What’s Up Wednesday 10.29.14

Q. What do witches use on their hair?
A. Scare spray.

Halloween may be around the corner, but Catalogue nonprofits aren’t too “spooked” to continue making a difference across Greater Washington. Take a look at this week’s video to see what they’ve been up to:

Senior Services of Alexandria: The Board of Directors of Senior Services of Alexandria, demonstrates their continued strong commitment and support of SSA’s programs and services, and will be delivering Meals on Wheels to senior clients this Saturday, November 1st.

On Saturday, DC SCORES hosted its 17th Annual Fall Frenzy for more than 800 elementary school youth and their families.

Good Shepherd Housing and Family Services was getting winter coats ready for distribution!

Our Daily Bread is gearing up to spread some SMILES this Holiday season! Our Daily Bread Fairfax VA volunteers were busy on Saturday helping individuals and families in need who live throughout the Fairfax County area register for assistance through ODB’s Holiday Program. 30 were registered that day. 3,000 are hoping for help for Thanksgiving and December meals and gifts for their children.

District Alliance for Safe Housing (DASH DC) is ready for their annual fundraiser — BalderDASH — tonight!

At the Catalogue, we’re gearing up to distribute our 2014-2015 edition!

 

7 Questions with David Levine: Executive Director of Good Shepherd Housing & Family Services, Inc.


Today we welcome David Levine, Executive Director of Good Shepherd Housing to our 7 Questions series. Good Shepherd Housing (GSH) works to reduce homelessness, increase community support, and promote self-sufficiency. GSH was the Winner of the 2013 Washington Post Award for Excellence in Nonprofit Management and Named the 2012 Nonprofit of the Year by the Fairfax County Chamber of Commerce.

  1. What motivated you to begin with your organization?

I had started my career on Wall Street analyzing mortgage-backed securities. One thing led to another, one position followed another, but I remained in banking and the financial sector working on the mortgage market for fifteen years. Because I always assumed that I was creating affordable housing in my work at the banks (naive as that may have been), I was led to connect my work to creating affordable housing for the homeless and for those blocked from accessing affordable housing. In 2004, I made the leap from banking and securities brokering to the world of nonprofit affordable housing and homeless services work. I’ve never looked back. I like the aspect of seeing housing directly impact the lives of so many low-income working families and individuals.

These are families who had little to no chance of securing housing. Now I am fully dedicated to creating affordable housing for them.

  1. What exciting change or innovation is on your mind?

I like the fact that more and more housing providers are supporting the idea of Housing First. This one idea, this powerful innovation in the approach to homeless services, has moved hundreds out of shelters and homelessness to secure and stable home environments rooted in the community. Housing First says that we don’t wait for shelter residents to improve their lot in life. We don’t have the time and money to wait. Rather, we move them rapidly into permanent supportive housing meaning we give them housing first, and then we work on the sundry and difficult hurdles that are keeping them from long-term housing stability. Housing First has reduced the costs of serving the homeless, shortened the length of stays in shelters of the homelessness, and has had better long-term outcomes and costs savings for the community.

  1. Who inspires you?

Our residents, without question. Our formerly homeless residents inspire me. They are the homeless that you don’t expect to see. They are not the panhandlers and not the church-stoop dwellers (although, still, some come to us after having lived in their cars or in the woods). They are the hidden homeless. They are typically single mothers caring for small children who have lived for months doubled up with family and friends. They work minimum-wage jobs that do not pay near enough for them to afford a place. Their children have been subjected to unwanted moves and multiple disruptions. They can’t afford the rents. We come in as the landlord of last resort and get them housed with us.

After housing them, we then work with them to make sure they succeed. We want them to realize that housing is the first step toward real long-term success and a future for their families. Once they understand that, then they can change their lives. That makes all the difference in the world.

  1. What was your most exciting recent project/partnerships?

A couple of years ago, we teamed up with other Fairfax County-based providers in a program to offer rental subsidy vouchers to low-income residents in need of housing. Called the Bridging Affordability program, it has made a difference in the housing stability of hundreds of families. It also came about at the time when the federal government had pulled back on providing its regular housing choice vouchers. The program is innovative in that, in the spirit of a true Housing First approach, it combines both housing with support services to move these families to real self-sufficiency and long-term housing stability.

  1. What is the greatest challenge your organization faces?

We face the challenge of having too many low-income families struggling to find and access affordable rental housing. This is the reality we face. Too little affordable housing is available for them. They are trapped in a situation where they cannot end their housing instability and move to long-term housing stability because the housing is not there.

In our service area in southeastern Fairfax County, where two-bedroom rents are at $2,100 per month on average, a single mother working in a minimum-wage job would actually have to work six full-time jobs just to comfortably afford this rental housing. It is a situation of an imbalance in demand and supply: the demand for affordable housing far exceeds the supply and that supply continues to shrink.

As a result, rents increase for the available affordable rental units or landlords can become choosier. Landlords will look at credit scores more closely, or ask for criminal background checks, or check on your rental history with your last six or seven landlords. For our clients and for people driven into homelessness for financial reasons including bankruptcies, the reality of these hurdles makes housing that more difficult for them.

  1. What advice do you have for someone in your position?

Be patient and keep the long game in mind. The ED has to articulate that vision and commitment to service. The ED literally has to be switched on to the cause all the time, every day. Your staff responds to your emotions. Supporters respond. It is essential to keep that in mind. Every day the dedication, passion, exuberance and vision will win more to the cause and, in the end, see you through.

  1. What’s next for you?

We are looking forward to another year of making a difference in creating more affordable housing. We hope to purchase at least two, maybe more, housing units and maintain these as affordable units for our residents. We will also be getting the word out on our impact. We want to tell the world and our supporters and funders what we do in the community in new and engaging ways. It is important to tell that story of client success, of impact in the community, of making a difference.

 

 

 

 

Around Town 10/24-10/30

It looks like it’s going to be a BEAUTIFUL weekend, what better way to enjoy the fall season and get ready for Halloween then getting out to some of these amazing events put on by our CFP nonprofits! We hope to see you there!

Friday, October 24, 2014

WASHINGTON IMPROV THEATER PRESENTS HOWL

District of Columbia Arts Center (DCAC)
Sweaty palms, accelerated heartbeats: this October, WIT is redefining stage fright. Every Washington Improv Theater show is a spontaneous, one-time-only event. There’s no telling what dangers will pop out of the dark, since none of the performers on stage have a script. This run features the improvised slasher film Die! Die! Die! and a witches brew of Halloween concoctions from WIT’s company ensembles and guest troupes from across the District.

When: Fri Oct 24 2014 (7:30 PM)
Where: DC Arts Center, 2438 18TH STREET NW, WASHINGTON, DC 20009
Fee? yes $15 General/ $12 DCAC Members
Contact: http://dcartscenter.org/performance1.htm, (202) 462-7833
For more information:click here

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Fall Frenzy

DC SCORES
The Fall Frenzy, held each October, is one of the premier events of the DC SCORES fall season and brings together the elementary school program as well as family, community members, volunteers, longtime supporters of the program and others. More than 800 students representing DC SCORES elementary public and public charter schools compete in a round-robin soccer tournament and rotate between other activities such as face painting; fitness booths; relay races; a creative expression table and more. Nearly 1,000 people annually attend the Fall Frenzy at Trinity University. The event is regularly highlighted in Capital Community News.

When: Sat Oct 25 2014 (09:00 AM – 3:00 PM)
Where: Trinity University Athletic Fields, 125 Michigan Ave NE, Washington, DC 20017
Fee? no
Volunteer Info: Volunteer roles include setup/breakdown, registration, referees, arts & crafts leaders, face painters, lunch servers, and field monitors.
Contact: Josh Freedholm, (202) 393-6999 ext 310
For more information: click here

Shenandoah Harvest Hoedown

Potomac Riverkeeper
The 1st Annual Shenandoah Harvest Hoedown is one big celebration to honor our work, our supporters, and just kick back a little in the valley! Filled with country shenanigans like cornhole, Best Camo King & Queen contest, hay bale throwing, music and dancin’, local brews, and a pig pickin’, come enjoy the country views while mingling with good friends over good times.

When: Sat Oct 25 2014 (4:00 PM – 7:00 PM)
Where: Camden Barn, 400 Sunny Canyon Lane, Boyce, VA 22620
Fee? yes $60/Individual, $100/Pair
Contact: Sarah Sorenson, (202) 429-3947
For more information: click here

The Community Ball

A Wider Circle
A great party – and a meaningful night. The 2014 Community Ball will be held at the beautiful Grand Hyatt Washington on October 25, 2014. Enjoy a fantastic dinner, great music, great company, and a program for the ages!

When: Sat Oct 25 2014 (6:30 PM)
Where: Grand Hyatt Washington, 1000 H Street NW, Washington, DC 20001
Fee? yes $125 tickets; sponsorship opportunities available
Contact: Erin Fiaschetti, (301) 608-3504
For more information: click here

SCAN’s Toast to Hope

SCAN (Stop Child Abuse Now) of Northern Virginia
“Let’s Make Childhood Magic!” at SCAN’s 12th Annual Toast to Hope fundraiser on October 25, 2014. An evening of wine & beer tastings, fine cuisine and silent auction to support SCAN’s child abuse prevention programs, this year’s event will be held at Artisphere in Arlington. Guests will also enjoy fun games, a magician and the chance to vote for the 2014 Culinary Award Winner.

When: Sat Oct 25 2014 (6:30 PM – 9:30 PM)
Where: Artisphere, 1101 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, VA 22209
Fee? yes Tickets start at $75
Volunteer Info: Pour tastings, serve food tastings, setup venue, manage silent auction bids, clean up, etc.
Contact: Lin Orrin, (703) 820-9001
For more information: click here

Halloween Party at Hope House!

Hope House DC
Annual Halloween Party for our kids and their families. Complete with a haunted house, crafts, games, scary stories, candy and a campfire (weather permitting).

When: Sat Oct 25 2014 (7:00 PM – 9:00 PM)
Where: Hope House DC, 6031 3rd St NW, Washington, DC 20011
Fee? no
Volunteer Info: Help set up and clean after, work in the haunted house, manage candy distribution, probably eat some candy themselves…
Contact: Carol Fennelly, (202) 506-2253

Sunday, October 26, 2014

The Capitol Steps — benefitting Shepherd’s Center

Shepherd’s Center of Oakton-Vienna
Join Shepherd’s Center of Oakton – Vienna and the Capitol Steps for a fun-filled afternoon of hilarious bipartisan political satire. No one is exempt! Please join us as we put the Mock in Democracy and support a wonderful nonprofit helping our local seniors! Can’t make it Consider donating a ticket for a senior to enjoy the performance (tax deductible)

When: Sun Oct 26 2014 (3:30 PM)
Where: Vienna Presbyterian Church, 124 Park Street NE, Vienna, VA 22180
Fee? yes $25 in advance, $30 at the door
Contact: Shepherd’s Center of Oakton-Vienna, (703) 281-0538
For more information:click here

What’s Up Wednesday 10.22.14

When we last checked, today’s weather forecast called for rain with a 100% chance of “#WhatsupWednesday”…so, who are we to prove the weatherman wrong? Check out the video below to see all of the great things Catalogue for Philanthropy nonprofits are up to this week.

Some highlights from the video:

  • Today, young men from Free Minds Book Club & Writing Workshop appeared at a DC City Council meeting to voice their full support for the Youth Offender Accountability and Rehabilitation Act. The actual legislation can be found here, and information on what it all means can be found here.

  • Senior Services of Alexandria and Alexandria’s Division of Aging and Adult Services participated in an event at the Watergate at Landmark, a community where nearly 60% of residents are seniors. Senior Services gave an overview of its programs and services they offer to Alexandria’s seniors.

  • Students at DC SCORES began to practice reading their original poetry aloud!

  • Arlington-Alexandria Coalition for the Homeless (new ’14-’15 charity)began recruiting a new class of participants for their next 8-week Microbusiness Academy session starting in mid-January. Know someone who wants to see if entrepreneurship is right for them? Contact AACH!

  • Joseph’s House welcomed the entire Washington AIDS Partnership AmeriCorps Team for their “fifth day” service project to help with decorations for a “Frozen Halloween.” Next week they will join others in their neighborhood to welcome hundreds of local youth to Lanier Place for trick-or-treating.

Congrats on another great week! T-Minus 9 days until the release of the 2014-2015 Catalogue!

Domestic Violence Awareness Month: Guest Blog from Shirley Clark, Executive Director of the Women’s Center

This week we welcome Shirley Clark, Executive Director of the Women’s Center, to share her thoughts on the importance of looking beyond outcome measures when evaluating nonprofit performance. The Women’s Center works to improve significantly the psychological, career, financial and legal well being of women, men, couples and families, regardless of their ability to pay.
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7 Questions with Peg Hacskaylo, Executive Director of District Alliance for Safe Housing, Inc. (DASH)

In honor of Domestic Violence Awareness Month we welcome Peg Hacskaylo, Executive Director of District Alliance for Safe Housing (DASH) to 7 Questions. DASH provides relief to survivors of domestic and sexual violence, through emergency and long-term safe housing, and innovative homelessness prevention services. Peg has been a dedicated advocate to alleviate homelessness for battered women for 20 years. Her work has spanned government, business, nonprofit, and community organizations to address this complex issue.
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7 Questions with Dr. Ludy Green, President and Founder of Second Chance Employment Services

In honor of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, we welcome Dr. Ludy Green, President and Founder of Second Chance Employment Services to our 7 Questions feature. Second Chance Employment Services promotes financial security for at-risk women and their dependents through comprehensive employment placement services.Dr. Ludy Green is an expert on U.S. domestic violence and human trafficking issues, as well as an internationally acclaimed speaker.
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