Category: homelessness

Mario Morino’s new book released today…High rates of students in remedial community college courses…Talking with new DHCD head [News, 5.19.11]

COMMUNITY | Today Venture Philanthropy Partners, in collaboration with McKinsey & Company, are launching their latest publication, Leap of Reason: Managing Outcomes in an Era of Scarcity, by Mario Morino. The book calls on funders to empower their grantees to focus on impact and outcomes, rather than onerous reporting requirements, particularly during the current economic downturn when maximizing nonprofits’ impact is especially important.

BUDGETS | Yesterday advocates demonstrated to protest the cuts to services for the homeless in the District’s FY2012 budget. They seem to have gotten their message across: Council Chairman Kwame Brown told the crowd that he would “do everything I can to restore all of the homeless services” in the budget, though he said he wouldn’t be doing it by raising the income tax. (WAMU, 5/19)

– A new report shows that significant segments of students at the region’s community colleges have to enroll in remedial English, math, and English as a second language courses. (Examiner, 5/19)

– Jay Matthews takes a look at the controversy around an extremely rigorous new DC charter school, which opponents think won’t adequately meet the needs of special education students and students learning English as a second language. (WaPo, 5/12)

Closing more bad charters sooner (WaPo, 5/15)

– D.C. schools investigate security breaches in 2011 tests. (Examiner, 5/19)

HOUSING | John Hall, the new director of the Department of Housing and Community Development, talks about his plans and priorities for his new position, particularly with regard to ensuring a supply of affordable housing. (City Paper, 5/17)

ENVIRONMENT | New technology being acquired by DC’s Wastewater Treatment Plant will be the “largest source of clean renewable energy in Washington, D.C.,” according to George Hawkins, the head of DC’s Water and Sewer Authority. (WAMU, 5/17)

– The Community Foundation for the National Capital Region is inviting nominations of exceptional youth and young adult leaders for its 2011 Linowes Leadership Award. The foundation awards four people annually, with one award specifically recognizing a young person, age 18 or younger. Nominations must be in by May 25. More information is available here.

– Greater DC Cares’ 2011 Impact Summit, where regional business, nonprofit, and volunteer leaders who have made an impact in philanthropy, volunteerism, and service will be recognized, is coming up on June 15. The is an open call for nominations in each category. Nominations are due by May 27. Forms and more information can be found here.

GIVING | Today is the Dulles Greenway’s annual “Drive for Charity” day. 100% of the tolls collected today will be donated to five Loudoun County nonprofits. If you’re wondering how much one day of tolls amounts to, last year’s Drive for Charity day raised $226,427.

Today’s news round-up by Rebekah.

How will Washington DC end homelessness?

by Karen FitzGerald (Meyer Foundation) and Maria Barker (Fannie Mae)

According to Laura Zeilinger (Deputy Director, DC Department of Human Services) and Kelly Sweeney McShane (Executive Director, Community of Hope), who briefed funders on DC’s new Strategic Action Plan to End Homelessness, DC plans to:

  • Continue to move individuals and families out of homelessness and into affordable, safe housing as quickly as possible.
  • Increase the production and preservation of affordable and supportive housing in the city. Some homeless families and individuals need the intensive services and deep rental subsidies of permanent supportive housing to end their homelessness, But about 80 percent of families who experience homelessness simply need an affordable place to live, and so affordable housing remains a crucial element of the plan to end homelessness.
  • Redouble efforts to prevent homelessness in the first place, by reducing evictions, and working with such agencies as the Department of Corrections and the Department of Mental Health to ensure that individuals who leave prison and other institutions have a place to live.

The City will also move to a performance-based contracting system with nonprofit organizations that serve our homeless neighbors, and track outcomes along ten indicators.
The Department of Human Services expects to have new contracts in place by October 1st.

Funders plan to meet with DHS leaders in the fall to hear how implementation of the new plan is progressing.  Stay tuned.

Homelessness among DC families up much more than national average [News, 7/10/09]

Homelessness among families up 9 percent last year nationally, but up 25 percent in DC (WAMU, 7/10) – “The Mayor’s Housing First Program has found permanent housing for hundreds of individuals, but placing families has been a slower process.”

HEALTHCARE/TAXES/GIVING | Nonprofit groups urge taxing the wealthy to help finance health plan (Chronicle, 7/9)

Opinion: “Needed: A Federal Arts Policy” (HuffPo, 7/6)
“Experiencing art is a crucial to producing young people who can understand the world’s complexity.” (LATimes, 7/9)

11-YEAR-OLD ACTIVIST | They’re making a movie. (WYFF4, 7/9)

Kid walking from Florida to DC arrives today [News, 7.9.09]

Mom of best 11-year old ever: Some little boys like to play baseball, some little boys like to play football… he likes to do charity work.” 

zachZach Bonner, the boy who was walking from Tampa to Washington, DC to raise money/awareness to combat homelessness, arrives today! “Zach is scheduled to conclude his three-year, 1,225-mile odyssey on the morning of July 9, when he walks from Lafayette Park (across from the White House) to the U.S. Capitol. Several hundred children are expected to accompany him for the final mile.” When I was eleven, I really really really wanted a new bike, but my mom said my bike was just fine, and I told her she was the meanest mom in the world.

Grantmakers working for affordable housing (CDSC Update)

CDSC - Congress Heights

In December 2007, the Community Development Support Collaborative (CDSC), a funding project of Washington Grantmakers, approved $664,000 in grants to its nonprofit partners – a group of effective housing developers and technical assistance providers.  Collectively these nonprofits are engaged in the purchase, rehabilitation and management of over 1600 units of housing for low- and moderate-income residents of Washington, D.C.  Many of the residents who benefit from this very affordable yet high quality housing earn less than $30,000 a year. 

The Community Development Support Collaborative currently has 26 funding partners and has been providing operating support and capacity building grants to non profit organizations engaged in neighborhood revitalization and preservation for the past 15 years. 

One of the recently completed projects is a 12 unit building (pictured above) in the Congress Heights neighborhood of Washington, D.C.  This property was developed and is now managed by So Others Might Eat (SOME). The facility combines high quality rental housing with a range of supportive services for recently homeless families.  

See also:

  • “Housing’s Helping Hands: Charities Strive to Make Washington More Affordable” – a December Washington Post article on affordable housing mentioning CDSC nonprofit partners: Manna Inc., Marshall Heights Community Development Organization, and SOME. It’s about the experience of a DC family moving into a duplex built by Manna volunteers. Look for quotes from Ken Ellison–housing advisor for SOME, George Rothman–president of Manna, and Angela Copeland–director of communications and resource development–all individuals with whom the CDSC works very closely. 
  • CDSC website –

[News 6/21] Don’t call it a soup kitchen!

dcck D.C. Central Kitchen founder Robert Egger spoke to community leaders in Wisconsin yesterday about changing the charity model, and the need for collaboration between nonprofits and local governments. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinal, 6/21) DCCK is a national leader in addressing the interconnected problems of poverty, homelessness, and hunger. The organization’s sponsors include WG members Bank of America, World Bank, Fannie Mae Foundation, and Marriott. Learn about giving your time or money to help DCCK address hunger and poverty.

Study: Teacher turnover costs area school systems millions (WaPo, 6/21) – The National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future estimates that it costs D.C. $16.6 million annually to recruit and train new teachers. In Prince George’s: $23.3 million; Fairfax: $28.4 million. Nationally, half of all rookie teachers leave their jobs within five years.

[D.C.] Early summer curfew for D.C. Youth? (WaPo, 6/21)

[Va.] N.Va. residents can attend town hall meetings to discuss the workings of the N.Va. Transportation Authority. The new authority will raise roughly $300 million annually through taxes and fees.

The news round-up will return on Monday.

[News 5/21] – HUD prepares to forclose on D.C. co-op

HUD is preparing to foreclose on a 61-unit co-op in Southeast D.C. and sell it to the highest bidder. (WaPo, 5/21) Michael Diamond, director of the Georgetown University law school’s housing and community development clinic is “stunned at HUD’s rejection of the tenants’ offer to prepay the outstanding loan balance.” Diamond: “They would rather put it up for foreclosure. It’s bizarre… What could possibly be the rationale for that?” Georgetown’s Harrison Institute of Public Law–a grantee of Washington Grantmakers’ Community Development Support Collaborative–is working with the tenants group to avoid Wednesday’s foreclosure. As all of this develops, a HUD spokesman maintains that “Our goal is always to preserve affordable housing.” 

May 31 – Neighborhood tour: “Revitalization Efforts Ward 8”  – for funders/investors. Hosted by the East of the River Community Development Corporation, a non-profit partner of Washington Grantmakers’ Community Development Support Collaborative. Registration required: Contact Tamar Greenspan, 202.296.4582,

Giving circles–here to stay, observes the Forum of Regional Associations of Grantmakers. The number of circles has doubled in the past two years, per a new Forum report (pdf).

[Va.] Is ESL funding in Manassas, Va. keeping up with the need? (WaPo, 5/20) All signs point to “no.”

D.C. parents love the federally funded School Choice Demonstration project, says a new Georgetown report. WaPo Editorial page editor Fred Hiatt loves it, too, but astutely notes that “Mayor Adrian Fenty rightly is focused on reforming the public schools, with their 55,000 pupils. The small voucher program can’t, and wasn’t intended to, lessen the importance of improving those.” (WaPo, 5/21)

Friday, April 20 – In the News…

[D.C.] Report: Housing Production Trust Fund (HPTF) is getting results (WaPo, 4/20) – Since 2001, the HPTF has completed or authorized 5,000 units–but demand is still far outweighing supply, affirming the fund’s importance. Over the last three years, Washington Grantmakers’ and its Community Development Support Collaborative (CDSC) have encouraged City Council members to support the capitalization of this fund. Yesterday’s report was sponsored by the Coalition for Nonprofit Housing and Economic Development, a grantee of Washington Grantmakers’ CDSC, and the D.C. Fiscal Policy Institute.
> Read the report

Housing discrimination complaints hit record high (WBJ, 4/16)

Serve DC: “Bringing Service Back!”
Opening ceremony takes place today at King Greenleaf Recreation Center from 4-6 pm. As part of National & Global Youth Service Day, Serve DC [WG member] will engage more than 20,000 youth in hundreds of hands-on service projects in every ward of the city from today through Sunda. Mayor Adrian Fenty will participate in several projects. View scenes from last year’s N&GYSD and the YouTube promo.

Freddie Mac Foundation [WG member] and the Washington Nationals renew their ‘Wednesday’s Child’ partnership (PRNewswire, 4/19)

[D.C.] House Approves a Full D.C. Seat (WaPo, 4/20) – The bill still faces obstacles.

[D.C.] Fenty’s School Takeover Approved (WaPo, 4/20)

[Va.] Capital One CEO donates $12M to Potomac School (WBJ, 4/18)

Impulse to give in aftermath of Virginia Tech tragedy (WaPo, 4/20)