The Partnership to End Homelessness (The Partnership) is pleased to announce $350,000 in grants awarded to seven organizations and coalitions leading systems change efforts in DC. Selected nonprofits receive $50,000 in funding to support work to end homelessness and increase the supply of deeply affordable housing.
Systems change is the intentional process of working to make population level change for whole groups of people by disrupting and dismantling the structures of cultural, social, and economic systems that perpetuate inequities. There are many ways to transform and disrupt systems. We know that in order to end homelessness, we must create systems that center people experiencing housing instability and homelessness and that prevent homelessness in the first place. To do that, we focus on efforts developed and led by people most directly impacted by homelessness and housing instability.
Our second round of Housing Justice Grants are made in memory of our Leadership Council member, Waldon Adams, a fierce advocate for ending homelessness who was tragically killed in 2021.
This grant opportunity provides flexible funding to the seven organizations below to support their advocacy, organizing, and other systems change efforts. This funding can be used for local and federal advocacy efforts, community organizing and education, or even infrastructure to increase the capacity of these organizations and coalitions. It can be used for staffing, messaging and communications, research, or meetings and events. We know these grantees share our goal of ending homelessness and increasing the supply of deeply affordable housing and it is important to us that we support them, as the experts in how to make that happen.
SYSTEMS CHANGE Community Partners
DC Jobs with Justice
DC Fiscal Policy Institute
Fair Budget Coalition
ONE DC: Organizing Neighborhood Equity
The Washington Legal Clinic For The Homeless Inc
Last year, the Partnership awarded our first grants to advance housing justice. Together with tenants and people with lived experience, our community partners led efforts to secure:
historic budget investments resulting in Permanent Supportive Housing for over 2,300 households;
$50 million for public housing maintenance and repairs;
protections for neighbors experiencing homelessness during the pandemic;
investments in rental assistance to ensure housing instability during the pandemic; and
more just and equitable housing policies.
These grants were made possible thanks to generous partners and donors to the Partnership’s Grantmaking Fund.
Read on to learn more about a few of our partners, their work, and strategic priorities to transform and disrupt systems and advance housing justice.
WORKING WITH TENANTS TO BRING ABOUT SYSTEMIC CHANGE
Empower DC’s work emphasizes the housing needs of DC’s lowest income residents, those earning 30% of the Area Median Income or below, including people with disabilities, the retired, low wage earners and people coming home from incarceration or experiencing homelessness. Empower DC received $50,000 to engage in community-led planning to expand deeply affordable housing and to preserve existing affordable rental housing, including public housing.
“While DC has affordable housing laws that other cities envy – like Inclusionary Zoning (IZ), and the Housing Production Trust Fund – in reality, these programs have not stemmed the tide of displacement or addressed the need for low- income housing. DC’s existing policies and practices systemically fail to address the need for housing at this lowest income level, targeting instead incomes at 60 or 80% of the Area Median Income when units are built with public subsidy from the Housing Trust Fund or set aside by developers through IZ.
Empower DC addresses this inequity by organizing with people who need deeply affordable housing, including public housing residents, to push for greater investment in and protections for low-income tenants. Using policy, budget, planning and even legal strategies, Empower DC centers the expertise of low- income Black and Brown DC residents with lived experience of housing instability, elevating their voices as visionaries and champions for their communities. For more information or to get involved in Empower DC’s work, go to www.empowerdc.org.”
- Parisa Norouzi, Executive Director, Empower DC
WORKING TOGETHER TO SECURE LIFE-SAVING HOUSING INVESTMENTS
Driven by the truth that housing ends homelessness, Miriam’s Kitchen and The Way Home Campaign community worked together to secure historic investments to end chronic homelessness in last year's budget. Now, Miriam’s Kitchen is working hard to ensure that this funding translates into life-saving housing for our neighbors experiencing homelessness. Miriam’s Kitchen received $50,000 to build capacity to push for resources, policies, and implementation that prevents and ends homelessness, and to enhance and expand The Way Home Campaign, a citywide movement to end chronic homelessness.
“Through our leadership of The Way Home Campaign, we continue to convene various stakeholders, including people with lived experience of homelessness, service providers, and advocates, to identify and advocate for policy solutions needed to quickly and effectively implement the over 2,300 new Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH) vouchers available this year. Additionally, we, along with local and national partners, have spent much of the past year pushing back against Mayor Bowser’s harmful approach to homeless encampments and ensuring that our neighbors living outside are treated with respect and dignity.
Mayor Bowser releases her budget proposal on March 16. This is a critical time to ensure that she hears from community members like you! Click here to urge Mayor Bowser to fully fund the recommendations laid out in Homeward DC 2.0, her strategic plan to end homelessness. To read our full budget recommendations and to join the over 7,000 individuals and 110 organizations pushing DC to end chronic homelessness, please visit www.thewayhomedc.org.”
- Lara Pukatch, Chief Advocacy Officer, Miriam’s Kitchen