December 2015 Volunteer Spotlight Julie Zauzmer

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This month get to know N Street Village volunteer, Julie Zauzmer. Julie started volunteering with us in October 2014 where she served as an overnight supervision assistant. After few shifts, Julie shared that she had a few mornings per week free and offered to facilitate a weekly computer literacy and job search class. Since November 2014, Julie has supported clients with jobs applications, how to use Microsoft Office Suite, and creating resumes. Let’s get know Julie…

I grew up in Pennsylvania. But DC happens to be where homelessness first became the issue closest to my heart. On a group youth trip, we stopped for conversations with people experiencing homelessness in Lafayette Square, just across from the White House. That night, I felt I had to do something. I didn’t know much about homelessness yet but wrote a letter to the hotel where I was staying to encourage the managers to donate extra toiletries to a shelter.

The experience eventually led me to the Harvard Square Homeless Shelter, where I joined the staff of the country’s only student-run homeless shelter. After moving to DC for good after college, I started volunteering at N Street Village!

I am a local news reporter at the Washington Post. Most weekends, I also work as a balloon twister at parties. You can see my giant balloon sculptures at

Where are you from originally and how long have you lived in the D.C area? I am originally from the Philadelphia area. I’ve lived in DC for about two years.

On a Saturday evening you will find me… On my way home from a balloon gig, usually!

When I have free time I most enjoy… Cooking thematic food for the Sunday night movie series I run for my friends.

Book you last read? Follow the Money, a fun book by a British journalist who spent a $10 bill in Kansas and followed it around America for a month as it changed hands.

Most played song on your iPod?  Right now, the Hamilton soundtrack!

What is your favorite D.C. landmark? Point of pride: I’ve been to all 91 Metro stations!

Describe N Street Village in 3 words or less. Abundant help, hope

Share one of your favorite N Street Village memories? On my first computer lab shift, after starting out as an overnight shift volunteer, I expected women would come to use the computers for job applications. I learned that first day just how varied the requests would be-one woman wanted to practice Excel for an upcoming job interview, then realized what she really needed was just basic math. We turned away from the computer and spent 45 minutes with a marker, working on multiplication together.

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Stand Together in the Season of Sisterhood


“When people ask me how many sisters I have I say, ‘I don’t know. I have so many sisters at N Street Village I can’t count them all.’ Sisterhood to me means family.”  – Gisele


N Street Village is more than a place, and it’s more than an organization. To the more than 1,100 women we served last year, N Street Village is home. Not only because of the safe housing we provide or the healthy meals we enjoy together, but because of the sisterhood that women find and create every day in this special community.

It’s this power of sisterhood that has helped women like Gisele on her own path of recovery.

Gisele was sober for 9 years and then relapsed.  Feeling broken and hopeless, she entered the N Street Village Recovery Housing where structured programs and support from her sisters and staff helped her rebuild her life and to heal.

“It was a long, hard road to recovery, but I was overwhelmed by so much love from my Village sisters.” 

Gisele has now been sober for 26 months and is enrolled in classes in UDCC.

In this week of Thanksgiving, N Street Village is thankful for the important role you play in our family. You help women like Gisele, who rely on the Village to achieve their health, wellness, education, and employment goals.

As we enter week two of our year-end fundraising campaign, A Season of N Street Village, we ask you to join in supporting the Village community.

Here’s how you can help:

1. Celebrate Sisterhood: make a one-time or recurring donation to N Street Village:

  • $37 can provide 30 nutritious meals in our Day Center
  • $150 (or $12.50 per month) can provide one week of services for one woman living in our Luther Place Night Shelter
  • $500 (or $42 per month) can provide one month of medical supplies in our Wellness Center
  • $600 (or $50 per month) can provide one month of services for one woman living in Permanent Supportive Housing

2. Share the spirit of sisterhood this holiday season. Tell us what sisterhood means to you on Facebook and Twitter and tag your responses with #SeasonofNSV.

3. Pass it along. Forward this page to someone you lean on for support and tell them why you’re grateful for them this holiday season.

Please stand with your N Street Village sisters and give what you can today.

Wishing you and yours a soulful and Happy Thanksgiving!

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Celebrating a Season of Gratitude


As we enter this season of gratitude, we begin with our heartfelt thanks to you.  Your many forms of giving — time, talent and treasure — helped to ensure that every woman who arrived at the doors of N Street Village in 2015 was welcomed with dignity and warm hospitality into a community of effective healing and tenacious hope.

Your spirit of generosity and optimism is what keeps this Village strong. This past year alone, we served more than 60 percent of D.C’s homeless women:

  • Providing a safe, supportive community for more than 1,100 homeless and low-income women on their individual paths to restoration  and recovery
  • Serving 52,969 meals in our Bethany Women’s Day Center
  • Providing 51 families with affordable housing and 176 women with supportive housing
  • Assisting 95% of residents in coping with addiction to maintain their sobriety

On behalf of the entire N Street Village family, you have our gratitude.  Our community would not be whole without you and hundreds of others who are committed to making a difference.  You are N Street Village.

We hope you’ll join us in celebrating the power and spirit of N Street Village during our holiday campaign, A Season of N Street Village. Each week we’ll celebrate a different Village principle: sisterhood, recovery, hope, strength, joy and renewal. First, we must start with who makes it all possible: YOU.

Our thoughts and our thanks will be with you this Thanksgiving.

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The Village Family to Welcome 84 New Women Home

Today marks the first step in welcoming 84 new women into the N Street Village family and providing affordable, permanent housing and support services.

The N Street Village team will join Mayor Bowser this afternoon to participate in a wall-breaking ceremony for the renovation of the historic Phyllis Wheatley YWCA, located at 901 Rhode Island Avenue, NW. When renovations are complete early next year, N Street Village will provide 24-hour, on-site case management, and support services to help residents meet their health, wellness, and employment goals.

With this expansion, N Street Village will have a presence in 3 of the city’s 8 wards and will increase the number of women for whom we provide housing by 44%.

This project directly supports the District of Columbia’s Homeward DC strategic plan to end chronic homelessness among individuals and families by the end of 2017. Our partners in this effort include Phyllis Wheatley YWCA, Dantes Partners, DC Housing Authority, DC Department of Housing and Community Development, DC Department of Energy and Environment, DC Department of Human Services, DC Department of Behavioral Health, and The DC Sustainable Energy Utility.

Visit us on Facebook and Twitter throughout the day for updates on the wall-breaking ceremony.

Thank you for your continued support, which allows us to continue to grow the services we provide and help every woman at N Street Village on her path to empowerment and recovery.

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November 2015 Volunteer Spotlight Erika Tarver

Erika TarverThis month get to know N Street Village volunteer, Erika Tarver. Since 2007, Erika has been donating and serving dinner each month to the residents living at the night shelter. The residents love her spunky attitude and enthusiasm for cooking. Let’s get know Erika…

Growing up as a child, I was always taught the importance of giving back to the community.  After graduating from Spelman College, I have volunteered in several capacities (e.g., Peace Corps Volunteer, Girl Scouts Troop Leader, Sunday School teacher, etc.), but few experiences have been as rewarding as a volunteering with N Street Village.  I first started volunteering with N Street Village in 2007, and I have been blessed to get to know a lot of the staff and residents, and watch the program grow and flourish.  When I am not volunteering, I work as a Research Program Analyst with the National Institutes of Health’s National Institute on Aging, within the Division of Neuroscience.

Where are you from originally and how long have you lived in the DC area? I am a military brat, and was born in Hawaii.  I have lived in the Washington, DC area for 12 years.

What is your favorite D.C. restaurant? My favorite DC restaurant….there’s a tie.  I enjoy eating at Zengo and The Hamilton.

On Saturday afternoon, you will find me in my pajamas watching Law and Order reruns.

Who is one of your favorite musicians?  While I have many favorite musicians, if I had to choose, then I would say one of my favorite musicians is Stevie Wonder.

What makes N Street Village unique to you? What makes N Street unique to me is that it provides such a comprehensive, holistic services to its clients who are at various stages of transition (e.g., new to the program or transitioning out of the program).

What is your favorite meal to prepare for the residents at night the shelter? My favorite meal to prepare is breakfast for dinner.  The reason is because there is no greater feeling than having good comfort food right before you go to bed.  And, if there are leftovers, well then you can have something to eat in the morning.

What has been one of your biggest surprises about N Street Village? One of the biggest surprises about N Street Village, is the breadth of its outreach.  While I was aware of the buildings on 14th and N, I was not fully aware of the various communities and transition housing units they were supporting.

Share one of your favorite N Street Village memories? While I have many fond memories of N Street Village, one of the greatest ones was a recent experience.  My colleague, William Tolentino, and I were preparing an Italian meal for dinner, and one of the guests at the night shelter shared that the ladies had been growing herbs in a garden across the street.  After inquiring whether we needed more basil, she said, “I’ll be right back with some basil.”  What I expected were a few leaves of basil, what I received was an entire basil bush.  Her act of kindness and generosity demonstrated to me that we aren’t just providing a meal, but we are partners (volunteers and the clients) in providing food that everyone can enjoy.

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A Village SHE-RO – Meet Rachel

Rachel outsideWhen Rachel came to N Street Village she was jobless, struggling with addiction, had just lost her home and was depressed.

After two years in the N Street Village Recovery Housing program, Rachel is sober, living on her own, and pursuing her career in music.  We are honored to have Rachel as a new member of the N Street Village Board of Directors.

In Rachel’s own words…


Ms. Toni [N Street Village Recovering Housing advocate] because she exemplifies the spirit of recovery – we will love you until you learn to love yourself.

What was your greatest SHE-RO moment?

When I was able to move and live independently.

What is your SHE-RO Super Power?


What would you like to say to all the N Street Village supporters?

Sometimes you don’t know when someone is suffering – they can mask it well.  Some people have access to resources for help, others don’t – that’s where N Street Village comes in.  Without the support of N Street Village, I don’t know where I would be today.  Thank you!

Join the N Street Village SHE-RO movement with a donation today!

Rachel mask  Rachel in SHE-RO mode!

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October is SHE-RO Month!


Join us and celebrate the SHE-ROES in your life by creating a personal fundraising page!

Click on the link to the Quick Start Guide below for more information…

Quick Start Guide_toolkit 2015

Having trouble?  Contact Megan at or 202-939-2074

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