Social Services - Bread for the City

Just Logo Social Services

The Social Services department offers a safe environment where clients work toward improved health and economic stability.

We provide:

  • Integrated care management and behavioral health in partnership with our medical clinic
  • Representative payee services
  • Cash distribution and economic security advocacy work
  • Employment readiness
  • Eviction prevention support
  • Diaper distribution
  • Weekly wellness classes and workshops for personal and professional growth

We also manage the main reception and resource program.

Legal Clinic Photo

BFC Icon Social Services Programs

Diaper Program

Diaper Program
Southeast Center only

Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays

10:00 am – 4:00 pm

Please call 202 -301-1657 for detailed information on how to request diapers from the BFC Diaper Program. DC residents can receive free diapers from the BFC Diaper Program once a month. Diapers can be picked up at the Southeast Center located at 1700 Good Hope Rd, SE, on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 10 am – 4 pm.

Llame al 202-301-1657 para obtener información detallada sobre cómo solicitar pañalesdel Programa de pañales de BFC. Los residentes de DC pueden recibir pañalesgratis solo una vez al mes. Los pañales se pueden recoger en el SE Centerubicado en 1700 Good Hope Rd, SE los martes, miércoles, y jueves de 10 am a 4 pm.

We gladly accept donations of new and unopened diapers and other baby supplies during Bread for the City’s hours of operation.

Here are our biggest diaper program needs at the moment:

  • Pull-Ups size 2-5 T
  • Diapers size 5 & 6
  • Baby wipes

We prefer to receive donations at our Southeast Center, but we will also accept donations at our Northwest Center. Thank you!

Economic Security Program

We created our Economic Security team 2021 in direct response to the disproportionate economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on our community members living with low incomes and/or who are excluded from unemployment benefits or federal stimulus payments. Since beginning this program, we have transferred over $55 million to members of our community.  In addition to partnerships in cash transfer projects such as THRIVE, DC Cares, and Let’s GO DMV!, the team has presented their work to various panels across the country, is exploring policy advocacy opportunities for guaranteed basic income programs– and was an organizer for the first annual DC Basic Income March in collaboration with the DC Guaranteed Basic Income Coalition.

According to Mayor’s for a Guaranteed Income, guaranteed income is defined as “a monthly, cash payment given directly to individuals. It is unconditional, with no strings attached and no work requirements. A guaranteed income is meant to supplement, rather than replace, the existing social safety net and can be a tool for racial and gender equity.” 

DC CARES – Bread for the City along with CARECEN, CentroNia, Far Southeast Family Strengthening Collaborative, Latin American Youth Center, and Mary’s Center, was selected as a core agency to manage applications and distribute funds through the DC Cares Program. Created in response to COVID-19, this program provides financial assistance to workers in the District of Columbia who have been excluded from COVID-19 related unemployment benefits and federal stimulus efforts. 

  • 3 rounds so far (most recent round closed in July 2022)
  • $49.6M disbursed

THRIVE East of the River was an innovative direct cash assistance project. Bread for the City worked together with 11th Street Bridge Park, Southeast Family Strengthening Collaborative, and Martha’s Table to provide more than 600 Ward 7 and 8 households impacted by COVID-19 shutdowns with $5,500 in cash, groceries, diapers, and other dry goods; and assistance with financial counseling and job readiness. The project demonstrated an innovative model of direct service: one that is immediately responsive to community needs and helps families stay housed, stable, and fully resourced even during times of job loss, unemployment, and healthcare stress. THRIVE disbursed over $3.3 million in cash relief to 605 families. 

Let’s GO DMV! – Let’s Guarantee Opportunity (GO) DMV! is a 5-year, double bottom-line guaranteed income (GI) pilot in the DC region that provides: 

  • $1,000 per month–no strings attached– to 75 hospitality workers who lost their jobs due to COVID
  • Rallies foundations to raise and deploy capital for local impact investments that will generate the income needed to sustain the GI payments to the workers
  • Makes the case for government-supported programs and policies that advance economic justice

The pilot grew from the vision of Venorica “Vee” Tucker, a longtime hospitality worker, organizer with Restaurant Opportunities Centers of Washington DC (ROC-DC) and community member in if, A Foundation for Radical Possibility’s network.

Project partners include if, Amalgamated Bank, Amalgamated Foundation, Bread for the City, DC Guaranteed Income Coalition, Greater Washington Community Foundation, ROC-DC, Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers and Whitman-Walker Health.

DC Guaranteed Basic Income Coalition – Bread for the City is a partner in the DC GBI Coalition, which mission encompasses two primary overarching goals: 

  1. Pass a permanent guaranteed income for all in Washington, D.C., enabling all marginalized individuals and communities to meet their basic needs and live with dignity and joy. 
  2. Protect and strengthen the current social safety net through policies that advance economic mobility.

Many guaranteed income participants face an issue called the benefits cliff effect. According to the DC GBI Coalition, the benefits cliff effect refers to an increase in a public benefits recipient’s income which can negatively impact or reduce the amount of their benefits. TANF, SNAP, Medicaid, and housing subsidies are examples of benefits that are impacted by the benefits cliff effect. DC Guaranteed Income Coalition is working with allies, local and national, to explore and support measures and policies to mitigate and indeed eliminate negative impacts on their social safety net benefits. Community members are welcome to join the Coalition’s meetings virtually or in person on the third Thursday of each month at 5 pm EST. Follow the DCGI Coalition on Twitter or head to their website to register for their next meeting.

Workforce Development Program

Bread for the City’s Workforce Development Program works closely with unemployed and underemployed clients by providing a continuum of life management and job readiness training services that are individualized, holistic and goal specific.

The program helps BFC clients develop the skills necessary to secure and retain employment through a four-tiered approach: job readiness workshops, case management, life skills coaching, and job placement.

Job Readiness Workshops

Job Readiness Workshops operate for five-week sessions, with classes held twice weekly.  Workshop topics include: resume and cover letter writing, job search strategies, interviewing skills, work ethics, time management, interpersonal and communication skills, and job retention.

Case Management

Case Managers conduct initial assessments for clients new to the program. They lead clients in individualized goal setting and in the development of clients’ individual life skills/work readiness plans. Case Managers provide direct weekly support to clients.  In addition, they provide information and referrals to appropriate programs to help clients achieve goals. Case Managers also meet with prospective employers and job training/placement programs in support of participants’ progress toward successful employment.

Life Skills Coaching

Volunteer mentors, called Life Skills Coaches, work individually with each client via telephone, email, and meetings at BFC’s Southeast Center. They help clients develop the skills they are learning in class and reinforce the support and direction that clients receive from their case managers. Life Skills Coaches edit resumes and cover letters, teach clients how to conduct Internet job searches, conduct mock interviews and more. Most importantly, coaches provide our clients with the sense of support and confidence they need to truly enter the workforce.

Job Placement

Once our clients reach graduation, we help connect graduates with job opportunities, and we even offer paid internships for graduates right here at Bread for the City. Last year, 71% of graduates found work, or entered an educational/job training program.

Workforce Development clients benefit from additional programs at Bread for the City that are critical to helping students meet their basic human needs while they gain the necessary skills to find employment.  In addition to our clothing closet that provides students with appropriate interview apparel, our medical clinic provides free job physicals to enable students to complete job applications.

Representative Payee Program (RPP)

Department Phone Line: 202.386.7016

Bread for the City provides representative payee services to Washington, DC residents who need assistance in managing their personal financial affairs. The Representative Payee Program (RPP) provides payee services, under a contract with the DC Department of Behavioral Health (DBH), to consumers with chronic mental illness who are referred by a case manager of DBH or an affiliated Core Service Agency.

The Representative Payee Program helps DBH clients manage various types of income, including Social Security benefits (retirement or disability), Supplemental Security Income, and Civil Service Pensions.

Forms from our Representative Payee Program may be found in the Social Services Documents.

What is a Representative Payee?

A Representative Payee is an individual or an organization designated to receive disability benefits on a client’s behalf. The Representative Payee then helps the client to budget the money and disburses the funds to pay for current needs, including housing and utilities, food, medical expenses, personal care and clothing. The Representative Payee must keep records of how the client’s money is spent. This information is reported regularly to the Social Security Administration or to the Office of Personnel Management.

How does the Representative Payee Program work?

Clients enrolled in Bread for the City’s Representative Payee Program work with their mental health service providers and Bread for the City staff to make sure that all of their financial needs are met.

The client’s case manager at the DC Department of Behavioral Health or a DBH affiliated Core Service Agency makes an initial referral to Bread for the City for payee services. The client is enrolled at a start-up meeting with the case manager and a Representative Payee Program staff member during which we discuss how the services work.

After enrollment, Bread for the City applies to the Social Security Administration or Office of Personnel Management to become the client’s Representative Payee. The client and his or her mental health case manager meet regularly to set and review the client’s monthly budget and discuss any emergency spending requests. Bread for the City relies on the case manager to be in regular contact with the client and keep Bread for the City informed about changes in the client’s needs that might affect the budget or benefits.

Contacting the Representative Payee Program

The RPP can be reached by phone at 202.386.7016 – the Program Assistant is able to answer many questions about the status of client accounts and requests. The program assigns a RPP Coordinator to work with the clients and staff based on the DBH provider where the client is enrolled.

Please see the RPP Directory in the documents section for further details on how to contact us.

Behavioral Health

Bread for the City’s Behavioral Health Specialists work with the healthcare providers in the medical clinic to help patients with their behavioral health needs.  Among other interventions, our specialists teach patients healthy coping skills, exercises that calm the body’s nervous system, and practice cognitive restructuring to challenge negative thinking that could lead to depression and anxiety.

Community Empowered

Community Empowered is a wellness program for BFC clients that seeks to help them to achieve overall wellness of the mind, body, and spirit by offering a wealth of workshops and activities. Some of the workshops have included but are not limited to the following:

  • Behavioral health courses
  • Self-care sessions
  • Legal information workshops
  • Physical health workshops
  • Resume writing
  • Public speaking
  • Interviewing skills
  • Fitness classes
  • CPR/AED training

Currently, the workshops are conducted on Tuesdays and Thursdays. For additional information, please contact Donnie Hampton, Associate Director of SE Social Services, at 202-587-0530.

BFC Sign

What is Subsidized Housing?

Subsidized housing is permanent housing in an apartment building where the tenant pays 30% of their income towards rent and the government pays (subsidizes) the rest. There are about 100 buildings in DC with this subsidy, but these buildings are all full to capacity, and each of the buildings maintains a waiting list. Some wait lists are so long that the building is not accepting any new applications. In addition to subsidized housing, other names for these buildings include “Site Based Section 8,” “Project Based Section 8,” or “In House Section 8.”

Who is Eligible?
Any low-income individual or family is eligible to apply for subsidized housing. Each building has its own eligibility criteria:
• Some buildings are open to anyone.
• Senior buildings require a minimum age of 62.
• Some senior buildings allow younger people to apply if they have a disabling condition, but they also require that all household members be at least 18.

How Do I Get On The Wait Lists?
At this time, the only way to get your name on a housing wait list is to complete and submit an application to each apartment building.  There is no centralized process to apply. Each building has its own application, its own criteria, and its own wait list. You must apply separately at each building in which you are interested. Building wait lists open and close on individual schedules and are not coordinated with other buildings.

List of HUD Subsidized Apartment Buildings

Housing Alert Sign Up

Type your e-mail address below to join our housing list and receive e-alerts when a waiting list is open!

  • EMAIL: I authorize Bread for the City to communicate with me via e-mail.
  • Remember...

    Bread for the City does not have housing. We cannot place you in housing, and we have no influence over wait list placement. Each wait list is several years long. Bread for the City does not offer any type of financial or rental assistance. Unfortunately, we cannot help you find immediate housing. Other housing options are noted below under “While You Wait.”




Housing Application Tips Avoid common mistakes on your application.
While You Wait Acquiring subsidized housing takes time. Here are other housing options.

BFC Icon Social Services Documents

BFC Green Logo RPP Enrollment Packet

Representative Payee Program – Referral Forms

BFC Green Logo RPP Directory

DBH / BFC Representative Payee Program Contact Info

BFC Green Logo RPP – CSW Handout

Representative Payee Program – Program Information

BFC Green Logo RPP Consumer Guide

Representative Payee Program – Program Information

BFC Green Logo RPP Referral Form

Representative Payee Program – Referral Forms – Click here

BFC Green Logo RPP – SSA 787 Form

Representative Payee Program – Referral Forms

BFC Green Logo RPP – PNC Debit Card Enrollment Form

RPP – PNC Debit Card Enrollment Form

BFC Green Logo RPP – Budget and Spending Plan

Representative Payee Program – Money Management Forms

BFC Green Logo RPP – Budget and Spending Plan – CRF Residents ONLY

Representative Payee Program – Money Management Forms

BFC Green Logo RPP – Direct Deposit Form – Consumer

Representative Payee Program – Money Management Forms

BFC Green Logo RPP – Direct Deposit Letter & Form – Vendor

Representative Payee Program – Money Management Forms


[ ! ] Newsletters listed in the Archive are in PDF form. Adobe Acrobat Reader is needed in order to view the newsletters. Download the latest version of Adobe Acrobat Reader.

BFC Icon Social Services Blog

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Social Services Staff

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Lynda Brown, MA

Center Director, Social Services Director (SE)

Ms. Brown joined the Social Services program in October 2002 after serving as the program director at the Mellwood House for Women and Children.

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Tracy Knight, LICSW

Social Services Director (NW)

Tracy Knight has led Bread for the City's Northwest Social Services program since 2002. She is responsible for the overall operations of our Behavioral Health services, Housing Access Program, Representative Payee Program, SOAR SSI application assistance program, MSW student training program, and our NW Center’s generalist social work practice.

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Ashley Moore, LICSW

Associate Director, Care Management (NW)

Ashley Moore joined the Social Services team in 2011. She is responsible for clinical oversight and facilitation of direct service care management programs within the NW Social Services Department.

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Doncella “Donnie” Hampton, LICSW

Associate Director, Social Services (SE)

Doncella F. Hampton is the Social Services Supervisor at Bread for the City’s SE Center location.

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Stacey Johnson, LGSW

Resource Systems Specialist (NW)

Stacey Johnson joined the Social Services program in 2003 as a Social Worker.

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Susanne Horn, MSW

Client Financial Services Specialist

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Robyn Dudley

Representative Payee Program Manager

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Shanta Hendry

Workforce Development Program Manager

Give Today!

Bread for the City’s services are made possible through the support of thousands of donors like you. Without your support, we would not be able to provide the food, clothing, social, legal, advocacy, and medical services that we do to 10,000 DC residents every month. Thank you!

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