Your 2023 Annual Report is Here!

Everyone Home DC is proud to present your 2023 Everyone Home DC Annual Report on behalf of our Board of Directors, staff, and the people we work alongside. 

Within these pages, we share your support’s impact in the past year while reflecting on a shared vision for the path ahead. You can view your full 2023 Everyone Home DC Annual Report here

As we look forward, Everyone Home DC remains committed to working alongside our community to center the needs of people at risk of or experiencing homelessness in a just recovery. We cannot do this work without you, and we are grateful for your unwavering support.

Thank you for being a part of this community! 


Invest in Stable Housing this Holiday Season

In reading this post, you are no doubt at some point in your typical daily routine. You may be scrolling online first thing in the morning, coffee mug in hand, ready to tackle the day ahead, or maybe you are just getting home from work, preparing to take the dog for a walk, or finding a minute to relax before making dinner.

However, this letter fits into your day, we all find comfort in our routines. Consistency helps us to stay on top of tasks, manage stress, and find moments to do those special little things that make us happy—maybe that coffee has your favorite caramel creamer swirled through it. But the key to forming our routines–and coping when they are disrupted—is the support of something we may not have ever had to think twice about—having a permanent, stable home. 

“You get a flat tire, you think,  ‘Okay, I might need to take the bus home tonight. But I’ll be able to go home, sleep, and rest. I’m not pushed to the brink of, ‘I have nothing,'” says Veronica Starr, Everyone Home DC’s Clinical Supervisor of the Permanent Supportive Housing Program, which was newly launched in March of 2023. Everyone Home DC’s new Permanent Supportive Housing Program guides individuals and families through the process of finding housing and securing the resources necessary to maintain it. 

Everyone Home DC’s Permanent Supportive Housing team’s work directly supports the goal of ending chronic homelessness in DC, as do donors like you. This holiday season, your gift to Everyone Home DC ensures all people in our city have access to services and programs that connect them with supportive networks and make positive gains in their lives. At Everyone Home DC, we know housing is the solution to ending homelessness

We also know that much of the hard work continues once connected to a safe and stable home. “There are so many barriers that people are dealing with personally that have nothing to do with housing,” Veronica says, noting that this is where their team’s work comes in. “If you have someone to ensure that you can work through those things while you are housed, you can put your other goals first if you know where you are going to sleep and that you’re going to be safe.” 

However, the Permanent Supportive Housing Program faces many challenges in helping its clients find this safety and security, making the support of Everyone Home DC’s friends and supporters all the more crucial.

“There are all these shades and layers of red tape,” says JoVonna Chase, the Permanent Supportive Housing Program Manager. Everything from a person having their only form of ID stolen, to landlords being reluctant to accept applicants working with a case manager and potentially without a solid rental history, to unit inspections taking months instead of days to carry out can slow down the approval process. Veronica adds, “It’s not as easy as looking at and picking out a place.” 

The dedication of Everyone Home DC’s Permanent Supportive Housing Team and the generous donations from our community this holiday season can help lead to more and more success stories despite the many roadblocks.

“As we built the team,” says JoVonna, “one of the things we were very intentional about was hiring people who would operate from a place of kindness and compassion first. Allowing people to be people allows us to have big wins.”

Veronica felt inspired when the Permanent Supportive Housing team supported its first client in finding permanent housing after a challenge-filled four months. “It felt like, ‘We can do this! This isn’t impossible!'” she says. Beyond feeling confident in the team’s work, Veronica was struck by the change she saw in the client herself. “The smiling, the casual conversation: it makes such a huge difference when someone can remove [concerns about housing] from their brain and just talk about food, the weather, school, and music.” Finding a home meant that this person could finally shift their focus to those everyday things instead—their routines. 

“I believe if I come home to a comfortable home with AC and heat, with no rodents or roaches, somewhere I feel safe, I feel our clients should have that same opportunity,” says JoVonna. As Program Manager, she has ambitious goals for the Permanent Supportive Housing team that can be supported by a gift from community members like you, who believe, just like JoVonna, that everyone deserves this same comfort and security. She wants to grow the team’s capacity in the coming years, with more case managers to partner with more clients. No matter what support they may need, JoVonna hopes the people we work alongside can trust that Everyone Home DC will be there with a comprehensive, holistic response.  

“Our donors have a heart to help,” JoVonna shared. And we at Everyone Home DC know that those generous hearts beat especially strong at this time of the year. In the spirit of the season, please make a personally meaningful year-end gift to Everyone Home DC today. Our entire community will feel your love and support. 

When we invest in Permanent Supportive Housing, we are taking a crucial step toward the ultimate goal of ending chronic homelessness in the District. Your urgently needed year-end gift can ensure that 
Everyone Home DC continues to provide essential services and housing support for people at risk of or experiencing homelessness in our city. We cannot do this work without YOU. Thank you in advance for your support and the love that you show to Everyone Home DC.  

Karen Cunningham
Executive Director

P.S. Does your employer have a matching gift program? There is still time to give and have it matched in 2023! Learn more on our website. If you need any support with completing forms, email Kate at


2023 Executive Director Reflection

Dear Friend,

Last month, I celebrated my 10-year anniversary with Everyone Home DC. I can hardly believe how the time has flown by. In some ways, it feels impossible that a full decade has passed. But when I pause and reflect on the organization I joined and the one I lead today, it feels like it can hardly be the same organization. 

Everyone Home DC has changed so much in my decade with the organization:

  • We moved our growing staff that had spread into two churches, one public housing community, and a shared workspace into one main office where we all fit comfortably together
  • We launched two new programs–Family Homelessness Prevention and Permanent Supportive Housing
  • We changed our name and branding to reflect our mission better and be more welcoming to everyone who needs our services or wants to support our work to end homelessness
  • We hired our first development staff person, grew the department to a three-person team, and created an operations department with two full-time staff
  • Our team grew from about a dozen staff to more than 40 and now includes well-established manager and director-level leadership teams
  • Our budget of less than one million dollars in 2013 will be well over five million dollars in 2024
  • We survived a global pandemic and transitioned to a hybrid work environment that offers greater flexibility to both our clients and our staff, and
  • We have grown as leaders and advocates within the homelessness continuum of care and our city 

Indeed, Everyone Home DC has grown and matured a LOT as an organization during my tenure, but what has not changed is just as important:

  • Our steadfast commitment to ending homelessness and treating our unhoused neighbors with dignity, respect, and love
  • The generous and loyal support of our extended community who reach  out to ask how they can support an unhoused neighbor they worry about; to our faith community founders and growing number of partners who provide volunteers and board members, in-kind supply drives, and financial support; to the community foundation and local business who support our programs and sponsor our events
  • The strength of our staff, including several of our managers and directors who were already here when I arrived and have grown alongside me and been key to our continued success

I am so proud and honored to be a part of Everyone Home DC and to have had the opportunity to grow with it these last ten years. I am also deeply grateful to each of you who have played a role in our success. We are a community organization, and you–our community–have always been and always will be essential to our ability to achieve 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. As the economic future of our beloved city feels terribly uncertain, and the support of our social safety net is at extreme risk with planned budget cuts this year, and next, we know we can rely upon you to see us through to better times. Thank you! 

With gratitude,
Karen Cunningham
Everyone Home DC
Executive Director

DC Reports Increase in Homelessness

Results from this year’s Point-In-Time Count are out, and there is an almost 12% increase across populations this year. Some factors that could be driving this increase include the slow rollout of FY22 and FY23 housing resources coupled with an increase in inflow. You can view the 2023 Point in Time Dashboard here, which includes numbers broken down by population and demographic information. 

In this timely piece titled “DC reports homelessness increase year after record-low numbers,” The Washington Examiner spoke with our very own Executive Director Karen Cunningham about the recent findings and what is necessary to end homelessness in DC. 

“We had unprecedented investments in permanent supportive housing for chronically homeless individuals in the FY22 and FY23 budgets,” Cunningham said. “And as of now, there are no new resources budgeted for FY24, which is really concerning because we know that permanent supportive housing works, that housing is the solution to homelessness.”

 You can read the full article here.

Take This Quick Action Today! End Chronic Homelessness.

The District is closer than ever to ending chronic homelessness. Next Wednesday, DC is expected to release its proposed budget for the fiscal year 2024. We need your help to ensure the next budget prioritizes the funding necessary to make this a reality for our city!

Everyone Home DC is a proud member of The Way Home Campaign and supports its budget asks. Today, we are asking you to take action now and urge Mayor Bowser to fund proven solutions to ensure our neighbors can access the housing and services they deserve.

Join Everyone Home DC, The Way Home Campaign, along with a coalition of 110 partner organizations and 7,000 individual supporters as we call on Mayor Bowser to:

  • Invest $36.6 million to end chronic homelessness for 1,260 single adults with Permanent Supportive Housing.
  • Invest $18.87 million to provide 480 families with Permanent Supportive Housing.
  • Ensure the continuation of non-congregate shelter capacity.
  • Expand programs that prevent chronic homelessness. 
  • Ensure that DC, particularly the Department of Human Services, has the staffing and capacity to implement historic investments made in FY22 & 23 to end chronic homelessness. 
  • Make shelters more dignified, non-congregate, and service-rich, and add medical respite beds.  
  • Address DC’s dire lack of low-income housing. 
  • Increase funding for the Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) in an FY 23 supplemental budget and the Fiscal Year 2024 budget. 


Voices of Shirley’s Place

Collectively, we continue to find ourselves amid extraordinary challenges. This is especially true for Everyone Home DC and the people we work alongside. We are so profoundly grateful to you for standing with us yet again this year. Your dependable support has ensured that all of Everyone Home DC’s front line and essential services have continued uninterrupted. That includes our drop-in Day Center, Shirley’s Place, which continues to keep its doors open and services accessible—although in a re-imagined way—over the last year and a half. Shirley’s Place, located near the Potomac Avenue Metro station, is named in honor of the late Shirley Smith Anderson, a long-time member of the Capitol Hill Community, and social justice activist. Everyone Home DC’s Day Center is one of only a few spaces in our city offering people experiencing homelessness a safe, healthy, and dignified place to take respite from the elements and access vital services like showers, laundry, restrooms, mail service, phones, computers, lunch, and social service referrals. This holiday season, it is your gift to Everyone Home DC that supports our critical work on the front lines, ensuring that all people living in our city have access to meaningful relationships that connect them with supportive services and networks.

As economic uncertainty continues to loom, this is more important than ever before. As we reflect on the past year, we want to lift up the voices of our community as they share what Shirley’s Place has meant to them over the last 20 months.

Because of your commitment to our mission and programs, Everyone Home DC’s Day Center has historically had a profound impact on the Capitol Hill Community by providing consistent and life-saving support to our neighbors experiencing homelessness. During this pandemic, Shirley’s Place has continued to provide these essential services and supplies without interruption. The Day Center reconfigured its physical space, acquired the appropriate PPE, and put policies and protocols in place to offer in-person services safely and with urgency and compassion. This year, Everyone Home DC is partnering with DC Central Kitchen to provide tasty, nutritious, and dignified meals, to anyone who stops by Shirley’s Place for a visit.

It is so hard to know what 2022 will bring. Due to the economic and racial injustice that has existed in our society for decades, the individuals and families we work with—who were facing crisis and instability long before this pandemic—are feeling far more exposed to the harshness of this new reality. Please make a personally meaningful year-end contribution today to support Everyone Home DC’s critical work on the front lines in the new year ahead.

In the spirit of the season, please make a personally meaningful year-end gift today to ensure that Everyone Home DC continues to provide essential services and housing supports while preparing for the pandemic’s long-term impact. With your gift today, Everyone Home DC will be here not just today but, in the weeks, and months ahead, working with our community to put the needs of people at risk of or experiencing homelessness at the center of a just recovery. We are so glad you are here. We cannot do this work without YOU. Please continue to take care of yourself and each other.

❤ 2021 Executive Director Reflection ❤

As unbelievable as it seems, we are somehow reaching the end of another year. We had hoped the pandemic would be over by now, but alas….. The ongoing pandemic continues to complicate our efforts to end homelessness, but today, I want to focus on the positive things the pandemic has taught us.

First, we learned just how much we could count on you in a crisis. You donated more generously than ever and consistently asked how our staff and clients were coping and what more you could do to help. You enabled us to continue providing essential services to those in need and to do so in ways that kept both our clients and staff safe. Thank you!

Through the Pandemic Emergency Housing for Medically Vulnerable Individuals (PEP-V) program, our city learned what service providers already knew–when we have the will and commit the resources, we can quickly move unhoused individuals indoors, including those who have eschewed shelter for years. Many people living outdoors do not want to go into a congregate shelter for a variety of legitimate reasons including, being unable to bring more than two bags of belongings, poor shelter conditions, unwillingness to live apart from an opposite-sex partner or relinquish a pet, and being overwhelmed in large group settings. When offered a room with no more than one roommate in a PEP-V shelter, however, even those written off by some as “housing resistant” happily moved inside and stayed. It is not shelter or housing that folks resist. It is shelter or housing that does not adequately support their very reasonable needs and preferences. We hope this lesson will be incorporated into the design of our standard shelter and housing programs.

Finally, we learned important lessons about making our services even more client-centered and anti-racist. The pandemic forced homeless services providers to conduct meetings by phone and video and have clients sign documents electronically. We also chose to provide electronic gift cards rather than distributing pantry and household items directly. We quickly realized that these changes made it far more accessible for people to actively participate in our programs and get the kind of support they needed. They no longer had to spend the time, energy, and expense to travel to in-person meetings, sometimes with several small children in tow. They also had the dignity of choosing the best items for them rather than making due with whatever we had on hand or chose for them. This is what it looks like to be client-centered, and we hope to continue these practices as much as possible even after the pandemic finally abates.

Similarly, we chose to provide gift cards rather than school supplies, food baskets, and presents through our Back-to-School, Thanksgiving, and Holiday Gift drives. We knew that this approach was the right one as it centered the clients’ needs and offered them the power to make their own decisions. Our clients could choose what their kids most needed and wanted for school, shop for the ingredients necessary for their particular holiday traditions, and feel the joy of selecting and wrapping gifts for their children–things most of us take for granted. Moreover, giving people cash rather than pre-selected goods intentionally disrupts a system of in-kind giving rooted in and maintained by racist and classist notions that poor people–and especially poor Black people–cannot be trusted to spend money in ways that predominantly white and wealthy donors, institutional funders, and service providers deem responsible.

We had contemplated making this change for some time but feared that our in-kind donors might not participate without the feel-good element of shopping for their sponsored families. The pandemic forced our hand, and I am proud to share that our fears were largely unfounded. Several of you even wrote to us saying how much you appreciated our more client-centered and anti-racist approach. It has been so fulfilling for our team to see that when we lead with our values, our community will not just follow but will enthusiastically cheer us on.

We look forward to a new year where we will continue to look and listen for what this pandemic, our clients, and our community have to teach us. Thank you for taking this journey with us!

With warm wishes for a joyful holiday season,

Karen Cunningham
Everyone Home DC
Executive Director

❤ 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

COVID-19: Our New Normal

Dear Friend,

Deep breath in. Deep breath out. How are you doing right now? These past couple of weeks have been moving so fast, with new information coming at us all day long. We are all going through a collective traumatic experience right now, which requires each of us to be extra gentle with ourselves as well as others. 

As we settle into what is our new normal, all of us at Everyone Home DC are filled with extreme gratitude for the love we have felt from our amazing champions (YOU!) who have reached out to ask how to help, shared words of encouragement, and made donations to ensure we remain agile during this unprecedented time. Thank you!

We are all feeling vulnerable, anxious, and concerned. And, due to the economic injustice that we know has existed in our society for decades, the individuals and families we work with—who were facing crisis and instability long before this pandemic—are feeling far more exposed to the harshness of this new reality. 

Please consider making a donation today in support of the individuals and families we work with each day during this uncertain time

The fast-paced spread of COVID-19 brings new situations that we have never experienced as an organization in our 50 years of existence. Everyone Home DC is dedicated during this time to reimagining how we provide supportive services as well as timely and critical resources to individuals and families at risk of or experiencing homelessness in our city. 

  • We continue  to provide case management support for families in our housing and prevention programs by phone and email, ensuring housing stability and access to much needed resources and support.
  • Our drop-in day center, Shirley’s Place, is currently closed and continues to assist clients with mail pick up throughout the week and responding to emergency situations remotely.
  • Our Street Outreach team is working closely with local partners to ensure individuals who sleep outside are receiving health and welfare checks and access to basic needs resources.
  • We are advocating for safe housing alternatives and practices in shelters and making hand-washing stations, bathrooms, and food available to those who live outside.
  • We are sharing up-to-date announcements and resources on Everyone Home DC’s website. 

Help Everyone Home DC respond quickly and efficiently during this great time of need. If there is any time to be there for the individuals and families in our city who are most impacted by gaps in our social safety net—it is now. With your gift today to Everyone Home DC, we will be prepared to move with speed and agility as we stand beside the people we work with and confront, together, the challenges that most certainly lie ahead.

Thank you in advance for your support. We cannot do this without you. If you need anything, please do not hesitate to reach out. We are here for you during this time, in the same way that you continue to always be here for us.

In the cause,
Karen Cunningham
Executive Director

Important Resources:

Black History Month: What We are Reading

One way Everyone Home DC is choosing to honor Black history (this month and every month) is to intentionally and continuously grow our knowledge of racists policies and practices that impact the creation of equitable systems and structures. Check out some of the articles, podcasts, and books that we are following below and if there is anything we are missing our should have on our radar, we are always looking to grow our library. Shoot us an email at and share with us what you are reading.

Updated on February 16, 2020