It was a novel idea 30 years ago: Give people more than a bed for the night, give them a chance for a brighter future. In 1988 in DC, most shelters were only emergency shelters, meaning at 7 p.m., people could get dinner and a place to sleep, but by 7 a.m. the next morning, everyone had to be out, dragging all their belongings with them. There were some daytime drop in centers here and there, “but if you were trying to get your life together and find a job, it wasn’t exactly an easy thing,” said Mary Popit, who was the Executive Director of NEW from 1996-2005.
A group of women, including Mary Ann Luby, working in the emergency shelters for women saw this problem first-hand and decided to do something about it. They asked city officials if they could start a transitional housing program, giving women a place to live for three months, allowing them more time to get their lives in order.
The city gave them 611 N Street and some money and the story goes that on July 4, 1988, these women were making up four beds. The next day, four women came through NEW’s doors with a desire to get their lives back on track. Each one got a case manager, an education consultant, an employment professional and a housing professional.
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.
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 like we have great timing or something. Here it is, well into spring, with cherry blossoms come and gone, and lo and behold—a cold snap, complete with a frost advisory. Just in time for our next fundraising happy hour tonight!
Join us at either Beau Thai location, 5 – 10 pm, Tuesday, April 5, 2016. Read more
Join New Endeavors on Wednesday, June 17 at Beau Thai (SHAW) for happy hour benefitting NEW. Beau Thai has created a refreshing NEW drink to quench your thirst and help the homeless. Order the NEW drink during Happy Hour and all day and night on Wednesday, June 17 and all proceeds go to New Endeavors By Women to support housing and programs for homeless women and families. Hope to see you there.
In January, Spark Career Strategy/Exchange Network, LLC selected NEW as a community partner. The company generously donates career empowerment services to our residents. Company founder and CEO, Stephanie Goetsch, committed to help us even more by organizing the “Clean Up & Give Back” consignment shopping event. Gently used clothing and accessories were sold at the event, held April 19 in Bethesda, and the proceeds benefited NEW. We thank Stephanie, all of the event volunteers, donors and shoppers who made the fantastic fundraiser possible! To learn more about Exchange Network’s partnership with NEW to advance the career goals of our residents, visit www.sparkcareerstrategy.comRead more
Thank you to the congregation of Ebenezer AME Church in Fort Washington, Maryland. They recently made a wonderful donation of a snack goody basket and more than 150 collected cell phones! Pictured are Leah J. Peay, Cynthia Holston and Erica Shannon delivering the donation at our 611 N Street site. 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.