Events & Community Info
Adult Leadership Academy Advocacy & Restoration Mental Health Programming
”Passages” The Performance
A story of Deliverance
Palms Up Show
4 Women’s Wellness
Palms Up Show
Every Tuesday @ 7 PM
Healthy DMV & ME
“CV-19 Response & Rescue”
Preserving Black Lives of the Nation’s Capital
Weekly Wealth Building 101
Capital City Emergency ”Level II” Trauma & Wellness Center
A Letter from the Coalition President and M.I. Mother’s Keeper Executive Director.
Imagine if you will, going to bed every night under fire and in fear of not knowing what tomorrow will bring. Imagine the reality of living and surviving abuse daily as a child being reared in an unhealthy home environment, and community where patterns of negative behavior, and death occur repeatedly around you.
To understand the desperate need for improved emergency, mental health, trauma services, and resources in our Nation’s Capital “East of the Anacostia River” is to walk a mile in the shoes of our many youth who are being bullied, navigating low standards of care, and fighting to survive amongst heavily populated communities of drug addicted citizens, mentally unhealthy adults, unstable housing, employment, and poor economic conditions.
As the Executive Director of M.I. Mother’s Keeper mental health advocacy organization, serving the District of Columbia’s vulnerable families of mental health exposure and diagnoses, I witness firsthand the embedded cycles of despair and hopelessness from one family to another. The finesse of having to provide “triaged” case management services to households rife with visible pain and “fist-punched” holes in the walls is disheartening. The disheveled looks and the toxic stress brought on by daily turmoil depicts the lack of appropriate resources, accountability, and most especially the lack of higher standards, quality of living, and care which must be addressed immediately, in my professional opinion, to halt the violence, crime, and death that is occurring daily in communities where our vulnerable populations are housed and across the city.
In December of 2020, the Washington Post reported that due to the presence of Fentanyl and the isolation of Covid-19, D.C. had experienced its deadliest year of Opioid drug overdoses thus far with the rate continually rising. Additionally, violent crimes involving guns continue to escalate across the District and especially in Ward 8 S.E., D.C. where The National Alliance on Mental Illness indicates that citizens who have mental health crisis are more likely to encounter police than to get the appropriate mental health care needed.
Furthermore a report from “WAMU”, states that on an average day the D.C. Fire & EMS get more than four hundred medical calls of which substance abuse cases rank high. D.C. has one of the highest per capita call volumes in the country according to D.C. Fire & EMS Medical Director Dr. Robert Holman. The District has continually ranked highest in cases involving substance abuse, H.I.V., gun violence and OPIOID overdoses.
In its recent June 2020 article and in repeat of their 2013, 2016, & 2019 assessments, D.C.’s Health Matters Collaborative again identified mental health as a priority in the District’s Community Health Needs Assessment report. “In 2019 the Collaborative found that depression, anxiety, alcohol, and opioid abuse were prevalent among DC residents, leading to poorer health outcomes and earlier death. The District of Columbia should have a budget that reflects the importance of the relationships between community-based service providers and those that they serve, and one that attempts to bridge the current health inequities facing D.C. Now more than ever, as the Collaborative has stated, we must prioritize the mental health of District residents.”
The M.I. Mother’s Keeper organization together with the Healthy DC & Me Leadership Coalition are spearheading the birth of the first “stand-alone” Emergency Trauma Center in Ward 8 SE, D.C., projected to be built by the Spring of 2023. The trauma center will aim to address the low standards of care, lack of available, culturally appropriate mental health and socially prevalent resources.
The Capital City Emergency “Level II” Trauma & Wellness Center project was born out of necessity to heed the call of the many advocates, health professionals, and community organizations who have a personal stake in saving lives, helping to improve the quality of life, and the standard of care for citizens living in the District of Columbia; Citizens who have demonstrated daily their dire need for comprehensive care programs and systems not to mention their need to be liberated from cycles of poverty, health inequities, stigma, and low-standards of care. Capital City Emergency “Level II” Trauma & Wellness Center will address matters that are “life threatening” as well as provide holistic, rehabilitative, social outreach programs, & services.
The situation in the District’s Ward 8 warrant that the needs of our families are no longer suppressed with outdated care models and “clinics” which only serve as “revolving door” realities for too many families of poorer means who “East of the Anacostia River” are mostly families of color.
The District’s “Mayor for Life,” Mr. Marion Barry affectionately spearheaded efforts to improve the plight of Ward 8 residents during his elected terms. It is the Healthy DC & Me Leadership Coalition’s intent to make the plight of our vulnerable populations a priority again, for we are the “People of Barry” united. We stand in unison of introducing District residents to a “multi-dimensional” care model that will provide our citizens with comprehensive exposure to higher standards of care, and dignified living choices with accountable outcomes.
On April 27th, 2019, the M.I. Mother’s Keeper organization hosted Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton at the historical Anacostia Park and delivered to her its “Mental Health Matters” declaration on behalf of Ward 8 citizens in need of mental health services, and the call for the federal government to properly oversee the District’s appropriated funding & spending for mental health resources “East” of the Anacostia river. Unfortunately far too many District families still sadly are living in a state of emergency.
ENUFF is enough! It takes a village to keep watch over the kingdom, “Passages” is our organization’s “Call to Action”! The death angel remains busy, and we must not forget about the least among us. Matters of grave mental health and stigma are dividing us daily as the funeral processions continue one after the other. It is time to mark our lost souls in order that the “Death Angel” will leave our community alone!
Thank-you for caring,
Dr. Rhonda L. Hamilton
”Voices in the Valley”
Insurance Sales Training
Opioid Summit II: Addressing Legal Barriers to Addiction Care and Treatment
May 13, 2021—May 14, 2021
All times in EDT.
(Use scrolling wheel to zoom in)
2021 Youth Free Expression Film Contest
BODY LANGUAGE: Uncensored Pride
DC Health Link /Kaiser Virtual Town Hall Conversation: “Focus on the Facts: COVID 19 and Communities of Color”
Meet the New Councilmember: Christina Henderson
January 13, 2021 5:30 PM to 6:30 PM
MSDC is pleased to announce a special webinar on Wednesday, January 13 with new DC Councilmember Christina Henderson. This WHOW webinar will allow MSDC members to hear from the Councilmember, listen to her priorities, and ask her questions.
The webinar will take place January 13 at 5:30 PM. Pre-registration is required.
After the talk by the Councilmember, MSDC will hold its monthly advocacy open forum. MSDC members have the opportunity to speak with Society leadership on the advocacy issues important to them and hear from leaders what MSDC has done in the past month. Participation is included in webinar registration.
Meet your speaker:
Christina Henderson is an At-Large member of the Council of the District of Columbia. Christina’s career has been guided by the principle that one’s zip code should not determine your opportunity for success, and she is excited to work each and every day to make this principle a reality for all DC residents.
As a trusted political advisor, Christina has counseled United States Senators, DC Council members, and state and local education officials on an array of domestic policy issues which deeply impacts families and children. Prior to serving as a member of the DC Council, Christina served as a Legislative Assistant for U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-NY) handling education, workforce, postal and census issues for both the leadership and personal office.
From 2012 to 2017, Christina served residents of DC in various capacities in DC government. Christina was the deputy chief of staff for former DC Councilmember David Grosso and directed the Council’s Committee on Education, which has budget and performance oversight for all matters related to DC’s public education system and libraries. At the Council, Christina crafted and helped advance over 40 pieces of legislation on an array of issues including student discipline, DCPS facilities, reproductive health, medical marijuana, and beverage sales at breweries, distilleries, and wineries. She was known for a commonsense approach to policy, a collaborative working style, and centering equity in her work. Prior to the Council, Christina worked for DC Public Schools, supporting the district’s efforts to improve teacher and school leader quality and effectiveness.
Before joining DCPS, Christina worked for the New York City Department of Education, and consulted with other state and local Boards of Education. Earlier, she served as a legislative staffer for former U.S. Senator Kay R. Hagan (D-NC) on a range of domestic policy issues including the federal budget, taxes, and child nutrition. Christina has also worked for several political campaigns, including Hillary for President in 2008. In 2015, Pacific Standard magazine named her one of the top 30 thinkers under 30 in the world of social and behavioral sciences.
The daughter of an Army veteran and a retired Transport Workers Union Local 100 member, Christina received her BA in Political Science from Furman University in Greenville, SC and her Master in Public Affairs degree from Princeton University. She is an active member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and a proud co-founder and board member of the Black Women’s Congressional Alliance.
Christina lives in Petworth with her husband Nu, their daughter Jordan, and rescue dog Langston.
MLK Jr. Day of Service
Drive-Thru Grocery Distribution: Free Food for Families
Monday, January 18, 202011:00am – 2:00pmLocation #1The Temple of Praise700 Southern Ave SELocation #2Saint John Paul II National Shrine3900 Harewood Road NEFor more info: Contact our Community Outreach team at 202-421-5564 or 202-815-5838Please feel free to review and share the attached flyer. Thank you!Regards,Metropolitan Police Department – Community Outreach Division
Return to Eden
A Little Piece of Paradise
2021 Food Distribution Schedule for District 8 & Partners
We’re Back… Save the Date, Save Lives! 9.18.21
All Hands on Deck in yo hoodie
Register in advance
for this webinar:
The Intersection of social justice and health
The Impact of Covid-19 on Mental Health and Substance Abuse in the Black Community
Minority Health Professionals and
COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution
Date & Time: Saturday December 5th, 2020, at 4:pm
Location: 3106 Branch Ave, Hillcrest Heights, MD 20746
Contact: Oversee Dr. Ann Coles II (202) 904-5273
DC Covid 19 Vaccinations Availability
On Monday, January 11th beginning at 12:00 pm, adults 65 and over may register for the vaccine at vaccinate.dc.gov or by calling 855-363-0333. (Note: If you are a non-healthcare worker who signed up earlier, you MUST register for the vaccine again afternoon on Monday; registrations submitted by non-healthcare workers before noon on Monday will not be recognized.)
P.G. County’s “Knowledge Equals Youth Success” internship program.
Employ Prince George’s, Inc., Youth Services programs are committed to assisting today’s youth in becoming tomorrow’s productive and skilled workforce
The Office of Youth Services at Employ Prince George’s, Inc. offers multiple programs that are committed to assisting today’s youth in becoming tomorrow’s productive and skilled workforce.
Youth Services programs provide In-School Youth and Out-of-School Youth, ages 13-24, with the necessary tools to become competitive in the workforce through Career Pathways service models. Youth Services provides an array of workforce development services and activities to youth who are at-risk of dropping out of high school or may face barriers to employment.
Through local partnerships, participants receive industry recognized training and credentialing, hands-on work experience and opportunities to engage with nationally recognized business and leaders.
- Job Readiness Training
- Supportive Services
- Work Experience
- Leadership and Soft Skill Training
Rental Assistance Information:
Mayor Bowers announced a 10 million dollar grant program that allows affordable housing and small landlord to apply for grants covering 80% of delinquent rent up to $2,000 a month since April 2020 if the landlord forgives the remaining 20%. 9 million dollars of the grants will be available to landlords of properties that are part of the Housing Finance Agency or Department of Housing and Community Development portfolios. The rent will be available to landlords who own up to 20 rental units in DC. To qualify the units have to be currently occupied and the landlord must be registered with DCRA and have a Clean Hands certification. The Mayor also noted that there are unclaimed funds from the COVID-19 Housing Assistance Program (CHAP), which was originally available to low-income renters, but will now be open to landlords. THE APPLICATION PERIOD CLOSES ON DECEMBER 11.
A copy of the full article can be found at: https://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/new-affordable-housing-rent-relief-program-announced-for-dc/17593
The following information was listed on the Mayor’s website:
COVID-19 Housing Assistance Program (CHAP)
The Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) has developed the COVID-19 Housing Assistance Program (CHAP), a $6.2 million program funded by the federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) offering rental assistance to low-income renters who are in arrears. Tenants must earn 80% of the Median Family Income (MFI) or below based on the COVID-19 Income & Rent Schedule. Financial assistance will be based on income and household size. Assistance can be applied for rent from April 2020 onward for up to three months of overdue rent depending on available funds—eligible applicants may be able to apply for an additional 3 months for a total of 6 months of rental assistance. Interested applicants are asked to fill out intake information by going to the central intake portal for emergency rental assistance. Click here to apply and read more about this program.
DHCD Rental Assistance
The Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) has developed a $1.5 million program funded by federal HOME dollars to offer tenant-based rental assistance to low-income renters. Rental assistance will allow tenants to remain current with monthly rent payments and can be used retroactively to pay April and May rent. The fund is estimated to assist 400 households for a minimum of six months and up to two years based on financial need and available funds. Community-based non-profit organizations will work with renters to manage and disperse funds.
- Click here to read more about the DHCD Rental Assistance program
- Rental Assistance for District Residents Impacted by COVID19
Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP)
ERAP, administered by the Department of Human Services, helps income-eligible District residents (up to 125% of the Federal Poverty Level) facing housing emergencies by providing funding for overdue rent if a qualified household is facing eviction (including late costs and court fees). The program also supports security deposits and first month’s rent for residents moving to new apartments. The amount paid on behalf of eligible households depends on a household’s income and available resources and is subject to certain limitations. ERAP may provide up to 5 months of rent arrears or $4,250, whichever is less. Eligible households may only apply one time a year. In FY21, ERAP has $14 million in funding.
Homelessness Prevention Program (HPP)
HPP supports eligible families (30% of Medium Family Income or below) to prevent episodes of homelessness through case management, mediation, financial assistance (including up to 4 months of rent arrears), and connection to housing resources. Since its launch, the program has prevented more than 7,000 unique families (83% of referrals) from entering shelter. In FY21, HPP has a budget of $4.1 million.
Families are assessed for HPP eligibility when completing intake at the Virginia Williams Family Resource Center (VWFRC), the central intake for DC’s coordinated homelessness assistance system for families with children.
Currently, VWFRC is conducting Assessments for Homeless Services via phone. The Center is closed for in-person interviews throughout the public health emergency. Families and individuals seeking access to homeless services may call the DC Shelter Hotline at (202) 399-7093 from 8 am-12 am, Monday-Sunday, or call 311 after hours.
Washington Wizards All-Star guard John Wall, in collaboration with the John Wall Family Foundation (JWFF), launched the “202 Assist” program in late May. 202 Assist is aimed at providing rent assistance to Ward 8 residents impacted most by the COVID-19 pandemic. The foundation is working with Washington, DC Mayor Muriel Bowser, the DC Department of Housing and Community Development, Lydia’s House and Housing Counseling Services to identify qualifying applicants and disperse rent relief. Applications opened on June 1 at www.lh4us.org/forms.
DC MAP (Mortgage Assistance Program) COVID-19
The District of Columbia Housing Finance Agency (DCHFA) recognized an opportunity to provide financial assistance to those impacted by the effects of COVID-19. Through the DC MAP (Mortgage Assistance Program) COVID-19, qualified borrowers can receive a loan up to $5,000 monthly toward their mortgage for up to six months. Borrowers must be applying for financial assistance for their primary residence, which must be located in the District of Columbia. DC MAP COVID-19 relief commences with April 1, 2020 payments associated with monthly mortgages. Interested applicants are asked to take the survey on DCHFA’s website to confirm if they’re eligible to apply. Click here to review the full list of borrower qualifications and to apply to the program.
Mortgage Resources and Information
On April 7, 2020, DC Council passed emergency legislation creating a mandatory 90-day mortgage deferment program for residential and commercial mortgage holders who request one. No late fees or penalties would accrue, and repayment of the deferred amount may be done via payment plan, not through a lump payment. This program requires landlords to pass along proportionate savings to their tenants if they receive a deferment. Click below FAQ for more information or contact the DC Department of Insurance, Securities and Banking.
- FAQs and Guidance: Residential Mortgage and Commercial Mortgage Deferment Program
- What Banks Are Doing to Support Homeowners
- Foreclosure Prevention During Coronavirus
The Department on Energy and Environment (DOEE) assists income-eligible District households with heating and cooling energy costs through the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). Eligible households may receive energy bill assistance between $250 and $1,800 as a one-time regular energy assistance benefit. This benefit is based on household size, total household income, heating source, and type of dwelling.
For more information, visit https://doee.dc.gov/liheap.
- Utility Disconnections Prohibited: The COVID-19 Response Emergency Amendment Act of 2020 passed on March 17, 2020 prohibits electric, gas, and water from being disconnected for non-payment during the declared public health emergency.
- Pepco is waiving new late fees and suspending service disconnections through at least May 1 and will be working with customers on a case-by-case basis to establish payment arrangements and identify energy assistance options. Customers who may be experiencing challenges paying their Pepco bill should contact Pepco Customer Care at (202) 833-7500.
Greetings Community Leaders:
Please take the Behavioral Health survey below.
Your participation is requested in a very brief survey designed to help to strengthen the District’s behavioral health system.
The Behavioral Health Planning Council (BHPC), is an appointed advisory group that helps the Director of the Department of Behavioral Health best meet the needs of District residents with mental health and substance use disorder needs.
Your opinion matters. Your feedback will provide insight into the types of services being accessed and the quality of those services. All responses are confidential unless otherwise designated by you. Thank you in advance for completing this brief survey.
Please take 5 minutes to complete this survey linked here The survey is open now and will close on Friday, December 18, 2020.
NOTE: THIS SURVEY IS TO BE COMPLETED BY DC RESIDENTS ONLY. HOWEVER, if you are NOT a DC Resident but you KNOW DC Residents (friends, family, co-workers, clients, etc.) PLEASE SHARE SURVEY LINK WITH HIM OR HER. ALSO THIS SURVEY CAN BE COMPLETED BY ADULTS AND YOUTH AND PARENTS on BEHALF OF their Child.
Free Weatherization to Warm Up Your Home
As cold days set in, make sure your neighbors know the District offers assistance to seniors and income-qualifying residents for assistance with weatherization projects that can keep your home warmer. Learn more here: https://doee.dc.gov/
Free Student/Kid Meal Sites Over the Holidays
Until January 4, DCPS meal sites will operate a modified schedule. Here’s the updated information, please share on your neighborhood listservs: https://
Help the Helpers. Here’s Who Is Serving Our Neighbors During COVID
- Serve Your City\Ward 6 Mutual Aid Network: Led by Ward 6 neighbor Maurice Cook and Serve Your City, this is a group collecting and redistributing food and other essential items for neighbors. Serve Your City provides opportunities for Ward 6 students.
- GOODProjects: Working in Southwest with a safe space for kids living in Greenleaf, Syphax, and James Creek to have access to online learning and support.
- Powerof10: Founded by H Street’s own Eric Bruner-Yang, this initiative keeps restaurant kitchens’ working by preparing meals for hungry neighbors, essential workers, and first responders.
- DC Medical Reserve Corps: Organized by the DC Government, here’s a way to help out as our medical response scales up.
- Capital Area Food Bank: In critical need of volunteers to help sort and pack food in their warehouse and assist at their offsite food distributions.
- Food and Friends DC: In urgent need of extra volunteers throughout the coming weeks. There are two volunteer opportunities, food preparation and packaging and meal and grocery delivery.
- Food Rescue US: Volunteers with vehicles needed to pick up and deliver food from businesses to DC residents in need.
- Martha’s Table: Volunteers needed to help prepare and bag food for their emergency food sites across the city.
- We Are Family: Volunteer to deliver groceries to seniors.
- Food for All DC: Volunteer to drive groceries to seniors, immunocompromised, and other DC neighbors who are homebound. Volunteer here.
- Aunt Bertha: Aunt Bertha’s network connects people seeking help and verified social care providers that serve them by zip code. Contact your local shelter to see what help and/or items may be needed.
- Breadcoin: A nonprofit offering flexibility to folks who are hungry in where and how they purchase food or meals at a restaurant.
Greater DC Diaper Bank: Long a staple of the region (and founded by a Ward 6er), the Greater DC Diaper Bank helps low-income families meet the need for diapers. DC Diaper Bank works with partner sites to distribute diapers. You can donate or support their work here: https://
Free Groceries For Residents
- Martha’s Table: Daily grocery distribution at 2nd and H Street, from 5:15-5:45 pm. Donate here to support their work: https://marthastable.
networkforgood.com/projects/ 95536-martha-s-table-martha-s- table-expanded-programs-covid- 19
- Capital Area Food Bank: Behind many good nonprofits is the CAFB, supplying many groceries from bulk purchasing to food pantries across the region. Help them today: https://www.
- Father McKenna Center Grocery Pantry Now Open: One of the programs partnering with the Capital Area Food Bank is the Father McKenna Center at 900 North Capitol St., NW. Information on how to support or receive groceries here.