Tag: President Obama

New shelters announced ahead of D.C. General closure

Mayor Muriel Bowser announced the proposed locations of eight new family shelters in each ward of the District that will ultimately replace the D.C. General shelter. (WCP, 2/9)

D.C. General is currently home to 260 families, including around 400 children. The old hospital facility is located near the Hill East neighborhood in a complex of buildings that includes the D.C. Jail and a methadone clinic. It became a shelter for families under the Fenty administration and has continued in that fashion as the family homelessness crisis in D.C. has exploded (the number of homeless families has increased by 40 percent since 2010).

Obama Will Seek $11 Billion For Homeless Families (NYT, 2/8)

PHILANTHROPY | The Chronicle of Philanthropy has released their annual list of the top 50 biggest American donors. In 2015, nearly $7 billion was given to social profits, with colleges and foundations receiving the most funds. (Chronicle, 2/9) Subscription required

– A new study by the University of Virginia finds that the IMPACT system for evaluating teachers improved student performance significantly. The system launched in DC Public Schools in 2009 to much criticism. (NY Mag, 2/8)

In an age of resegregation, these schools are trying to balance poor and wealthy kids (WaPo, 2/9)

MENTAL HEALTH/VIRGINIA | In Virginia, Prince William and Loudoun counties are among eight localities that are offering programming to support young adults who have suffered their first psychotic episode. (WaPo, 2/8)

FOOD | Opinion: The food movement is small? Not from where I sit, it isn’t (WaPo, 2/4)

CSR | Applications are now open for the Northern Virginia Chamber of Commerce’s Outstanding Corporate Citizenship Awards & Chair’s Luncheon.

Are you a nonconformist? The answer may lie in which Internet browser you use.

 – Ciara


Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments releases new annual report on homelessness in the region

Though there were a number of reports over the last few months that pointed toward disappointing numbers, newly-released results from the annual point-in-time homelessness count found that the Greater Washington region saw a 2.7 percent decrease in homelessness from last year. Despite the slight drop, there is still much room for improvement. (WaPo, 5/13)

The tally, released Wednesday, confirmed a continued crisis of homelessness in the Washington region evident to almost anyone who lives, works or visits the city’s downtown core during winter, when homeless men and women amass in entrances to Metro stops and many other spots where they can stay warm. It also may have understated the challenge still faced by D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D), who has vowed to end chronic homelessness in the city.

Much of the overall dip resulted from a 300-person drop in homeless parents and children in D.C. shelters on the night of the count.

But unlike last year, when the number of homeless families peaked near the date of the 2014 federal count, this year several hundred entered shelter or were placed in overflow motel rooms in the District throughout February, March and even early April.


Beyond the District, numbers of homeless families also surged this winter in the city of Alexandria and in Fairfax, Frederick and Montgomery counties. Given that trend, few on Wednesday celebrated the slight decrease in the total from last year’s count.

The data comes from the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments new annual report, Homelessness in Metropolitan Washington.

–  D.C. Department of Human Services Director Laura Zeilinger spoke on the District’s own six percent decrease in homeless residents, stating that a celebration of the results would be too premature, “because there are still far too many people [who are homeless.] (City Paper, 5/13) 

Southeast D.C. facility for homeless veterans gets a boost (WaPo, 5/13)

WRAG/PHILANTHROPY | Interested in following the conversation from WRAG’s first-ever Loudoun County Philanthropy Conference? Check out the hashtag #FundLoudoun on Twitter to see what panelists and participants are saying.

NONPROFITS | Next month, the Center for Nonprofit Advancement, in partnership with the Community Foundation for the National Capital Region, will hold a new, four-part communications series/training for leaders of nonprofits based in or serving residents of wards 7 or 8. The multi-day training seeks to help organizations strengthen their voices and raise awareness about issues affecting residents east of the river. For more information on how to register, click here.

Opinion: A number of emerging new studies are examining the long-term effects of government programs like the earned-income tax credit, Medicaid, SNAP, and more, on families. Though data can only go back so far, there is evidence that children whose families received benefits have better outcomes as they enter their 20s and 30s than those whose families were denied benefits. (NYT, 5/11)

Obama Urges Liberals and Conservatives to Unite on Poverty (NYT, 5/12)

How well can you read the emotions of others? Sometimes it’s all in the eyes! Take this quiz to see if you can tell what these people are thinking.

– Ciara

The State of the Union and the social sector

In case you missed it, President Obama delivered his sixth State of the Union address last night. As usual, the president touched on a number of topics, many of which could offer a template for the work of the social sector, as Nonprofit Quarterly points out (WaPo, 1/20 and NPQ, 1/20):

[…] the president, any president, isn’t the only author of social change in our nation. As shown through the president’s comments on race relations after Ferguson, normalization of diplomatic relations with and ending the embargo against Cuba, and protecting the civil rights of the LGBT population, change comes from the mobilization of the American public in social movements, pressuring the executive and legislative branches to do what is really important for the American public. That’s especially true, more than ever, with a divided Congress whose members are more prone to posture and fight rather than understand and act.

The onus is therefore on the nonprofit sector to pick up on the social movement building that these times – and the president’s SOTU proposals – require and to mobilize their constituencies around the messages of helping working people, raising tax rates on the super wealthy, creating more job opportunities, and making community colleges free. And in addition, as a result of the speech, nonprofits and the communities they represent have a new agenda for creating a narrative on the issues that the SOTU underplayed or missed entirely: dealing directly with poverty, expanding humanitarian aid, and cleaning up election finance. It’s time for a new nonprofit sector State of the Union strategy.

WORKFORCE/REGION | What economists think the D.C.-area work force could look like in five years (WaPo, 1/18)

| No food until you finish your recess? A new study suggests that one way to get students to eat more servings of fruits and vegetables at lunchtime is to have them go to recess first. In fact, students who ate lunch after recess were shown to consume 54 percent more fruits and vegetables than those eating lunch before recess. (NPR, 1/20)

IMPACT INVESTING | The World Economic Forum recently highlighted five high-level tips for family offices seeking to engage in the world of impact investing. (SSIR, 1/19)

–  Could something as simple as a few text messages be a perfect solution to helping low-income students reach college and achieve their goals? Research shows it can certainly help. (NYT, 1/18)

High test scores at many charter schools may actually be “false positives” (GGW, 1/20)

– In an effort to make bikeshare memberships more accessible to low-income riders without a bank account, Arlington is set to begin offering $7 monthly cash membership fees to encourage equity in the use of the program. (GGW, 1/21)

– Metro Weighs Fare Hikes and Service Cuts (WCP, 1/20)

| In yesterday’s lead story, The Washington Post incorrectly described the “ban the box” bill as circulating through the D.C. Council. Many thanks to Ben Murphy at the Community Foundation for the National Capital Region for pointing out that the bill passed last year – and with the support of many CFNCR grantees, including D.C. Employment Justice Center, D.C. Appleseed and DCFPI.

Take a look at how improvisational skills can be a very useful tool in any workplace.

– Ciara