Volunteer Spotlight: Stephanie Arku

Stephanie ArkuThis month get know N Street Village volunteer Stephanie Arku. Stephanie, a native Washingtonian, has been volunteering with the community since January 2013. Stephanie prepares and serves lunch on weekends in the Day Center. Let’s get to know Stephanie…

I always knew that I wanted to help others and what better way to do that than through volunteering. My biggest hurdle was finding a place to do it. I ended up talking to a friend about this and she recommended seeking out volunteer opportunities at N Street Village. She became familiar with the organization while interning there as a graduate student. Based on her experience, I knew that this would be a perfect fit for me. Currently, I work as a Program Analyst for the Federal Government in Washington, D.C. I joined the Federal Government because I wanted to make a positive difference not only in this country but globally. My hobbies include reading, listening to music, exploring different restaurants, attending live music events, indoor cycling, and traveling.

What is your favorite D.C. restaurant? There are several great restaurants in this area so it is hard for me to choose just one. However, I will say that the last great meal I had was at STK in Dupont Circle, and I also have a soft spot for Guapo’s Restaurant.

On a Saturday evening you will find me…venturing out to a new restaurant/lounge with friends or spending a quiet evening at home watching movies.

Who is one of your favorite musicians? The Dave Matthews Band

What is your favorite D.C. landmark? My top four are the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History, the Lincoln Memorial, the Library of Congress, and Rock Creek Park.

Describe N Street Village in 3 words or less. Empowering. Hospitable. Life-altering.

Share one of your favorite N Street Village memories? My favorite memory actually took place on my very first shift as a volunteer when I was serving lunch at the Day Center. I was a little nervous because I feared that I may drop a plate(s) considering I can be a klutz at times. Well one of the ladies sensed my nervousness and then smiled and said to me, “baby, don’t be nervous, you’re doing just fine.” Her words resonated with me and I continued my shift feeling confident and more at ease. I’ve always appreciated the woman’s kind words. That experience along with many others is the reason I continue to volunteer at N Street Village.

What makes N Street Village unique to you? The array of services focusing on the mind, body, and soul provided to homeless and low-income women in the area, ultimately, leading these women to have greater control and responsibility over their own lives.

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Save the Date: Annual N Street Village Gala

Gala STD

JOIN US FOR THE ANNUAL N STREET VILLAGE GALA

Every day, women who are homeless in Washington, D.C. — often struggling with a mix of mental illness, addiction, violence and abuse, health problems, and unemployment —  find themselves at the doors of N Street Village. And, every day for more than 40 years, the doors of N Street Village have been open, providing much-needed hope and hospitality to our city’s most vulnerable women.  This year we will present our Founder’s Award to Senator Barbara Boxer for her personal and professional efforts on behalf of individuals who live on the margins of society.

On Tuesday, March 24, the annual N Street Village Gala will provide us an opportunity to celebrate our remarkable history and to gather strength to keep our promise — our promise that we will be here for the women who arrive at our door tomorrow.

PURCHASE YOUR TICKETS TODAY

For questions about sponsorship please contact Stuart Allen (202-939-2085).

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Last Call for 2014!

Holiday Banners1 More than 1,000 women come through the N Street Village doors each year. Many first come to our Day Center seeking just a hot meal and shelter from the cold. They find that and more. Each woman is also welcomed into a warm and caring community of hope and healing.

Your year-end gift today helps N Street Village provide that hope.

At N Street Village we meet each woman where she is and work with her to improve her housing, income, employment and overall health and well-being. Whether it is coaching from one of our trained staff, a visit to the Village Wellness Center or a safe place to sleep in our Night Shelter or other housing programs, N Street Village is open every day of the year to help the most vulnerable women in our city.

N Street Village is here to provide the hospitality and compassion that we all deserve.

Support the women of N Street Village by making your tax-deductible donation by midnight today!

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Volunteer Spotlight: Madeline Nygaard

Madeline This month get to know N Street Village volunteer Madeline Nygaard. Madeline has been volunteering in the community since August 2014. As part of her class requirements at George Washington University, Madeline needed to complete 12 service hours per week at a non-profit, and thankfully she chose N Street Village. During her internship, she became an important part of volunteer and in-kind office and a wonderful addition to the community. We wouldn’t have been able to survive the holidays without her! Let’s get to know Madeline…

I am a senior at George Washington University, majoring in Public Health and minoring in Human Services. Next year, I plan to attend graduate school to earn my master’s degree in public health. I started volunteering at N Street Village for a service-learning class at George Washington University. At N Street Village, I helped sort and organize donations, entered data in the donor database system, and prepared and served breakfast and lunch. Additionally, I facilitated a weekly Mystery Solvers class where I would ask clients various brainteasers and they were encouraged to work together to find solutions to scenarios presented. In my spare time, I enjoy playing volleyball, reading, and exploring D.C.! 

Where are you from originally and how long have you lived in the DC area?  I am from Minneapolis, Minnesota, and have been living in D.C. for 3 years.

What is your favorite D.C. restaurant? Lupo Verde

On a Saturday evening you will find me…Trying a new restaurant or bar with friends.

What is the last movie you watched (and enjoyed)?  I’ve probably seen Love Actually 20 times…I still enjoy it though!

What is your favorite D.C. landmark? The Lincoln Memorial

Describe N Street Village in 3 words or less.  Empowering, welcoming, strong.

What do you enjoy most about volunteering at N Street Village?  Getting to know the staff, volunteers, and clients. Everyone has been so welcoming and positive.

What makes N Street Village unique to you?  The variety of services and classes offered to the women.

What has been one of your biggest surprises about N Street Village? How people who have faced so many challenges can still have so much hope.

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A Home for the Holidays – Mary’s Story

Mary BatesNot long ago, Mary was living on the streets. She was helpless and scared with no place to turn.

Mary worked in security for many years — though she was not always sober. One day she got caught drinking on the job and was fired. Unable to stop drinking, Mary’s partner took care of her for the next 20 years — then, out of nowhere, he passed away and everything fell apart. Before she knew it, she was out on the street.

Mary was completely alone.

While living on the street, Mary heard about N Street Village. Like many women, Mary’s first Village experience was a warm breakfast in our Day Center. Through the support of staff, she secured a bed in N Street Village’s Night Shelter. This was the change she needed — a place to call home and a community that met her where she was and offered her support to make the changes she craved.

Mary’s hard work and determination is paying off. She now has several months of sobriety and is hopeful for the future.

Thanks to support from compassionate friends like you, N Street Village is here for Mary and hundreds of women seeking the strength of community, the hope of renewal, and the opportunity to achieve personal stability.

Make your year-end tax-deductible donation today and ensure that N Street Village is here for Mary and for each woman in need of a warm meal, a safe place, and a chance to make a better life.

 

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Still looking for the perfect gift?

Holiday Banners1Finding a meaningful holiday gift can be challenging, especially when shopping for the person who “has everything.” Consider making a gift to N Street Village in their honor. We will then send a personalized note to the recipient via your choice of email or printed card.

Your donation will provide critical resources like food, clothing, shelter, and healthcare to the more than 1,000 women who come through our doors each year looking for a chance at a better life – women like Cheryl.

“N Street Village showed me stability and with their support I learned how to be responsible.” ~ Cheryl

Because of Cheryl’s hard work and N Street Village’s programs, she has her own apartment and regularly volunteers to ensure the N Street Village community is here for each and every woman in need.

Honor the people in your life by helping to support women like Cheryl.

Make a Holiday gift today.

 

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What did you do this year?

Schroeder 2 - CopyAs I look back on the past year at N Street Village, you come to mind.

In the midst of your busy days in 2014, you found a way to make a difference here.

Because of you:

  • 171 women had a safe place to call home in our transitional or permanent supportive housing programs
  • 51 low-income families had affordable housing
  • 31,457 nutritious meals were served
  • More than 1,000 women had access to life-saving programs through our Day Center and Wellness Center

Thank you. Your investment ensured that N Street Village was here to provide comprehensive, wrap-around services and programs to those who need us most.

As I now look forward to 2015, I know that there are many challenges still ahead. Affordable housing in DC continues to be in critical shortage, and the wait for a needed rental subsidy can last many years. The average cost for a one bedroom apartment is now more than $1,400 – far beyond the reach of someone who is working a minimum wage job. These truths leave so many women at risk of poverty, homelessness and the myriad of health, mental health and other consequences that ensue.

This holiday season and every day of the year, N Street Village is committed to providing shelter, housing, food, health care, income supports, crisis assistance, and day shelter for our city’s most vulnerable women. And we are privileged to watch many wonderful stories unfold as these individuals use the resources of our Village to transform their lives and reach their personal goals.

I imagine that you think much as I do: when any of us are in need of support, we want to be greeted with dignity and kindness, and we want to know that the help we receive will be effective. That happens daily as together, we work to keep the doors of this Village open, to create our community of respect, and to empower women to make measurable progress in their lives.   This past week alone we welcomed 21 new women to N Street Village – we are extending this same promise and possibility to each of them.

Today, let us celebrate what we have accomplished together this year. And may we find inspiration and strength for the journey ahead in the coming New Year.

Yours in gratitude,
Schroeder Stribling

 

 

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