Tag: Mental Health

Housing Leaders Group of Greater Washington launches initiative to secure $1 billion toward affordable housing

HOUSING | The Housing Leaders Group of Greater Washington, which WRAG co-convenes along with Enterprise Community Partners, Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments, the Greater Washington Community Foundation, and Citi Community Development, has announced the Capital Region Housing Challenge. The initiative encourages employers, anchor institutions, philanthropy, private investors, and local and state governments to commit by the end of 2020 at least $500 million in new private capital and $500 million in new public funds toward affordable apartments and home ownership.

“The Capital Region Housing Challenge is a down payment toward the investments needed to truly solve the region’s housing needs, especially for lower income residents,” said David Bowers, Enterprise Community Partners Vice President and Mid Atlantic Market Leader and HLG Co‐Convener. “By working in partnership with other regional efforts and stakeholders, we are committed to promote the value of, and opportunities to, invest $1 billion in new capital by the end of 2020.”

WRAG’s vice president Gretchen Greiner-Lott says, “WRAG is excited to support the Housing Leaders Group and this Capital Regional Housing Challenge. We trust this challenge will encourage and energize everyone to plug in where they can to support housing affordability across the region.”

Click here to read a fact sheet about the Capital Region Housing Challenge.

WRAG | After 11.5 years at WRAG, today is Katy Moore’s last day at the organization. In her final blog post, she reflects back on her career thus far in philanthropy, what she’s learned, and where she sees the field heading in the future. (Daily, 3/20)

DISABILITY RIGHTS | The Smithsonian Debuts New Accessibility Technology For Blind and Low-Vision Patrons (CP, 3/15)

WORKFORCE | JPMorgan Chase is investing $350 million to get workers ready for the future (CNN, 3/19)

REGION | New consortium sets vision for Washington region to be national leader in finding digital solutions to problems (WaPo, 3/19)

POVERTY | Millennial women are more likely than GenXers to live below the poverty line. The newly released report, CLIPPED WINGS, reveals the current economic reality for millennial women and the primary drivers contributing to the wealth inequities they experience. (Asset Funders Network, 3/19)

EDUCATION | Fairfax County Public Schools are launching “a complete and thorough evaluation and review” into their seclusion and restraint practices following the revelation of hundreds of unreported cases. (WAMU, 3/15)

COMMUNITY | Kim R. Ford has been named the new CEO of Martha’s Table. (WBJ, 3/18)

PHILANTHROPY | Behind a $25 Million Plan to Elevate Women in STEM and Use their Stories to Inspire Girls (Inside Philanthropy, 3/15)

It’s the first day of Spring and the first day of the Cherry Blossom Festival!

The (Almost) Daily WRAG will be back on Friday!

– Buffy

Virginia racial gerrymandering case headed to the Supreme Court

RACIAL JUSTICE | Today the US Supreme Court will hear arguments in Virginia’s racial gerrymandering redistricting case, which could determine the balance of power in the state’s legislature for years. (WaPo, 3/17)

A panel of lower-court judges ruled last year that 11 Virginia House of Delegates districts were racially gerrymandered and ordered a new map to correct them. House Republicans appealed that finding and will argue against the new map before the high court. All 140 seats in the legislature are on the ballot this fall. The party that controls the General Assembly in 2021 will oversee the next statewide re­districting effort, following next year’s census — potentially cementing an advantage in future elections.

– Virginia is confronting its dark past and seeking to document as many lynching cases as possible, including three in Loudoun County that are expected to be memorialized by a historical marker in the future. (Loudoun County Times, 3/16)

DC Central Kitchen, which serves 10,000 meals per day to homeless shelters, is facing financial turbulence after losing a major portion of a long-standing contract. (CP, 3/14)

– The District’s new Downtown Services Center in the basement of the New York Avenue Presbyterian Church is a new space that provides many services for people experiencing homelessness, from access to healthcare to a barber shop. (WTOP, 3/14)

EDUCATION | DC’s Free Preschool Program Turns 10. How It’s Changed Family Life In The District (WAMU, 3/15)

CHILD CARE | Arlington votes to adopt changes to improve child care access. (arlingtonva.us, 3/16)

MENTAL HEALTH | Mental health problems rise significantly among young Americans (WaPo, 3/16)

DISABILITY RIGHTS | Why The College Admissions Scandal Hurts Students With Disabilities (NPR, 3/14)

ENVIRONMENT | How a 7th-grader’s strike against climate change exploded into a movement (WaPo, 23/16)

Did you know this about St. Patrick’s Day? Sláinte!

The (Almost) Daily WRAG will be back on Wednesday and Friday this week!

– Buffy

How can DC solve the maternal healthcare crisis Black mothers are experiencing?

HEALTH CARE | There have been numerous stories about the high maternal mortality rate for Black women and other women of color in DC. Two solutions that should be prioritized are addressing the structural racism mothers face when trying to access services and the implicit bias of doctors who don’t listen to their patients. At a recent conference, DC’s mayor focused on why patients aren’t accessing services. (WaPo, 9/12)

But one of the key dilemmas facing the players at the conference dealt not with access to hospital delivery rooms, but rather with the months of a woman’s pregnancy leading up to childbirth.

The issue is not insurance, Mayor Bowser said, since 97 percent of D.C. residents are covered by insurance. “It means getting more people connected to the right people at the right time,” she said. “Why are people avoiding the doctor their first three months of pregnancy?”

CSR | Congratulations to WRAG members The Boeing Company, Eagle Hill Consulting, and IBM for being named as finalists for this year’s Citizens Awards by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation! The Citizens Award recognize businesses who are making a positive impact in communities around the world. (USCCF, 9/12)

MENTAL HEALTH/ EDUCATION | A DC art teacher discusses why its important for teachers, mentors and other adults who work with youth to try to reach those who are experiencing trauma. (WaPo, 9/12)

ARTS & HUMANITIESD.C. Area Students Tell History From Their Own Eyes On The Hamilton Stage (WAMU, 9/12)

HOUSING | A DC councilmember wants to revise a bill to establish affordable housing as a priority in the city’s comprehensive plan. (WBJ, 9/12)

TRANSPORTATION | Metro has proposed charging riders higher fares for travelling during regional events and specific events. (WTOP, 9/13)

Make music with anyone, anywhere.

– Kendra

Multiple DC families find lead present in homes inspected by the city

CHILDREN & FAMILIES | According to the Washington Post, between March 2013 and March 2018, at least 41 homes that were subsidized by a DC housing voucher had high levels of lead present. Two of these families are now suing the city because it did not adequately inspect the units before giving its approval. (WaPo, 8/15)

The District Department of Energy and Environment, which performed the count and the testing, said it inspected about half of the homes because a child living at the property, or visiting it often, had tested positive for elevated levels of lead; the other homes were investigated following a tip about possible lead hazards. The agency said that the list wasn’t exhaustive and that there may be more.

TRANSITMetro must pay $82 million in wage increases to thousands of workers, arbitration panel says (WaPo, 8/15)

– The role customers can play in ensuring better working conditions and wages for restaurant workers. (Civil Eats, 8/14)

– Ever Heard of a Tanda? Inside D.C. Restaurant Workers’ Savings Circles. (WCP, 8/15)

EDUCATION | DC will open up its only public ‘girls only’ school after taking over Excel Academy Public Charter School. (DCist, 8/15)

MENTAL HEALTHThe Surprising Links Between Your Mental Health and Everyone Else’s (YES! Magazine, 8/13)

We lost the Queen of Soul today. Let’s celebrate her life by listening to our favorite songs. Here’s one of mine.

– Kendra

How the US criminalizes those with mental illness and then attempts to treat them

MENTAL HEALTH | In the US, individuals with mental illness are often incarcerated, which ensures they don’t receive adequate care or the resources they need. In fact, in some cases, they are punished for experiencing distress because prison staff are not trained to care for people. (NPR, 7/10)

Jails and prisons have all kinds of rules and regulations. … Some of them are for security and some of them are just basically for the sake of rules, like where you have to stand when they do the count or where you have to stand to receive your food tray, things like that. And when people can’t follow the rules, either because they don’t understand them or because their paranoia makes them think that following the rules is going to get them hurt, the punishment is solitary confinement, which basically means being shut in a windowless room by yourself 23 hours a day. And it can make people who are sane completely mentally ill, but for somebody with mental illness it’s absolutely devastating. … If you’re paranoid and you’re afraid that your food is being poisoned or that people are out to get you, being locked in this room by yourself really makes it worse.

CSR | Katy Moore, WRAG’s managing director of corporate strategy, and Sean Herpolsheimer, WRAG’s 2018 Summer Fellow, discuss how leading companies are leveraging their data for social good in a new blog. (Daily, 7/11)

VETERANS | This month, Virginia will begin adding “veteran” to the driver’s licenses and identification cards of residents that served in the military. (Prince William Times, 7/10)

YOUTH | A Virginia writer, along with local groups, has started a book drive for the children separated from their families at the border. (DCist, 7/9)

PUBLIC SAFETYChairman Pulls Noise Amplification Bill That Rankled D.C. Musicians (DCist, 7/10)

WORKFORCE | How the gig economy is making it easier for employers to discriminate against care workers with no consequences. (Nation, 7/10)

BUSINESSVirginia climbs, Maryland tumbles on CNBC’s top states for business rankings (WBJ, 7/11)

Make sure to get your free Slurpee at 7 Eleven today!

– Kendra

For DC seniors living with HIV, affordable housing is rare

– Almost 13,000 people are living with HIV in DC, and 43% are 55 or older. Many of them lack support networks as they grew up when the diagnosis was even more stigmatized and treatment was not as effective. Due to this, and the lack of affordable housing options in the city, homelessness is common in this population. (Street Sense Media, 6/13)

Earlene Budd, a 59-year old, transgender woman who has experienced homelessness and was diagnosed with HIV 25 years ago, has had a similar experience to many of the clients who make up her case load at HIPS, a health clinic dedicated to serving sex workers and drug users in the H Street Corridor. “I know what it means to be homeless because, first and foremost, I’m somebody who slept on the streets of D.C. when I was younger and my family put me out.”

She has worked with homeless and HIV positive populations for 18 years through the D.C. Department of Health, the Community Partnership for the Prevention of Homelessness and other organizations. In the last several years, she said, the gradual decrease in federal HOPWA [Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS program] funding Kharfen identified has cut down the number of housing programs that serve people with HIV.

Related: This article mentions Joseph’s House and HIPS, which are both grantees of the Washington AIDS Partnership and sites that the Partnership’s Health Corps program members are regularly placed.

– For the third year, some DC news websites will be releasing a collection of stories investigating the barriers and solutions to ending the homeless crisis in DC. Read it here. (DC Homeless Crisis, 6/28)

NONPROFITS | WRAG recently hosted the first session of its Nonprofit Summer Learning Series, with Booz Allen Hamilton, which focused on how to create authentic partnerships between funders and their grantee partners. In a new blog, Sean Herpolsheimer, WRAG’s 2018 Summer Fellow, discusses the key takeaways from the session. (Daily, 6/28)

Related: Make sure you register for the next session in the Nonprofit Summer Learning Series here!

CSR | Shannon Schuler, chief purpose officer at PwC and 2017 Institute for CSR faculty member, shares her thoughts on how CSR efforts much change and adapt to stay relevant. (Stanford Social Innovation Review, 6/27)

ARTS & HUMANITIES | Mount Vernon Named One Of The Country’s Most Endangered Historic Sites As It Fights A Natural Gas Project (WAMU, 6/27)

EDUCATION | How the Supreme Court’s recent ruling that public sector unions can no longer compel union dues will impact teacher unions and their recent advocacy. (NYT, 6/27)

MENTAL HEALTH | Two new studies found that the murdering of Black Americans by police officers who rarely, if ever, face consequences, affects the mental health of Black Americans, even if they are not personally touched by the death. (Citylab, 6/27)

Here’s some MJ just because…

– Kendra

These Virginia students successfully pushed for more mental health resources in their school

MENTAL HEALTH | Teens in a Virginia high school saw how the stress of school and other life factors was impacting their lives and the lives of their peers, and decided to do something to help. They lobbied and successfully helped pass a law requiring mental health instruction for the state’s ninth and tenth graders. (WaPo, 4/23)

The Albemarle County students have their own ideas for what they would like to see emerge from the law. They want to understand the science behind mental health, let students know where they can turn in times of trouble and shed negative connotations associated with talking about mental well-being.

“The problem isn’t that students are doing too much,” said Moreno, a senior at Western Albemarle High School. “The problem is that students are doing too much, and they don’t have individuals in place that can help them deal with the stress and anxiety that come with that. A bad day turns into a bad week and turns into a bad month.”

PHILANTHROPY | Stephanie Areizaga, a WRAG/UMD Philanthropy Fellow at Montgomery County Collaboration Council for Children, Youth and Families, reflects on her experience over the last year and discusses how she gained practical skills for entering the nonprofit sector. (Daily, 4/24)

Related: The Philanthropy Fellows program is WRAG’s exclusive partnership with UMD’s Do Good Institute. WRAG is accepting applications from its members to host Philanthropy Fellows this fall until May 11. Learn more

ARTS & HUMANITIES | What Will The Holocaust Museum Look Like Without Survivors? (WAMU, 4/24)

– Tomorrow, ACT for Alexandria is hosting Spring2ACTion, an online giving day created to support nonprofits working in Alexandria. Learn more here.

– Trump-Fueled ‘Reactive’ Giving Likely to Continue in 2018, Study Says (Chronicle, 4/23 – Subscription needed)

POVERTY | Why workforce development programs are necessary to help low-income communities gains skills and secure better paying jobs. (Urban Institute, 4/13)

HOMELESSNESS | Fairfax County breaks ground on a new homeless shelter, which will have a mix of emergency beds and permanent housing. (Fairfax Times, 4/22)

EDUCATION | The Loudoun County School Board is considering reducing the county’s universal full-day kindergarten. (Loudoun Times, 4/21)

If you had to eat fast food, where would you rather eat?

– Kendra

Mapping the state of childhood trauma in the US

YOUTH/MENTAL HEALTH | Due to the recurrence of school shootings and the increased scrutiny of the impact of having an incarcerated parent, the state of mental health for youth has received more attention. Child Trends has released a report exploring the prevalence of adverse childhood experiences in the US. (NPR, 2/27)

American school shootings are a relatively rare form of childhood trauma—albeit less so than they used to be. But many other experiences that can cause lasting psychological damage, such as parental incarceration and economic hardship, are relatively common. Indeed, a new report from Child Trends, a Bethesda, Maryland, nonprofit that conducts research on improving children’s lives, found that almost half of all American children have experienced at least one potentially traumatic “adverse childhood experience,” or ACE.

The most prevalent ACEs that American children experience are economic hardship and divorce or separation of a parent or guardian. Nationally, one in every ten kids has experienced three or more ACEs.

NONPROFITS | How Social Services Groups Are Stepping Up Fundraising to Combat Threats (Chronicle, 2/27 – Subscription needed)

IMMIGRATION | Yesterday, the Supreme Court ruled that immigrants awaiting decisions on their status in the US do not have a right to bond hearings. Many believe this could lead to immigrants being detained indefinitely. (Newsweek, 2/27)

RACIAL EQUITY | Fifty years after the Kerner Report, a study prompted by former President Lyndon B. Johnson after the rise in racial unrest in 1968, researchers say poverty and segregation has worsened. (NPR, 2/27)

REGION | Christian Dorsey, member of Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments‘ Board of Directors, and Jason Miller, CEO of the Greater Washington Partnership, joined the Kojo Nnamdi Show to discuss the Greater Washington region’s and the need for regional goals. Listen here.

GENDER WAGE GAP | A Georgetown University study found that a woman would need one more college degree than her male peer to receive the same salary. (WJLA, 2/27)

EDUCATIONManassas Park City School Board bans discrimination against gay and transgender students and staff (Prince William Times, 2/27)

Yesterday, Maryland native Kevin Durant, Golden State Warriors player, joined his team in a trip to the National Museum of African American History and Culture with some local children from his old neighborhood.

– Kendra

DC defendants with mental health issues aren’t being adequately supported, according to new report

MENTAL HEALTH | A report by the Council for Court Excellence and the DC auditor found that the District’s Department of Behavioral Health needs to improve the way it handles defendants suspected of having mental health issues. The report included recommendations such as increasing funding for mental health providers and mandating specialized training to evaluate defendants. (WaPo, 2/26)

The review found the department fell short in its basic obligation to evaluate the mental fitness of defendants. It said the department should do more to make sure they get treatment and resources such as housing to help them stay out of the criminal justice system.

“There’s this revolving door of incarceration, treatment and relapse and reincarceration for ­often minor and nonviolent offenses,” said Michael D. Hays, a lawyer who co-chaired the report committee. “The costs in human misery and economic costs to D.C. government are substantial.”

WORKFORCE/EQUITY | Nicky Goren, vice chair of WRAG’s Board of Directors and president and CEO of Eugene and Agnes E. Meyer Foundation, discusses the steps her foundation took to build equity into their hiring processes and advises other organizations on how to do the same. (Daily, 2/27)

IMMIGRATIONSupreme Court Declines To Take DACA Case, Leaving It In Place For Now (NPR, 2/26)

– The Urban Institute has released a report studying the impact of DC’s Opportunity Scholarship Program, which provides private-school scholarships to low-income students, on college enrollment. (Urban Institute, 2/23)

– Eshauna Smith, CEO of Urban Alliance, discusses why she is passionate about helping low-income youth, and especially black and brown youth, participate in paid internships at leading companies in the US. (Chronicle, 2/26 – Subscription needed)

TRANSPORTATIONDC considers plan to replace streetcar fleet, still has no plans to make riders pay (WTOP, 2/26)

Get a free stack of pancakes from IHOP today for National Pancake Day!

– Kendra

DC youth in wards 7 and 8 receive a large investment in their education

EDUCATION | The DC College Access Program, a nonprofit organization that is dedicated to helping District high school students get into college and graduate, recently received a $10 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The funds will be used, in part, to award college scholarships to students that live in wards 7 and 8. (WaPo, 10/2)

The Gates Foundation grant also will be used to award college scholarships to students who live in Southeast Washington. With additional contributions of $1 million from Monumental Sports & Entertainment and $7 million from DC-CAP’s own private funds, the new Ward 7 & 8 Scholarship Fund will provide eligible students up to $25,000 in financial support for their ­higher-education goals.

“If the cost of college is more than your annual income, it’s a very scary proposition,” said Argelia Rodriguez, president and chief executive of DC-CAP. “The earlier we instill in both students and parents that this is possible and that we’re going to give you the support, the better.”

– 9 million kids get health insurance under CHIP. Congress just let it expire. (WaPo, 10/1)

– The District’s Department of Health has launched a new campaign to engage youth and their caregivers to have honest conversations about sex. (Washington Times, 9/29)

TRANSIT | Advocates want Metro to decriminalize fare evasion because they believe it disproportionately impacts people of color. (WAMU, 9/29)

PHILANTHROPYNative American Activist Builds Bridges Between Tribal Communities and Funders (Chronicle, 9/29 – Subscription needed)

IMMIGRATION | Last week, the US Immigration and Custom Enforcement led a four-day crackdown on jurisdictions it believes are sanctuary cities. 28 people were taken in Maryland and 14 in the District. (Bethesda Beat, 9/29)

CHILDREN & FAMILIES | The District has launched a new website that lists the different childcare options, both center- and home- based, that the city offers. (WAMU, 9/29)

VETERANS | A nonprofit wants to build affordable housing for low-income veterans in Manassas, VA. (Potomac Local, 10/2)

PUBLIC SAFETY/ MENTAL HEALTH | Ten years ago, the DC court system and the DC Department of Behavioral Health created the District’s Mental Health Community Court to help individuals that have behavioral health issues avoid jail time. (WCP, 10/2)

Take a short trip through this storybook town (use your direction keys to move) and pick up the passengers.

– Kendra