Exciting News! Bread for the City has launched a monthly Housing Access Program (HAP) Clinic that is presented entirely in Spanish. This session takes place once a month on the 4th Monday of the month at our Northwest Center.
Yesterday, the DC Council unanimously passed the Fair Criminal Record Screening for Housing Act (“Housing Ban the Box”) – an extension of the Employment Ban the Box law that Bread for the City advocates and clients helped to pass in 2014.
On October 1st, Bread for the City clients, community members, and allies rallied outside DC General and DC Jail to demand that DC Mayor Muriel Bowser and the District’s City Council invest more in housing than they do in police and prisons. In its current FY17 budget, DC is spending about $700 million on jails and police, compared to only $235 million on housing programs – a 3:1 ratio.
By the time Ms. Faith* found her way to the crochet class at Bread for the City’s SE Center, she was under a lot of stress. While usually reserved about her personal life, Ms. Faith chose that day to open up to Bread for the City staff member Judy Hawkins, who teaches the crochet class, about her situation.
Ms. Faith was out of work and living in her car with her husband and two children. Her only income was $531 in Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) to support her entire family. While she and her husband were both enrolled in job readiness programs, it was still very difficult to balance taking care of her children, focusing on the program requirements, and moving her car around from place to place in search of a relatively safe, quiet place to park for the night.
When Judy heard Ms. Faith’s story, she connected her to Bread for the City’s Southeast Housing Preservation Project (SHPP) for housing assistance and case management services. Ms. Faith met one-on-one with the SHPP case manager to talk about her housing situation and gain support to help stabilize her family. In Ms. Faith’s eyes, SHPP planted a seed.
Wondimu Geda is a full time Bilingual Housing Clinic Coordinator with our Housing Access Program (HAP). Wandimu is fluent in Amharic, English, Afan Oromo, and Gurage. He works to make sure that our Amharic speaking clients have full access to HAP programming and often facilitates other BFC programs.
At Bread for the City, we value language access and see it as an integral piece of dignity and respect. All of our staff have been trained on our language access policies and know to offer interpretation services at every point of contact. If a staff member is not available to provide language services or interpretation we will call a telephonic interpretation service. For appointments scheduled ahead of time, we often bring in outside interpreters to facilitate culturally appropriate communication in meetings.
Thank you for supporting Holiday Helpings this year and enabling us to provide gift cards to families and individuals who are struggling during the pandemic. More information will be provided in the coming weeks.SPONSOR A FAMILY