Fall 2017 Newsletter, Bread for the City

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Newsletter 2017 FALL





Dear Bread for the City Family, The work of ending poverty in our communities cannot be done by one person or organization alone. We depend on caring people like you, and you along with all of our supporters have shown time and again how dedicated you are to Bread for the City’s mission. But we also depend heavily on the support of robust safety-net funding from the government in order to help our neighbors in need. Since January, I’ve watched with growing concern as President Trump’s policies have added more barriers to the lives of people in our nation experiencing poverty, particularly those right here in our community. Whether we are talking about xenophobic bans that have excruciating consequences for Muslim immigrants and refugees, or steep cuts to essential housing programs that exacerbate dangerous housing conditions and homelessness, the proposals and policies of the current administration go against Bread for the City’s most cherished values of dignity, respect, service, and justice. We will continue to speak out and serve. No matter which way the political winds blow, Bread for the City will remain a sanctuary for all of our neighbors dealing with hunger, homelessness, legal woes, or tough times in general. I know that we are stronger together, and I am heartened by your commitment to our mission. Thank you for sharing our belief in the fundamental dignity and worth of all human beings. Sincerely, George A. Jones Chief Executive Officer

BUILDING ON GOOD HOPE Bread for the City has announced plans for a new 30,000square-foot service center on Good Hope Road, SE. Each year, more than 33,000 people come through the doors of Bread for the City, and our mission is to serve each one of them with dignity and respect. However, needs are high in the District of Columbia. In the 2010 census, one in five DC residents and one in three children reported living in poverty. While the DC economy continues to thrive, many residents, especially people of color, are being left behind. Bread for the City’s programs help individuals and families find and maintain stability with dignity, but our limited capacity is impeding our efforts. We are not yet able to do all that we can—and must—to fulfill our mission. Overcrowding in our Southeast Center has left Bread for the City unable to provide comprehensive medical services at that facility. Other programs are hindered as well—such as our clothing and diaper programs, which can only operate for a few days per week because of lack of space. To better meet the urgent needs of our neighbors dealing with poverty, Bread for the City is going to build a new 30,000-square-foot service center at 1710 Good Hope Road, SE. With the new center, Bread for the City will expand all of our existing programs: food, clothing, and legal and social services. We will offer larger waiting areas and meeting rooms, increase storage capacity, expand access to technology, and increase total clients served to Continued on page 2

20,000 through 75,000 total center visits each year. Our new Southeast Center will also feature: • An expanded health and wellness center! Our new center will bring all of BFC’s incredible primary care services to Southeast DC for the first time ever. We’ll be able to provide more than 2,000 of our clients with physical exams, lab tests, medications, needle exchange, and many other services. We’ll also be opening a dental clinic and vision clinic to provide our Southeast clients with the essential care they require and deserve. • A brand-new jobs center! The jobs center will have a smart classroom, computer lab, counseling rooms, and training space. We will be able to more than double the number of program participants each year. • Rooftop vegetable garden! Crowning the Good Hope Road facility will be a 4,000-squarefoot rooftop vegetable garden and educational space. This green space will host gardening classes, wellness and social work programs, and community gatherings. It will even grow produce to be distributed in the food pantry. Our vision for the new Southeast Center is beautiful, but right now the Building on Good Hope project is just an empty lot. Our goal is to break ground in 2018 and complete the project in 2019. It is an exciting time for Bread for the City, and we cannot wait to get started! For more information about the Building on Good Hope project and how you can help, go to BreadfortheCity.org.

Join Us for Holiday Helpings! At Bread for the City, we firmly believe that our neighbors who are living below the federal poverty line shouldn’t have to forgo holiday celebrations. That’s why we come together through our Holiday Helpings program to provide free holiday meals—a turkey and all the trimmings—for our clients to enjoy at home with family and friends. Thanks to your support, we provided nearly 9,000 meals last year! We can’t wait to do it again this holiday season. Please join us by sponsoring a family or two, or host your own fundraising drive. Learn more about this special way to give back this season at www.breadforthecity.org/holidayhelpings.

Our 25th Annual Good Hope Gala Was More Than Good— It Was Record-Breaking! All of us at Bread for the City are still thinking about the success of our 2017 Good Hope Gala. The annual dinner and live auction event raised more than $1.26 million for Bread for the City’s vital programs that help our neighbors in need. The event shattered all goals and records. But just as important, it provided people from throughout the community the opportunity to come together in solidarity and support our fight to end poverty in the District. Thank you to all of our Gala attendees and sponsors. We can’t wait to do it again in 2018!

Save the Date

Bread for the City’s 2018 Good Hope Gala Dinner and Live Auction April 28, 2018 Omni Shoreham Hotel Doors Open at 6pm Sponsorship Opportunities Available! Contact: Ally Blaine, Events and Corporate Partnerships Associate ablaine@breadforthecity.org Phone: 202-480-8970

Donate food, clothing, or other items from our Amazon Wish List. See our Wish List at BreadfortheCity.org/wishlist.

Wish List Add a holiday gift to Bread for the City the next time you shop online!

Here are some of our most needed items this holiday season: ✔ Diapers ✔ C hildren’s books, especially in Spanish ✔ C leaning supplies/ laundry detergent

Growing Food in Urban Deserts Brother Rashad Johnson, native Washingtonian and urban gardener, has been gardening in the District of Columbia for over 55 years. He remembers his grandfather’s eight-by-eight garden in his backyard where he grew watermelon, tomatoes, corn, greens, and okra. That childhood experience sparked his interest in food justice. “Growing your own food is like printing your own money,” Brother Rashad says. His gardening efforts are certainly making Southeast DC, home to some of the District’s worst food deserts, richer. The Ujima Urban Farm, where Brother Rashad puts his green thumb to work, offers urban sustainable gardens where members of the community can

✔ G ift cards for grocery stores and pharmacies ✔ P lus-sized clothing for men and women

✔ SmarTrip cards ✔ T oiletries and other household items

attend interactive workshops on food advocacy and urban gardening. The project also donates produce directly to elders in the community, people passing by, and people experiencing homelessness. Brother Rashad first came to Bread for the City as a client and was impressed by the work we were doing in the Southeast community. With a desire to give back, he became part of the first graduating class of Bread for the City’s Terrance Moore Organizing Institute. Today, his work at Ujima Urban Farm combines what he learned through the Institute with his love of gardening to help the community overcome the challenges in accessing healthy food. “Urban gardening is my form of organizing,” Brother Rashad says. Learn more about the many ways Bread for the City is addressing hunger issues in the District at BreadfortheCity.org/food.

Community Advocates Win for DC Families This June came with a reminder that when caring people pull together to fight for social justice, we are capable of so much positive change. After many months of advocacy efforts, the DC Council and Mayor reversed course on their plans to discontinue Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) benefits after families had received TANF for 60 months.

For the 13,000 families and 23,000 children in DC who receive TANF benefits, the decision to allow them to continue receiving TANF is vital. Pulling benefits from those who need it most would have pushed thousands of families into crisis. Bread for the City applauds the DC City Council and the Mayor for making this humane, positive decision. And for all of you who helped in this fight to protect TANF benefits, thank you!

You know about Black Friday and Cyber Monday. This year, don’t forget about Giving Tuesday, the day people across the nation show their charitable

November 28 is Giving Tuesday!

support for the organizations they care about most. On that special day, please remember to give generously to help Bread for the City remain on

Keeping Up the Fight: Anti-Slumlord Campaign Update When we ask the people we serve about their biggest challenges, safe housing comes up again and again. The time is long overdue for DC slumlords to be held accountable for housing code violations. Earlier this year, Bread for the City community members testified about how the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs’ inadequate enforcement has led to residents living in moldy and pest-infested units; living without reliable access to heat, air, and running water; having sewage flood their bathrooms; even having their ceilings fall in and seeing their neighbors fall through rotten wood floors. Now, Bread for the City has developed some demands for council members and Mayor Browser, including hiring more inspectors, taking properties out of the hands of unscrupulous landlords, and giving half of the fines collected from slumlords back to the tenants. Lax enforcement of housing code violations has real consequences in people’s lives. If you’re interested in joining Bread for the City’s organizing on this issue, email us at organizers@breadforthecity.org.

Workplace Giving Opportunities of the National Capital Area

CFC #61733

DC One Fund #8219

United Way #8219

the frontlines of fighting poverty in DC. Make your gift on November 28 at BreadfortheCity.org/GivingTuesday.

BREAD FOR THE CITY’S FIRST JOB FAIR A SUCCESS! Bread for the City hosted its first Job and Information Fair this summer, and job seekers, employers, and event organizers couldn’t be happier about the results. We had eight organizations in attendance: Department of Employment Services, SafeLink, United Planning Organization, Washington Law Center, Job Corps, Goodwill Industries, Events DC, and BFC’s Pre-Employment Program (PEP). With so many employers under one roof, sixty people came to the Fair to apply for jobs and receive information about future opportunities. Many job seekers submitted applications and learned more about positions they never knew were available so nearby. And for six participants, life changed that very same day. They were hired on the spot by our partners at SafeLink! Stay tuned for details on Bread for the City’s next Job and Information Fair.

Help Others Every Month! The best way to support our work is through a monetary contribution. Become a monthly donor today and help us sustain our programs year-round at BreadfortheCity.org/givemonthly. Can’t make a monthly commitment? Make a one-time gift at BreadfortheCity.org/FallNews.

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