Everyone Home DC New Name But Continued Mission

first_imgBy George Kevin Jordan, Special to the AFROEveryone Home DC may sound new to some people in the area, but their organization has spent the last 50 years trying to eradicate homelessness and help families in need. Formerly formed in 1967 and named Capital HIll Group Ministry (CHGM), the organization was a collection of churches and clergy members that gathered together to fight against racial and socioeconomic inequalities. The organization turned to homelessness in the 80s.“We were founded by churches,” said Karen Cunningham, Executive Director of Everyone Home DC. “But 50 years ago. For some time our staff and board members recognized that our original name did not serve us. It didn’t tell people what we do. It wasn’t as welcoming. Last year they made the name change a strategic priority.”After a year long rebranding initiative, Everyone Home DC emerged as the new moniker. “We believe that everyone should have a home. All of our neighbors have a right to a safe, healthy, dignified place to live,” Cunningham said. “It’s more welcoming to the diverse face of the community we serve. We want to be welcoming to anyone who cares about this issue.” Everyone Home DC has a bevy of programs including Family Homelessness Prevention, Family Housing Programs, Shirley’s Place Day Center, Street Outreach, Drop-In Day Center, and Community Support Projects and Systems Change.Just because the name went through a change doesn’t mean the organization doesn’t still vigorously fight to end homelessness. Last year, Everyone Home DC was able to accomplish the following: Provide housing stabilization services to nearly 800 families at imminent risk of homelessness. 249 families secured their own apartments with the assistance of Everyone Home DC’s Prevention Program staff, An additional 214 families secured stable long-term housing. About 94 percent of the families who turned to Everyone Home DC for supportive services were able to avoid a traumatic shelter stay.Through Shirley’s Place Day Center, more than 2,000 individuals experiencing homelessness were able to reliably access a clean, safe place to shower, to wash laundry and eat nutritious meals, to access computers and wifi, new clothing, transportation and rental and utility assistance. And Everyone Home DC’s Street Outreach team supported more than 400 chronically homeless individuals in meeting their immediate and long-term goals.As its program expanded so did it’s budget. With Cunningham at the helm since 2013, the organization grew their annual budget from $1 million to $2.2 million according to the website.These goals were accomplished through a series of interwoven systems used to help families and individuals secure some form of housing. However, the need is still great. “There is one housing option for every 10 people living on the street,” Cunningham added. Cunningham said that In the last number of years “D.C. has really been investing more to end homeless with strategic plans like Homeward DC,” Cunningham said. “And we’ve established structures within the city to work in a coordinated way so that service providers and the government are working closely together to identify families experiencing homelessness and match the ones in the most vulnerable situations to the housing they need.” For more information about programs please go to everyonehomedc.org.last_img read more