Letter from the Executive Director, Wanda Steptoe, about Covid-19

What does a stay-at-home order look like for someone experiencing homelessness? This is a question I think about often these days as we adapt to a new world- one that would have been unimaginable at this time last year. As businesses like gyms and libraries closed, access to simple resources like showers, working outlets, and air conditioning became even more difficult to navigate. Inequity and poverty have not paused in the face of a global pandemic, but neither have we.

We are still here, providing safe housing to 152 women and children. Our case managers are meeting with our clients via phone and socially-distanced meetings to check in on their progress and health. We’ve increased cleaning services and purchased PPE for clients and staff so we can limit the spread of germs. Throughout this process, the women we serve have remained hopeful, optimistic, and resilient. One woman joked that she wouldn’t be adding a year to her age at her next birthday because this one doesn’t count. We agree!

What’s our secret to continuing this work in such uncertain times? You. Our community of supporters has met these times of isolation with intentional connection. You have met uncertainty with generosity and love. I am excited to share this issue of reNEWal with you so you can see the beauty your generosity has cultivated.

Wishing you health and joy,


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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.