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
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
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