Our Morning Program is aimed at providing our clients with fresh food, emergency groceries, personal care items, showers, laundry and mail.
Recently, American University students conducted an assessment on our male clients to get a better grasp of their needs and backgrounds. Not only has this report helped our team to further understand our clients but it has created a better awareness of DC homelessness for everyone.
To help you get a sense of who we work with, here are 5 things you should know about our clients.
We are located in Columbia Heights, a region with a large Spanish population often overlooked when it comes to Spanish programs.
Wanting to address this growing issue, our bilingual Job Developer David Vicenty has implemented a Spanish Employment Workshops to help our Hispanic clients.
Twice a week, we provide two hours of working one-on-one with them to improve resumes, look for jobs online, and assist with completing job applications.
Despite DC being internationally recognized as a city with opportunities, DC’s homeless are growing and many are staying homeless.
Though we do provide a variety of programs to all of our clients, our mission is to prevent and end homelessness. That being said, this study is proving just how important it is to continue addressing an often neglected population.
Actually, more than 30% are low-income individuals who are struggling to keep afloat. This can be especially difficult when buying groceries since healthy alternatives are often expensive.
Luckily, our Fresh Food Fridays provide a free farmer’s market for all of our clients. Therefore our place becomes a haven for many wanting vegetables, fruits, pasta and much more!
In fact, 80% of our clients believe they have what it takes to land a job. However, many of them are currently not working yet and are looking for jobs.
We understand just how essential jobs are and help through our Employment Support and Real Opportunity Training Program. It’s through these programs that our clients are able to make a real change in their lives.
If you're interested in helping people find jobs, contact the Employment Specialist Jemahl Nixon at (202) 503-1521 or email@example.com.
Not being able to pay for transportation can be very hard to our clients since this often means they miss major appointments like going to the doctor or job interviews.
However, over one-third of our clients use tokens which allow for a free pass to board the Metro or Metrobus. Yet this continues to be an important issue. In order to help prevent homelessness, we have to provide those who cannot afford to use the Metro or bus the opportunities to get to job interviews.
If you enjoyed getting an insightful look into who we serve and how we help, join the Thrive DC team either through volunteering or donating. To get started, contact our Community Relations Manager Greg Rockwell at 202-503-1528 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Click here to read more about the assessment.
Louise is an AVODAH Service Corps member, and has spent the last year at Thrive DC working with clients as a Case Manager and Employment Program Assistant. She has been an amazing addition to Thrive DC, and we already miss her terribly. Below are five moments, in no particular order, that stuck out for Louise during her time here.
Today I went to the National Geographic Museum with a group of clients for the second time. The clients I went with the first time are some of the people with whom I’ve connected the most this year; beyond our conversations about fish bones and dinosaurs we were able to talk just as people. It was the first time I got a chance to see who they were outside of their daily needs.
The trip today gave me a space to reflect on how my relationships and connections at Thrive DC have grown this year. Summing up my experience is an impossible task. Instead, I want to reflect on a few “snapshots.” These are the moments I hope to remember for a long time.
Today I sorted mail. I mean, I usually sort mail at least once a day because we get A LOT of mail. But today I really enjoyed it. Maybe it’s because I’m leaving soon or maybe I’m just feeling particularly reflective...
I like going through the names, thinking about all the people that come to Thrive DC, making a mental note that “oh ______ hasn’t been in here in a while, hope he’s okay” or getting excited about someone’s progress: “her ID finally came! I can’t wait to give it to her tomorrow.”
Sorting mail for me is a visual confirmation of how many people are part of the Thrive DC community - how many people feel comfortable, consistent and safe in this space.
Today I walked to work with a client. As I closed my front door, I looked up and saw him about half a block ahead of me. I caught up with him at the light, stood next to him and just smiled. He did one of those double takes and we started laughing.
We walked and talked for about 4 blocks until I checked my watch, realized that I was running 10 minutes late, gave him a quick goodbye, tripped over a branch, and listened to his laughter as I ran the last block to Thrive DC. I love living in a neighborhood with the people I serve!
Today we had a good vibe in music group. Some days the music just rolls and today was a smooth rollin’ day. Members of the group have really started to gel. We know and accept each others’ strengths and weaknesses.
Today I sat back and listened and watched and laughed and appreciated the moments....
like when one person starts playing a song and everyone knows it and just starts singing along;
when I see the stress and exhaustion from the day leave their faces for a moment;
when they acknowledge shared history and experiences;
when I get to learn about DC through music;
when I witness someone start to slowly heal from a traumatic life event…
when I am welcomed into this community.
I smile just thinking about members of the group sitting together and eating breakfast. These guys who didn’t know each other before now sit together almost every day because of what we're building together.
Today was a goofy day. At one point, I was salsa dancing with my officemate because he wanted to prove he could dance. Later, I decided to try and fit into one of the giant, human-sized boxes that we were going to use for the coat drive. I also got stuck in said box and one of the other case managers had to help me out. There were a lot of laughs today, necessary relief after a hard week.
Today our Real Opportunity Culinary Class graduated. Everyone has been hired on at their externship sites!
On my first day at Thrive DC, I worked with a client to fill out a job application. That was his first day at Thrive DC as well. For three weeks we spent every Tuesday and Thursday together filling out job applications without any results.
When we started recruiting people for the Real Opps program, he was the first to apply. And today I watched him graduate. He came to Thrive DC unemployed and without stable housing. He’s graduating today with both a job and a place to live. I’m speechless.
Today I give thanks to my Thrive community…
Thank you for sharing your stories.
Thank you for giving me a hard time.
Thank you for the jokes.
Thank you for teaching me about DC.
Thank you to our amazing volunteers.
Thank you to the Thrive staff.
… Thank you for welcoming me into this community.
Trenett Smith has been working at Thrive DC as the women’s program coordinator and case manager for 6 years. She plans stress-free activities for the women, and provides them with a nutritious meal that may otherwise be out of reach.
The women’s dinner program gives vulnerable women and children a place to stay with a supportive community to help them get back on their feet. To learn more about the program click here.
Today we sat down with Trenett and women’s program clients to ask some questions:
Trenett: We offer them a nutritious dinner, showers, toiletries, laundry, a computer lab, case management, referrals, and pantry bags. We’ll give them anything that they need.
Trenett: Some enrichment programs that we have include knitting, arts and crafts, jewelry making, movie night, bingo, nutrition presentations, poetry readings, games, and yoga.
Trenett: Every three months we host a spa day for the women to relax and feel beautiful. Donation items like facial scrubs and nail polish are greatly appreciated for those events.
Trenett: Just knowing that we are giving the women a safe place to be off the street for three hours is priceless. Seeing them smile with the enrichment programs is also extremely rewarding.
“I would encourage all women to come to the program. It’s awesome. Thrive is a better way of life. There are so many activities here that help the women. The staff is wonderful, they make sure you have what you need, and they never take breaks. You can even bring your kids. It’s a place to stay during the day away from the streets with great people.” -Lashaurn (Client)
“I’ve been to the program three times and the laundry services are so helpful” - Trudy (Client)
“The women’s program is a way to stay busy with all sorts of activities. Just the other day we had nail painting.” -Anonymous (Client)
“Thrive DC is a place I could call my home. They help me put my life back together. Here I was able to find opportunities, free programs, clothing, and housing. Thank you for helping me when I needed help.” -Barbara, (Client)