Winter 2016 Newsletter, Bread for the City

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Newsletter 2016


Bread for the City


Get a Look at Our New Vision Clinic


Dr. Rosan Choi, Ophthalmologist

read for the City’s medical clinic has experienced exceptional growth over the past few years: we opened a brand new dental clinic, expanded our behavioral health services, and even became a Federally Qualified Health Center. And now we’re taking this growth even further—we just started offering comprehensive vision care for the first time ever! Ophthalmologist Dr. Rosan Choi joined the Bread for the City family in October 2015, and we could not be more excited about what this means for our organization and the community we serve. Dr. Choi comes to us with 15 years of attending experience; in fact, in addition to her three-day a week clinic at Bread for the City, she is also on staff at MedStar Washington Hospital Center. Dr. Choi is no stranger to Bread for the City, however. She first came to our medical clinic in 2012 when she began volunteering once a month to provide vision screenings to patients as part of the Prevention of Blindness Society’s mobile clinic. It was through her work with that clinic that Dr. Choi became familiar with Bread for the City, and realized that we had the potential to incorporate comprehensive vison care into our medical clinic. She wanted to help make our dream a reality! Three years later, thanks to our community of supporters, we have a fully-outfitted and equipped vision care clinic— and we’re so thrilled to welcome back Dr. Choi as a staff member! “Vision is an integral part of over-all health but our patient population often does not have the resources for screenings, minor surgery, or even preventative care,” says Dr. Choi. “My job here is to complete the holistic care that See Vision on page 2

Holiday Helpings


oliday Helpings 2015 was a smashing success! 387 volunteers worked alongside staff to distribute 10,021 turkeys and all the trimmings in time for the holidays, and more than $400,000 was raised for our Food Program. WOW! It takes a village to make this work possible, and we’re particularly grateful for the 100+ corporate and community partners who rallied together to sponsor Holiday Helpings and coordinate company-wide drives.

From corporations large and small, to nonprofit and elementary school groups, to neighbors and BFC staff members, our supporters came out in force to spread the word about Bread for the City’s good work. A special “thanks” goes out to our top Holiday Helpings fundraisers: WilmerHale LLP, Perkins Coie LLP, Bates White, Alston & Bird LLP, and Jones Day. Tough times do not rid our clients of the desire to share in the joy of the holiday season. Thank you for helping us ensure that these traditions are available to all!

Vision continued from page 1 Bread for the City provides and ensure that our clients are in the best health from head to toe.” “This vision clinic has been in the works for several years now, and to have it finally come to fruition fills me

with joy,” says Bread for the City CEO George A. Jones. “Bread strives to be a team-based healthcare delivery model, providing comprehensive medical care with the goal of obtaining maximum health outcomes, and with the addition of Dr. Choi, we are one big step “For decades, Bread for the City has worked effectively closer to realizing to bring affordable, high-quality healthcare to our our goal.” As excited as community members. The Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz we are to have Foundation is proud of its long history of support to Bread her on staff, she is for the City, which includes a grant to help BFC create even more excited its Vision Clinic—ensuring that access to proper vision to be here. Says care is integrated into the comprehensive services BFC Dr. Choi, “I have wanted to work already provides.” – Rose Ann Cleveland, Executive Director of the Cafritz Foundation with Bread for

the City since 2012, so I am ecstatic to finally be here!” Bread for the City’s vision clinic was made possible through the generosity of a community of donors, including The Joseph E. and Marjorie B. Jones Foundation, The Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation, the Aid Association for the Blind of the District of Columbia, and CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield. Vision care is the final piece of our 2011 medical clinic expansion, which was primarily funded by a generous grant from the District of Columbia Primary Care Association through its Medical Homes DC Capital Projects initiative, which was funded by the DC Government.

Save the Date Bread for the City’s 2016 Good Hope Gala Dinner and Live Auction Saturday, April 30, 2016 Omni Shoreham Hotel Tickets: $250 Available at

SPONSORSHIP OPPORTUNITIES AVAILABLE! Contact Amanda Nover at (202) 386-7611 or

Make an in-kind gift by donating food, clothing, or an item from our Amazon Wish List See our Wish List at

Here are some of our most needed items:


✔ D iapers

✔ SmarTrip cards

✔ C hildren’s books, especially in Spanish

✔ T oilet paper and other household items

✔ C leaning supplies/ laundry detergent

✔ Thumb drives

The best way to support our work is through a monetary contribution to Bread for the City.

Looking for othe r ways to get in volved? V olunteer with us b volunte y contacting er@br

✔ G ift cards for grocery stores and pharmacies

eadfort Become a hecity.o rg. monthly donor today and help us sustain our programs year-round at

✔ P lus-sized clothing for men and women

Just want to make a one-time gift? Give today at

Leaving a gift to Bread for the City in your estate plans ensures that your legacy of helping your community will continue beyond your lifetime. Learn more about how you can have a lasting impact by visiting or by contacting Emily Torruellas at or 202-480-8908.

Stay Connected to Bread for the City! We live tweet all of our major events, and we love tweeting with our supporters! @BreadfortheCity

We’re always sharing photos and stories from the front lines on our Facebook page!

We’re also blogging every week about issues affecting our community. Subscribe to our blog on our website at

or by emailing

If you donated to Bread for the City in 2015 but lost your tax receipt… no problem! Just email and we’ll get you a duplicate.

Staff Highlight: Steven Swann


or several years now, Bread for the City has been working towards a very big goal: to achieve racial equity in Washington, DC by dismantling the systems that create race-based disparities in our community. Now, we’re moving a step closer with the hire of our very first Racial Equity Manager. Steven Swann served as the Intake & Community Resource Coordinator at our Southeast Center for two years before transitioning into his new role in November 2015. In it, Steven will lead Bread for the City’s efforts to reform, create and implement policies and practices that ensure racial equity. Want to learn more? Take it away, Steven! First and most importantly, what does racial equity mean in this context? Racial equity is the condition wherein the quality of life outcomes, life chances, and life experiences in our society cannot be predicted by race. It means that, regardless of your race, you’re just as likely to have access to justice, see your basic needs met and reasonably expect your rights to be respected and your life to be valued by your fellow citizen and your government. Describe the role of a racial equity manager. My role, through collaboration with staff and community members, is to lead the effort to eliminate racial disparities at Bread for the City and beyond. Day to day, I will guide staff members through tangible ways to see and do their work through a racial equity lens. I will also work in alliance with other DC organizations to move the government and private sector towards better service of the community through antiracist language, policies, and practices. And another function of the role is to be purposeful about learning from the experience of others who have tried this before us; collecting best practices, setting realistic and ambitious goals that build toward equity, and engaging with people who are striving along with us.

Steven Swann, Racial Equity Manager What part of your job are you most looking forward to? I’m most excited by the relationships I will build while getting better acquainted with our community and its leaders. What in your background prepared you for this work? My academic background is in sociology, with a focus on the study of inequality along the lines of race and class. After I graduated, I worked on research projects that explored racial dimensions of education, housing, and adolescent masculinity. More recently, my work at Bread for the City has given me concrete knowledge of what living with lowincome is like for a person of color. I believe that my education, experience, and passion for social justice position me to tackle this work head-on. What’s something fun about you? The most fun aspect of my life is probably that, as a DJ, I get a chance to share a beautiful facet of humanity with people who dance to the music I play. If someone wants to get involved with Bread for the City’s anti-racism work, what should they do? Get in touch with me! If you have suggestions, concerns, or anything else, email me at sswann@


Bread for the City’s 2015 Year in Review


t was another amazing year at Bread for the City. With donors, volunteers, and staff working together, we were able to meet the immediate needs of those we serve, while also working on a systemic level to make DC a more just and equitable city. Some highlights:

Working with the Capital Area Food Bank, our Social Services Program was able to make a big change at a regional level by convincing most local food pantries to stop requiring a referral for service. This means that individuals and families can now go directly to a majority of food pantries without having to receive a referral from a third-party agency like Bread for the City. This change not only represents a more dignified service delivery model, but saves clients significant money and time. Our Housing Access Program launched monthly housing clinics in Amharic. Housing Access Program

Dr. Rosan Choi Ophthalmologist Dr. Rosan Choi was hired and opened our first Vision Clinic. Donors gave our Food Program a new truck and a new pallet jack. BFC’s medical clinic is no longer an FQHC look-a-like… we’re a full-fledged FQHC! This means that we receive full reimbursement for our medical services and can now access additional resources through the Health Resources and Services Administration. In partnership with Legal Aid and Legal Counsel for the Elderly, our Legal Clinic launched the Housing Right to Counsel Pilot Project. This project, funded by the DC Bar Foundation, has the goal of reducing evictions by significantly expanding legal representation for tenants who live in subsidized housing.


BFC’s Board of Directors passed a new five-year strategic plan with three new goals and strategies designed to improve our services and promote social change: launching an affordable housing advocacy campaign to help stop the drain of affordable housing from DC; increasing our leadership in the area of racial equity by working with organizational partners throughout the region; and expanding the Southeast Center. In order to achieve the goals of this new strategic plan, two key hires were made: Aja Taylor is now our Advocacy Director and Steven Swann is now our Racial Equity Manager. All our staff work hard and should make a decent wage. We increased our minimum starting pay for full-time regular positions to $16.25/hour.

Aja Taylor

Steven Swann

And, of course, this amazing work was accomplished in addition to the daily work of Bread for the City, bringing food, clothing, medical, legal, and comprehensive social services to more than 34,000 DC residents living with low incomes each year. As you can see, Bread for the City is a busy place! Keep up-to-date with the latest and greatest by subscribing to our blog at

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