NEW Spotlight: Long Time Supporter Debbie Curtis

NEW Spotlight: Long Time Supporter Debbie Curtis

With only 26 staff members, including case managers for 152 women and children, NEW depends on its board of 15 committed volunteers to ensure the success of the program.

Volunteers like Debbie Curtis have served on the NEW board for five years, but her connection to NEW goes back to 1998 when she worked in long-time NEW supporter, Senator Pete Stark’s office and met NEW’s Executive Director Mary Popit. Debbie started organizing clothing drives for NEW and encouraging her friends to donate things like panty hose, which the NEW women especially appreciated.

Living in DC, Debbie saw first hand the need for services for women experiencing homelessness. She started attending NEW’s annual Moving Out of Homlessness gala, bringing her baby daughter, Anya with her.

Debbie has continued to support NEW because she believes not only in its mission, but in the dedication of its staff. “NEW actually succeeds in helping women out of homelessness as opposed to moving the women between homelessness,” she says. “I feel so confident the money is going into services, going directly to helping women transfer out of homelessness.”

As NEW programming has evolved to meet the needs of the women through the years, so too the board has evolved and today NEW board members bring a diversity of background and expertise to the work. Debbie works for the DC Health Benefit Exchange, but the board also includes an HR professional, a banker, lawyers, and public policy experts.

“The breadth of the board has really grown and that is so important and intentional and I have been so impressed with that evolution,” Debbie says. “There are now more mechanisms in place to make sure we have a strong board and a variety of people to serve.”

Because of board term limits, Debbie can only serve one more year, but she has no plans to stop supporting the program.

“By supporting NEW, I feel that I’m helping to reduce homelessness in the District. It’s just disturbing the growth of homelesness,” Debbie says. “And also the people at NEW, the clients, the staff, are wonderful and everyone cares about each other and are working to improve people’s lives.”

On Any Given Night

On Any Given Night

On any given night, 882 unaccompanied (single) women are experiencing homelessness in the District of Columbia. Think about it: in DC nearly 900 women will be alone, homeless, and often hopeless tonight while we sleep in our warm, cozy beds in our homes. 

Read More

Taking a Leading Role on Women’s Homelessness in D.C. – Introducing the Women’s Services Task Force

Taking a Leading Role on Women’s Homelessness in D.C. – Introducing the Women’s Services Task Force

NEW Executive Director Wanda Steptoe joined Kris Thompson, executive director of Calvary Women’s Services, on Friday, June 9th, to host a meeting of the Interagency Council on Homelessness (ICH)* Women’s Task Force. About 40 people representing over 25 agencies participated in the meeting, committing themselves to improving the lives of homeless women in our community. Together Wanda and Kris co-chair the Women’s Task Force, which was created to address the experiences and needs of homeless women in Washington, DC.  Read more

New Endeavors by Women Named ‘One of the Best’ Nonprofits by the Catalogue for Philanthropy

New Endeavors by Women Named ‘One of the Best’ Nonprofits by the  Catalogue for Philanthropy

After a careful vetting process, the Catalogue for Philanthropy: Greater Washington has selected New Endeavors by Women (NEW) to be part of the Class of 2017-18. NEW has undergone an extensive review process, and has met the Catalogue’s high standards. Potential donors can be confident that the nonprofits in the Catalogue are worthy of their support.

“We’re thrilled to be a part of the Catalogue for Philanthropy,” says Wanda Steptoe, NEW’s executive director. “Our work with homeless women and children is critical to meet the need in DC — our presence in the Catalogue will help us gain more support for those we serve.” Read more

NEW Alum and Board Member Shares Inspiring Story on NBC4 News

NEW Alum and Board Member Shares Inspiring Story on NBC4 News

Recently, NEW Alum and Board Member Petrina Williams graduated with a master’s degree in Social Work from The Catholic University of America. Her inspiring story from homelessness to graduate school was featured by Meagan Fitzgerald of NBC4 Washington.  Read more

NEW Out Of The Mouth Of Babes

Leslie Gutierrez and family

Leslie Gutierrez answers the phone politely, but you can tell she really doesn’t have time. She’s the oldest of four, and a student of Duke Ellington School of the Arts in DC, and in charge on the afternoon she speaks with us. The conversation is, by turns, illuminating and funny.

Leslie is 15. Her siblings are Randolfo Campos, 12, Elias Campos 11, and one voluble Kassandra Campos, 8. Their mother, Geisy Ceberino was a NEW client who benefitted from New Endeavors by Women’s (NEW) New Horizons program. She couldn’t really take the time to talk because she is employed as a home health aide worker. It falls to Leslie to fill in why NEW, and the YEP! program (Youth Enrichment Program) in particular, has made a difference for the whole family. Read more

Will You Help Support YEP! On Giving Tuesday 2016?

A note from Wanda Steptoe, NEW’s executive director:

Right now, our staff and residents are doing what you probably are too — gearing up for Thanksgiving.

Some of those residents are kids — infants, toddlers, and teens. And I cannot tell you what joy they bring to the room! Which it is why it pains me to tell you that we have lost funding for the Youth Enrichment Program, YEP!, the one NEW program designed to provide academic support and life skills to our youth residents. Read more

Thank You, Bank Of America!

Tamara Gifford, VP/Community Relations Manager of Greater Washington, DC presents the check to NEW Executive Director Wanda Steptoe.The Bank of America Charitable Foundation recently awarded us a $15,000 grant. We’re excited about this new partnership with Bank of America, which understands the power of making connections in the communities in which they live and work.

Every penny counts as we seek to meet the women — and their families — who come to us, where they are, and as they need, in their path from homelessness to shelter and new beginnings.

Thank you!

Read more

Anne Raffaelli: “We all deserve dignity.”

Former NEW executive director, Mary Popit doesn’t mince words about the woman who will be honored with the award that bears her name. “Without Anne, NEW could have fallen apart.” She’s speaking, of course, about Anne Raffaelli, a longtime supporter and former board chair of NEW. She stepped down in December 2015 after more than 23 years of service, and is this year’s recipient of the Mary Popit Partner in Caring Award.

Anne Raffaelli
Anne Raffaelli, 2016

Mary says Anne brought a “stick-to-it-iveness” to NEW that has sustained the organization. “You have to have a good staff AND a good board that offers oversight, and makes sure you see the bigger picture. You can’t have one without the other. Anne was instrumental in making sure that happened.” Wanda Steptoe, NEW’s current executive director – who took over from Mary describes Anne more succinctly: “Committed, passionate, caring.”

Anne says she was simply doing her job as a board member, being an “asker in chief,” and asking the questions that needed to be asked. “Because it’s what a board should do.” Read more

It’s been a challenging time for all of us as we adjust our days, our budgets and our expectations to COVID-19. And now, add a city and country grasping for footing after the death of an unarmed black man by a white police officer and we all feel even more out of control, unstable, and concerned about the future. Here at NEW we know that one way we can process our own feelings is to think about the needs and feelings of others.

We need you. The women need you. Your community needs you. Now more than ever women and children in DC need a safe and stable place to live.

Give.