More Than One Way To Be Generous – Thank You Clean Kits!

Clean Kit makes a donation to NEW
Clean Kits makes a donation to NEW

In a region full of overachievers, Areej Khan and Palak Shah still impress with the generosity and magnitude of their clear-eyed vision.

Khan and Shah are high school seniors who saw the need and came up with the idea of Clean Kits. They now regularly collect, assemble, and donate hygiene kits to homeless women. Which is how we met them—they approached and donated 170 kits, each containing a bar of soap and 10 tampons and pads. 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

NEW Alum Finally Graduates, Inspires Own Kids To Continue Education

Belinda Whitfield holds up her diploma on graduation day - at long last!
                          Belinda on Graduation Day!

Here’s what the staff at NEW will tell you: Some homeless people may be a bit too broken to put back together. But a large number are no any different than you and me. The difference is they didn’t have someone to help them back up in time after the last hurdle. They’re fully aware of what needs to be done to resolve their situation. They just haven’t had a chance to catch their breath yet because they’re too busy surviving. And through it all, they remain determined and hard working, and value an education if they don’t have one.

In other words, they’re like Belinda Whitfield. Read more

Cynthia Rowe: Busting Stereotypes, Doing The Work, And Prevailing

image courtesy of Andrea Vallejos/Flickr Creative Commons
image courtesy of Andrea Vallejos/Flickr Creative Commons

Cynthia Rowe — who will be recognized with the NEW Light Alumna Award at our gala next month — busts many stereotypes that persist about the homeless. She is educated, has a daughter about to graduate college, worked at big name companies that provided retirement plans. She comes from a large family with whom she is still very much in touch. And although she may not have had a consistent roof over her head while homeless, she was never without safe shelter. “I couch-surfed,” she says matter-of-factly.

So what is her story? How does someone with that many factors in favor of stability come to NEW? Read more