and place a bid (or two!) on a variety of unique experiences and opportunities. All the Online Auction proceeds support Everyone Home DC, which makes winning feel twice as nice.

Buy something for yourself, family, or a friend. There is something for everyone in this auction – from cabana’s at Hook Hall, to expert financial advice, a private wine classvoice lessons, and so much more. It is truly guilt-free shopping! The funds we raise will benefit Everyone Home DC’s month-long digital campaign—consisting of various fundraising experiences—to raise $50,000 for people at risk of or experiencing homelessness in our city! Take a look and place your bid today.

Have a question? A suggestion? Want to become more involved? Contact Everyone Home DC to discuss more.

Trying Something New! September Challenge.

Everyone Home DC is trying something new and we hope you will join the fun!

Everything is different now. Everyone Home DC is heartbroken that we are unable to host our signature fundraising event—Sip and Savor—this year, when the need to raise critical funds to support people facing homelessness is especially urgent. The individuals and families Everyone Home DC works with every day struggled with crises and instability long before this pandemic, and are now disproportionately bearing its terrible impact. You can help by joining Everyone Home DC in a month-long digital campaign. With a variety of fundraising experiences, to raise $50,000 for people at risk of or experiencing homelessness in our city!


Check out some of the ways you can join the fun:

  • Start your own fundraiser and race your way to the top of the leaderboard. We would LOVE to invite you to join Everyone Home DC’s September Challenge leaderboard and host a fundraiser to reach our goal. You can do this by hosting an event, sharing your page with your friends and families through different communication channels, or a combination of both! If you need any support, let us know. Fundraising toolkit coming soon!
  • Join the Benefactor Circle today with a gift of $500.
  • Become a Challenge Match Sponsor and leverage your sponsorship by encouraging others to give. Contact us today to discuss in more detail.
  • Bid on unique items, experiences, and great deals featured on the September Challenge online auction, which will go live on September 8!
  • Keep an eye on Everyone Home DC’s event page to join creative fundraisers throughout the month—Bingo! Cooking! Trivia! And, more…

All Are Welcome!

Join Everyone Home DC volunteers and staff for a virtual Happy Hour event on Wednesday, August 5 at 5:30 p.m. We are excited to come together in friendship to discuss ways we can support our community during these uncertain times.

  • To kick the evening off, HART Volunteers, Valerie DiCristoforo & Adolfo Gatti, will make a summer-inspired cocktail (see below for ingredient, in case you are interested in joining in the fun!)
  • Everyone Home DC will provide an update on DC’s budget and ways to continue to advocate for the critical needs of unhoused and housing unstable community members.
  • We will also share how Everyone Home DC is working to reach essential fundraising goals when hosting large, in-person events isn’t an option. This year, we will need to shift Everyone Home DC’s signature fall fundraising event from an in-person experience to a month-long digital campaign with lots of unique ways for our supporters to help reach our goal of $50,000. We hope you will join us in this effort!

If any of this sounds of interest to you, please sign up using this Google Form to receive Zoom information in advance of the Happy Hour. We cannot wait to see you there! 

For those interested in making a summer classic–The Mojito–with Valerie and Adolfo, please be sure to add the below ingredients to your shopping list!

Ingredients:

  • 8-10 fresh mint leaves
  • 25ml/1oz fresh lime juice
  • 15ml/0.6oz simple syrup (DIY: equal parts water and sugar, boil until sugar dissolves)
  • 60ml/2.4oz white rum
  • crushed ice – lots