Feeling Thankful

Today on Thanksgiving, we want to express how thankful we are for the communities, partners, volunteers, and donors we have the honor of working with. We continue to be amazed by your extreme generosity, compassion, and dedication. This Thanksgiving holiday, thanks to you, Everyone Home DC provided a wholesome Thanksgiving meal for more than 430 families who would not have otherwise had a special meal today. Your support is what makes our work possible, and together, we are building a more vibrant city for everyone.

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

A Sip and Savor Celebration

Thank you for celebrating Everyone Home DC’s 50 years of life-changing housing, homelessness prevention, and supportive services!

Everyone Home DC’s 3rd Annual Sip and Savor was an incredible evening of delicious food, free flowing beverages, and good company! The gathering was its most successful yet, with even more sponsors, vendors, volunteers, and patrons coming together in support of Everyone Home DC’s housing, street outreach, homelessness prevention, and supportive services.

Last night, we collectively raised $85,000 with more than 450 registered participants! We were excited to see so many new and old friends and sincerely hope you are inspired to stay engaged with Everyone Home DC by donating your time, talent, or treasure. Your support means our city’s most vulnerable individuals and families have access to safe, affordable, and comfortable homes.

THANK YOU!

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. If you’re interested in taking action today, consider doing one, two, three, or ALL of the following below. We look forward to staying in touch with you!

  • FOLLOW Everyone Home DC on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Be on the lookout, photos on Facebook coming soon!
  • JOIN our Sip and Savor Host Committee and help create an even better 2019 Sip and Savor event.
  • VOLUNTEER at Shirley’s Place (our drop-in day center) or join our Homeless Assistance Response Team (HART).
  • COORDINATE an in-kind donation drive to and collect essential items for our programs and families.

To learn more contact Kate Akalonu at akalonu@everyonehomedc.org.

P.S. Each year, you provide us with post-event feedback that supports us in growing the success of Sip and Savor. Please consider taking this short survey (estimated completion time is 5 minutes) so we can continue in our success. Thank you!

Shirley’s Place Gets a New Look

Every year, more than 1,700 guests come through Everyone Home DC’s Shirley’s Place Day Center to get a bite to eat, do laundry, take a shower, pick up mail, or to simply relax. Our guests’ comfort at Shirley’s Place is our top priority. Thus, when we noticed that the furniture was starting to look and feel worn, we turned to the Capitol Hill Community Foundation for help. We needed funds to upgrade our furniture in order to maintain the friendly, hospitable, and dignified environment that is so important to Everyone Home DC and our guests, and were delighted and grateful when the Capitol Hill Community Foundation answered our call. With a spring grant from the foundation, we were able to purchase a new table and chairs for the kitchen and new furniture for the respite room.

We are thankful for the Capitol Hill Community Foundation’s ongoing support of our work, and are thrilled that they were able to help us make Shirley’s Place the warm and welcoming space that our guests deserve.

HART From the Front Lines

Meet Abby Maraya! Abby is participating in a year-long fellowship with Everyone Home DC through Service Never Sleeps and, as a part of her fellowship, she is volunteering with our Homeless Assistance Response Team (HART). Below is a reflection piece that Abby wrote after her first deployment. Hello! I am Abby, your Service Never Sleeps fellow for the year. I joined and chose to be a part of this fellowship program because I wanted to make an impact on the community while working a corporate job. I’m glad that I’m able to put a foot in each world (corporate and non-profit) and leave a positive mark in DC. My first day at HART was quite an experience. I met Sarah, a current Everyone Home DC volunteer, and she guided me on the route. I loved conversing with her on her thoughts of the transformation of Eastern Market in the last five years to sharing favorite HART moments. We approached each client with oatmeal, granola bars, crackers, hot chocolate, and warm smiles. After reading articles on homelessness and the struggles, I recognize the clients are where they are because of things beyond their control. Knowing that I myself am limited in what I can do, I had conflicted feelings. It brought up lots of questions such as, what else do they need? Are they going to be okay tomorrow? How do they go beyond the support Everyone Home DC provides? I look forward to seeing them again and showing them that the world still cares (as sappy as that sounds). I will continue to share my experiences with you in hopes to show how impactful Everyone Home DC is to the Capitol Hill community, and all the adventures that come with volunteering! Thank you for reading and stay tuned!

For more information about HART, email volunteer@everyonehomedc.org.

Reserve Your Table Today! We are Lavagna’s June Charity of the Month.

Everyone Home DC is thrilled to be the beneficiary of Lavagna’s Charity “Dine Out” Program this June! Every Wednesday, throughout the Month of June, Lavagna will donate 10% of its proceeds to Everyone Home DC to support our vision of a District of Columbia that is a thriving and diverse community where all people can obtain and remain in safe, affordable, and comfortable homes. Lavagna is a farm to table restaurant focused on sourcing ingredients locally to create fresh, contemporary Italian food and is located on Barracks Row at 539 8th Street SE. To make a reservation, visit Lavagna’s website or call the restaurant at (202) 546-5006.

Volunteer Spotlight: Tobie Smith

Quote: “It gives us volunteers a chance to break down barriers to communicate with community members we may not normally interact with, breaking down biases and understanding that everyone rightly deserves to enjoy all that our wonderful Capitol Hill community offers.”

Dr. Tobie Smith is one of our longest serving and most active volunteers with Everyone Home DC’s Homeless Assistance Response Team (HART). She brings an incredible amount of knowledge, experience, and passion to this work because, when she is not volunteering with HART, she serves as the Medical Director at Health Care for the Homeless, Baltimore County. We are so grateful that Tobie chooses to spend her time outside of work with Everyone Home DC and are excited to highlight her work with our team!

Everyone Home DC’s HART volunteers are an extension of our Street Outreach Team. We train members of the community to check in on our unhoused neighbors at night, offer them snacks and shelter on hypothermia alert nights, and in extreme circumstances, call for emergency services.

Tobie became a HART volunteer because she realized that, while she is very active in homeless services in Baltimore, she wasn’t engaged in issues related to homelessness in her own community here in DC. Tobie’s professional background makes her an extra special HART volunteer. While out on shift, she is able to flag common health conditions for our outreach staff who are then able to follow-up and ensure our homeless neighbors receive the care they need.

For Tobie, one of the highlights of volunteering with Everyone Home DC is the “opportunity to work with other volunteers who are learning about homelessness.” Volunteering with HART also helps her to “better address the concerns of the rest of our community and to know how to encourage others to advocate and alleviate the issues facing the homeless population.”

Breaking down Government Funded Housing Interventions

The goal of Everyone Home DC’s Street Outreach team is to connect people experiencing homelessness to housing. In order to do this, we rely on government funded housing interventions like Permanent Supportive Housing, Rapid Rehousing, and Targeted Affordable Housing. Permanent Supportive Housing is the most intensive housing intervention and is designed to support individuals who have the greatest vulnerabilities by providing long term housing subsidies coupled with intensive case management. Rapid Rehousing is intended for people with fewer vulnerabilities by providing short term support through time-limited subsidies and case management. Targeted Affordable Housing is a relatively new intervention that provides a permanent housing subsidy with light touch case management and it is making a difference!

According to the 2017 Point In Time Data, of the 3,578 individuals experiencing homelessness, 1,729 of them are over the age of 50. People above retirement age are less likely to acquire reliable, sustainable income, and are therefore less likely to afford market rent. An inability to afford to pay rent does not necessitate a need for intensive services that come with Permanent Supportive Housing, so having an option midway between Rapid Rehousing and Permanent Supportive Housing can be incredibly useful. Targeted Affordable Housing can also be used as a step down tool for people who have been in Permanent Supportive Housing for years and are no longer in need of the robust case management associated with the program, or conversely, it can be used as a step up tool for folks who are in Rapid Rehousing and are unable to increase their income and will need long term affordability.

Our Street Outreach Team is excited to have ended homelessness for a few individuals experiencing homelessness through Targeted Affordable Housing. One individual in particular, “Elliot” had been living outside for almost four years before our team was able to connect him with Targeted Affordable Housing through the city’s homeless services system. “Elliot” is in his 60s and has minimal income, so renting an apartment was not feasible. He had put his name on waiting lists for low-income senior housing, but the lists are long and his name never came up. Now, because of Target Affordable Housing, he doesn’t have to worry about waiting lists, and “Elliot” was able to choose his own apartment in a building he likes that is full of amenities including granite countertops, a fitness center, and a short walk to the Metro!

An End In Sight for DC General Family Shelter

This week, Mayor Muriel Bowser announced that the city will be closing the DC General Family Shelter by the end of 2018. This is earlier than expected as the previous iteration of the plan would have kept the shelter open until 2020 when all of the new Short-term Transitional Housing facilities would be operational. (Three of the new shelters – in Wards 4, 7 & 8 – are slated to open by the end of this year.) According to the Washington Post, the District will stop placing families in DC General in May and will start deconstructing one of the vacant buildings on the DC General campus this coming April. The rest of the DC General buildings will be taken down by the end of the year.

DC General is frequently referred to as a dilapidated shelter with a plethora of problems ranging from a rodent infestation to a lack of hot water. City officials have said that any family still living in DC General when it is ready to be razed will be moved to another shelter placement, though details about how this will happen without the completion of all the new facilities have not yet been shared. Read here for more information on the closure of DC General in the Washington Post and WAMU.

The Legacy of Bill Phillips

In November of 2017, Everyone Home DC was thrilled and honored to be awarded the inaugural Bill Phillips Grant by the Capitol Hill Community Foundation for our Homeless Street Outreach Program. Bill Phillips, a longtime Capitol Hill resident and friend to Everyone Home DC, passed away suddenly in December of 2016. This grant is underwritten by Bill’s dear friend,
Sue Carlton, to continue his legacy of caring for the Hill’s most vulnerable residents. The funding from this grant will help us continue our work with individuals experiencing homelessness on the Hill.

Everyone Home DC’s Street Outreach Team works with chronically homeless individuals living in Ward 6 and utilizes a person-centered approach to meet clients where they are and connect them to community resources with an end goal of moving them off the streets and into permanent housing. In 2017, our Street Outreach team helped 10 chronically homeless individuals move into their own homes.

Everyone Home DC is grateful to the Capitol Hill Community Foundation for its ongoing support of our Street Outreach Program, Homeless Assistance Response Team (HART), Parenting,Wellness, & Recovery Support Group, and Life Skills Workshops.

Home for the Holidays: Daniel’s Story

Daniel is an Everyone Home DC client whose life was transformed this year through his engagement with our Street and Medical Outreach Program. We helped him go from never visiting a doctor or hospital, no matter how much he was suffering, to welcoming weekly medical outreach visits and even attending appointments with specialists.

We were thankful that Daniel was finally getting the regular medical care he needed to enjoy a better quality of life in his senior years. His positive experience with our Street and Medical Outreach Program made him more receptive to other services, and we became hopeful that he might one day accept an offer of permanent supportive housing. A few weeks ago, he did just that — Daniel moved into an apartment of his very own just before Thanksgiving! He loves his new home and we are all overjoyed!

This is why we do this work. We do it because we believe everyone deserves the safety and dignity of a home. We do it because we believe we can end homelessness. And we do it because we believe no one is beyond help, that if we design our services to meet people’s needs rather than expecting them to conform themselves to fit our services, we can change lives.

Just before he moved into his new place, Daniel was hospitalized for several days due to an open wound that had become infected and was worsening rapidly. Had we not helped him secure housing, Daniel likely would have continued to suffer increasingly serious health problems as he aged, and those problems would have been significantly exacerbated by his homelessness.

Instead, Daniel looks forward to a brighter and healthier future. We will not worry about Daniel dying from hypothermia this winter. For the first time in many years, Daniel will have a safe, warm home with a real bed and covers to snuggle under when it snows. He will have plenty to eat and can even cook his favorite meals in his very own kitchen. He can shower whenever he wants and binge watch every episode of CSI Las Vegas, Miami, and New York! He will be home. Because of your support for our work, Daniel will be home for the holidays this year.