May Volunteer Spotlight

Becky ParisThis month let’s get know N Street Village volunteer Becky Paris. Becky teaches yoga class every Thursday morning at 9:00 a.m. in our multipurpose room. Becky has been volunteering with us since February 2014. In her teaching, Becky’s love for life and laughter shines through. Her animated, playful personality lights up her classes while encouraging kindness, compassion and honesty. Let’s get know Becky….

Becky first came to yoga thinking she was going to a Pilates class, but left knowing she was changed forever. She quickly fell in love with the movement, breath work, and more importantly, the lasting effects the practice has on her life off of the mat. Becky received her 200 hour teaching certification through the Mimi Rieger Yoga Teacher Training in January 2014. She now acts as an assistant in Mimi Rieger’s Teacher Training Program. Becky is also trained in Mindful Yoga Therapy and Kids Yoga, and will be assisting in and taking a Yin Yoga teacher training with Yael Flusberg at the beginning of 2016.

Where are you from originally and how long have you lived in the DC area? I am from Augusta, GA and have been in DC for about 4.5 years.

What is your favorite D.C. restaurant? This is a really hard one to answer. I work at one of the finest dining establishments in the city, Birch and Barley, and love everything they do. I have also thoroughly enjoyed myself every time I have been lucky enough to dine at Rose’s Luxury.

Who is one of your favorite musicians? James Brown. No, the Beatles. Wait! Krishna Das! Oh this is an impossible question. It depends 100% on my mood. I love all kinds of music.

Where is the last place you traveled to? I last went to Sault St. Marie, Michigan, my mother’s hometown.

What is favorite yoga pose? This changes pretty frequently, but right now it is Tree Pose.  I love finding moments of stillness and balance.

Share one of your favorite N Street Village memories? There was some confusion about where class was to be held one Thursday morning. We started in our usual space, but about 10-15 minutes into class we were told we had to move to another space down the hall because our room was actually about to be used for meetings. So we all packed up our mats and belongings and moved across the hall to a much smaller room. At the end of class, one of the regular students pointed out how proud she was that everybody was so mentally flexible in that situation and moved without complaining and continued class. She pointed out that that is what yoga is really about—learning to respond to those sorts of situations with flexibility and understanding. I had never felt so humbled or honored by the wisdom of my students.

What do you enjoy most about volunteering at N Street Village? The women are so fierce. They are honest, kind, and have a great sense of community.

What has been one of your biggest surprises about N Street Village? I had no idea what to expect coming into this space. But I have always felt so supported and appreciated by the class participants and N Street Village staff. I am so humbled to be a part of this amazing organization!

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Impact Committee Spring Happy Hour


Join the N Street Village Impact Committee for their Spring Happy Hour at Vinoteca on Wednesday, May 6, 2015.

Click here for more information or to reserve tickets!

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Antarctic Explorer Henry Worsley Lectures on the original Polar Giants to benefit N Street Village

Henry Worsley will give a lecture at Luther Place Memorial Church on May 11, 2015 to benefit N Street Village.

Henry Worsley is the only person to have ever retraced the two classic polar routes across the Antarctic to the South Pole in the footsteps of Captain Scott, Roald Amundsen and Ernest Shackleton. His two expeditions in 2008 and 2011 crossed the vast expanse of the Ross Ice Shelf, negotiated the steep ascent of the Axel Heiberg and Beardmore glaciers and
then battled the high winds, sub zero temperatures and altitude of the polar plateau, before successfully reaching the South Pole. These expeditions each crossed 900 miles of the Antarctic continent, took over two months to complete and received no outside assistance.

Henry’s captivating lecture tells the stories of the original journeys through the diaries, film footage and vivid photographs of the original pioneering explorers placed alongside those of his two modern expeditions. He will juxtapose the ancient and modern expeditions with their methods of travel, food, equipment, risk, triumph, tragedy and leadership.

Henry is the author of ‘In Shackleton’s Footsteps’ – an account of his 2008

Henry Poster

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Volunteer Spotlight: Sharon Gund, Susan Weiss, and Nancy Hartsock

Ambassadors Council Co-Chairs

This month let’s get know N Street Village volunteers Sharon Gund, Susan Weiss, and Nancy Hartsock. Sharon, Susan, and Nancy are co-chairs of N Street Village’s Ambassadors Council. The Ambassadors Council is a team of dedicated individuals who share a deep commitment to the Village community and its vital mission to support women facing homelessness, poverty and related challenges. The Ambassadors Council hosts off site fundraisers and many volunteer events. Let’s get know Sharon, Susan, and Nancy…

Sharon Gund, Co-Chair: I met Susan Weiss at the inaugural Ambassadors Council reception in February 2014. I didn’t know many people there so I was happy when Susan introduced herself with a warm and welcoming smile. A few days after the reception, I received an invitation from Stuart Allen to meet for breakfast. That’s where I met Nancy Hartsock. Stuart asked if we would consider being co-chairs of the Ambassadors Council. I could tell that Susan had a lot of experience with N Street Village and both she and Nancy already knew some of the dedicated volunteers who were very involved with the community. We discussed potential structure, roles and tasks required to get the Council off the ground. Susan and Nancy had a sense of which roles they could play, but I was hesitant because I wasn’t sure how I’d fit in and how I would add value. As it turned out, it wasn’t a problem—the three of us “clicked” and worked well together. It has been so rewarding to work with Susan and Nancy (and Stuart, other staff and AC members) and to be of service to the clients of N Street Village.

Where are you from originally and how long have you lived in the DC area?

Sharon Gund:                    I am a native Washington, at least 3rd generation.

Susan Weiss:                      I was born in Baltimore, Maryland and moved to Rochester, New York when I was in third grade.  I consider Rochester my home town. There, with my parents, two sisters and one brother we learned what winter and snow was all about!

Nancy Hartsock:               I am originally from Illinois, both Chicago and further south in the state.  I have lived in the DC area for 17 years.  I thought I wanted to end up in Chicago until I moved here; now I can’t imagine leaving DC.

What is your favorite D.C. restaurant?

Sharon Gund:                    When I’m in the mood for a steak, it’s the Capital Grille.   Otherwise, I love Acadiana. Our Friday night “go to” close to home for a good meal with no hassles (like parking!) is Mama Lucia (in Silver Spring).

Susan Weiss:                      Martin’s in Georgetown remains my favorite restaurant. I lived right down the street from it when I moved to here and have liked it ever since.

Nancy Hartsock:               Rasika, if I must choose only one.

On a Saturday evening you will find me…

SG:                         Watching a movie.

SW:                        Enjoying Washington day and night life.  I love going to the theater, movies, sporting events, music, eating out, and taking advantage of all that Washington has to offer.

NH:                        You would usually find me eating a very nice dinner maybe followed by the theater (especially Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company) or the opera.

What is the last movie you watched (and enjoyed)?

SG:                         Quite a few recently. Definitely Selma. I also enjoyed the Fault in our Stars and Unbroken.

SW:                        The movie I just saw and loved was The Imitation Game.

NH:                        The Imitation Game

What is your favorite D.C. landmark?

SG:                         The National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden. It’s beautiful and peaceful and great if you like ice-skating in the winter. Another favorite is the Tidal Basin – beautiful in all seasons. The drive along Rock Creek Parkway in that area provides a lovely panorama of Washington’s beauty and majesty.

SW:                        Lincoln Memorial

NH:                        The National Gallery Sculpture Garden

Describe N Street Village in 3 words or less.

SG:                         Caring, compassionate, and impactful (authentic)

SW:                        Love, courage, and hope

NH:                        Safety, nourishment, and hope

What do you enjoy most about volunteering at N Street Village?

SG:                     Seeing and feeling the impact we make on the clients when we sponsor an event and spend time with them. I enjoy the camaraderie with members of the Ambassadors Council and the inspiration I get from Stuart, Schroeder and the N Village Street staff.

SW:                        The one thing that is constant is my love for the clients.  Their love, faith, and determination to better themselves is what moves me and encourages me to volunteer more.  It is the smiles of the women clients that warms the heart.

What makes N Street Village unique to you?

NH:                        It seems to me that N Street Village has proven effectiveness and has created support for programs on a scale that is pretty unusual.

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Remembering Pastor John

Pastor John in front of N Street Village's flagship building while it was being constructed (1996).

Pastor John in front of N Street Village’s flagship building while it was being constructed (1996).

Dear Village Friends,

As many of you know, Pastor John was the senior pastor of Luther Place Memorial Church from 1970-1997. Through his dedicated leadership and his unwavering commitment to the biblical concepts of hospitality and “welcome for the stranger,” and with the tireless support of his beloved wife Erna and the interfaith community that coalesced around him — N Street Village was born.

I got to know Pastor John and Erna well over my years at N Street Village. I know what a force of nature he was — and will continue to be. His passion for justice and his commitment to the poor and disadvantaged knew no boundaries and continued until his very last days. I had regular conversations with him over the past few months and he was true to form — funny, provocative, radical, spiritual, and loving. On the occasions when I heard him honored for his role in founding N Street Village, he would reply “I’m just an implementer — this was God’s plan.”

We invite you to join us Monday, March 9, 2015 at 11 a.m. as we celebrate Pastor John’s life. The service will be at Luther Place Memorial Church (1226 Vermont Ave. NW) and there will be a reception following in N Street Village’s multipurpose room. All are welcome.

A life well done indeed. From now forward, may we be true to his spirit in the work we do with our hearts and our hands.

Schroeder Stribling
N Street Village Executive Director

Read more about the amazing life of Pastor John on his Wikipedia page.

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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


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.


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

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