Happy Advent! Progress on the Center continues at the church. Last week photographer Stephen Reasonover was able to take amazing photos of the mural that Hank Prussing completed in the summer of 1966 when he was 16 years old. Mr. Prussing says it is an allegorical scene of people walking down the side walk. The people are purposely transparent making the comment about who are the invisible members of our society. He said that in an indifferent world, the younger girl and older woman were to make the point about the importance of linking across generations and socio-economic backgrounds.
On the construction side, demolition, about eighty percent of the framing, and some of the electrical work is complete. On the program side, the BID has completed the attached flyer outlining the services that will be provided as well as the services that are provided off-site until the Center opens. They are also completing the service provider schedule including daily housing, case management and advocacy, employment services, health care screens, and harm reduction training. Veterans benefits, ID services, and birth certificates are also provided on the weekly schedule. More services are to come.
On the church side, we have formed the BID Advisory Group (BAG), a group of NYA members and staff focusing on the relationship between the BID and the church as well as the role of church volunteers. From the membership, the group includes Ann Bradley, Rebecca Davis, Martha Davis, Paul Dornan, Tyler Feret, Courtney Spearman, and Matt Webster. From staff, the group includes Jasmine Jowers, Roger Gench, and Alice Tewell.
There has been a change in the leadership of the Center. Rev. Linda Kaufman is no longer the Director of Homeless Services and Executive Director of the Center. Ellen Jones, the Deputy Executive Director at the BID, is serving as the Executive Director of the Center until someone is hired after the Center’s opening. Jones writes, “We are grateful for the contribution Linda made in her short time here at the BID to meet the needs of individuals experiencing homelessness in downtown DC. She helped to set us on the path towards opening the Downtown Day Services Center to place more individuals in housing and secure the services they need to stay housed, while improving their quality of life during that process. We wish her well in her future endeavors.” At the church, we are also grateful for the contributions Linda made as well as the relationships she as built both with church staff and members. We wish her well, and expect to see her around town!
We are also excited to announce that in the fall, Darlyene “Tokyo” Direkston joined the BID as the Homeless Services Site and Program Manager to oversee day-to-day operations of the Downtown Day Services Center (The Center). You can read more about Ms. Tokyo here. Most of the other Center staff has also been hired.
Please reach out to us if you have any questions, concerns, or want to volunteer in the Center.
As a reminder, the Radcliffe Room will be giving out Christmas presents on Sunday December 16 starting at 8:15 am to our guests. You may bring Christmas cards for our guests with a greeting “Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays” to the front desk though the morning of December 15, and they will be put in the Christmas bags. If you are able to volunteer (and do not normally) in the Radcliffe Room, and would like some more information, please contact our Young Adult Volunteer, Kasey Kelly (firstname.lastname@example.org).