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.”

ReNEWal Summer 2019

ReNEWal Summer 2019

Our Spring Newsletter, ReNEWal, has been mailed. In this issue, we highlight volunteers as well as welcome new board members and celebrate the fifth anniversary of New Journeys. We are so thankful for our many NEW family members who help make every NEW success possible!

Please take a moment to browse our latest issue of ReNEWal. Read more

New Journeys is Expanding

New Journeys is Expanding

New Journeys is one of the seven housing programs offered by New Endeavors by Women (NEW.) Serving senior women, New Journeys provides housing for six women aged 55 and older.

“There’s been a spike in elderly homelessness over the past five years or so,” explains NEW Program Director James Brown. “New Journeys has been so successful that we’re starting a second program – New Journeys II – in October.”

With the new program, 15 more senior women will be able to call New Journeys II home. As James pointed out, the need has been escalating. And the programs to support the elderly are few and far between in the Washington, DC area.  Read more

Letter From the Executive Director – June

Letter From the Executive Director – June

As in life, the only constant at NEW is change and the dedication of our staff. The women at NEW stumble, pick themselves up, make progress, and graduate to become stable and contributing members of society. Through it all, staff members like Renee Roberts walk with them every step of the way.

A great example is Geisy Cerberino and her family. Geisy came to NEW through the New Horizons program. They are in stable housing, but our YEP! program still provides a buffer for the younger children so Geisy can work and her oldest daughter, a teen, isn’t solely responsible for after-school care. Read more

Culture Shock – Brenda Brooks

Culture Shock – Brenda Brooks

Brenda spent many years working as a legal secretary until she was laid off shortly after the 9/11 attacks in 2001. “That started it all,” she says. The dominoes fell one by one: job, savings, housing. She spent years floating from house to house, until there was no more money or space on somebody’s couch. “It was a culture shock,” adds Brenda. “It was my first experience being homeless – and at my age.”

Brenda ended up at NEW in New Journeys permanent supportive housing program, where she has gotten back on her feet, resumed her youth ministry, and is currently looking for an apartment. “It’s a continuation of the journey,” she says. 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.