Mayor Bowser and DHS Join Friendship Place on Valentine's Day for Women's Networking Luncheon
On Valentine's Day, Mayor
Bowser and DHS Director Laura Zeilinger joined dozens of women to provide remarks at the Women’s Networking Luncheon sponsored by
non-profit homeless services provider Friendship Place. Mayor Bowser spoke about her experience
during her rise to success and the overall state of homelessness in the
Place offers outreach, case management, employment and housing services for
District residents experiencing homelessness.
The Women’s Networking Luncheon
is sponsored by the AimHire program, a Friendship Place initiative that
empowers people who are experiencing homelessness and unemployment to find jobs
and housing at the same time. The AimHire program utilized an individualized approach
with consumers to help them assess their skills and interests.
They also help
people address the barriers they may have to securing stable employment and
housing. Participants are connected directly with employers and landlords. The
luncheon was expected to provide an atmosphere that encourages participating
female consumers by surrounding them with female leaders in the community,
thereby making them apart of this larger community.
Listen to Mayor Bowser's remarks here.
DHS Hosts First in a Series of Resident Resource Fairs at DC General Family Shelter
DeShawntay Johnson is a 30-year-old District native who is a mother of one and has been residing within the DC General Family Shelter for four months.
Just two months ago, she obtained employment in the security industry, but was advised to increase her credit score in order to lease an apartment for her and her daughter. Soft spoken, but very determined, Johnson attended the Resident Resource Fair held at DC General recently, and met with a credit counselor from Capital Area Asset Builders (CAAB).
"My caseworker told me about the resource fair and I knew I had to be there. It was great, and I got the help that I needed," beamed Johnson.
The counselor informed her that a representative from CAAB was available to meet with her on a regular basis to assist with disputing inaccurate information and help with developing a budget. Johnson was also given information about the Matched Savings Plan which assists residents of the District with saving money for post-secondary education, buying a home or starting or expanding a business by matching their savings.
The Resident Resource Fair included exhibitors to assist with: housing, expungement, education, credit and finances, and employment. Read more about the CAAB program here.
In the absence of a downtown day center, the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library (MLK) offers residents experiencing homelessness a safe place to be indoors during the day, access to employment services, a case manager, restrooms and water. MLK Library also serves as a transportation hub for individuals traveling from shelters to and from the downtown area.
The March 4th closing of the library for a three-year renovation means the loss of these services. Subsequently, DHS and its partners have developed a short-term transportation and services plan while DHS pursues the long-term strategy of opening a downtown day center. Read more about services provided during the MLK closure here.