Support DASH this holiday season! Your end of year gift will empower survivors and their families.

New ‘Bright Space’ Provides Children Displaced by Domestic Violence A Unique Learning and Play Environment to Help Them Thrive

Grand Opening of Bright Space at DASH

Today the District Alliance for Safe Housing (DASH), Shulman, Rogers, Gandal, Pordy & Ecker, P.A., and the Bright Horizons Foundation for Children officially opened our Bright Space® learning and play facility for children living in the emergency-to-transitional housing of DASH’s Cornerstone Residence. The children living in this special residence have been displaced by domestic or sexual violence, along with their mothers, and the Bright Space will provide a dedicated safe, warm, enriching area to play, learn, and thrive.

Studies have shown that children of all ages flourish when they have a safe place in which to explore the world around them, filled with books, toys and activities. Children experiencing stress associated with witnessing violence and experiencing homelessness especially need access to these kinds of child-friendly spaces that are key to social and emotional development.

“We hope this Bright Space will bring comfort to families and children during an especially difficult time” said Bright Horizons Center Director Rebecca Weiss who led the team of child care employees in charge of creating the Bright Spaces room within the shelter.

This Bright Space will provide a place for children to play. Children like five-year-old Mary who came to Cornerstone with her mother, who was battling drug addiction, had been incarcerated, and experienced violence at the hands of a former partner. Mary’s mom credits her daughter as her inspiration to heal and get back on her feet, often referring to her as a “gift from God,” and a second chance to live her life in a positive way.

Bright Space Learning and Play Facility at Cornerstone Residence (DASH)

“This Bright Space will offer many of the families who enter our program every year a comfortable place to play and simply experience the joy of being a child or parent,” said DASH Executive Director Peg Hacskaylo.

The center’s construction and opening was largely made possible by a donation from the law firm of Shulman Rogers located in Potomac, Md. The firm is celebrating its 40th anniversary through A Special Year of Giving in which they have dedicated themselves to civic engagement and giving back to the community that contributed to their success. The donation to Bright Spaces is just one in a series of 12 volunteer projects the firm will lead during their anniversary year.

“For 40 years, we have dedicated ourselves to not only serving our clients, but to also serving the community we call home,” said Lawrence A. Shulman, founding partner of Shulman Rogers.  “As we celebrate our 40th Anniversary, we continue our dedication of service, philanthropy, and support.”

DASH Executive Director Peg Hacskaylo and Board Chair Julia Wright

The Bright Space was also made possible through the generous donations of Bright Horizons Division 2, Hoppmann Audio Visual, Capital Commercial Flooring, James G. Davis Construction, Diamond Contracting, Inter-American Development Bank, and DASH Board Chair Julia Wright.


About DASH

DASH is an innovator in providing access to safe housing and services for survivors of domestic and sexual violence and their families as they rebuild their lives on their own terms. We seek to strengthen and expand the local safety net for survivors by providing high quality, voluntary services that are responsive to their individual needs and by engaging lawmakers, community members, service providers, and survivors in the movement to make safe housing more accessible in the short-term and less necessary in the long-term.

DASH’S Cornerstone Program is our emergency-to-transitional housing program, and the District’s largest dedicated safe housing program. It provides 43 units of safe housing where residents may live for up to 2 years.  In the year and half since opening, DASH has housed more than 150 women and children at Cornerstone. More information is available at https://dashdc.wpengine.com/

About Bright Horizons Family Solutions

Bright Horizons Family Solutions is the world’s leading provider of employer-sponsored child care, early education and work/life solutions. The company operates child care and early education centers across the United States, Europe and Canada. The Bright Horizons Foundation for Children was founded in 1999 to help forward the vision of Bright Horizons Family Solutions to brighten the lives of children, youth, and families in crisis. Bright Spaces is a program of the Foundation, creating dedicated play areas in shelters and community agencies that serve children in crisis. There are currently more than 260 Bright Spaces open in the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico, the United Kingdom, and Ireland that serve more than 10,000 children and families every month. More information is at www.brighthorizonsfoundation.org.

About Shulman, Rogers, Gandal, Pordy & Ecker

Shulman, Rogers, Gandal, Pordy & Ecker, PA is the largest independent law firm in the Washington Metropolitan suburbs. Founded in 1972, the firm and its attorneys and staff are committed to client service, a relentless focus on problem solving and an underlying compassion for its clients and community. The firm has a general practice with experience ranging from corporate law, to real estate, to litigation to estate planning and family law. Additional information on Shulman, Rogers, Gandal, Pordy & Ecker and its practice areas is available at www.shulmanrogers.com.

First Green Bean Harvest at Cornerstone

This weekend Cornerstone saw our first harvest of beautiful green string beans! The kids who helped put these beans in the ground reaped their harvest. Too tasty to wait for the stove, we were rinsing and munching them raw right out in the garden. Handfuls of basil, rosemary, and cilantro went home with residents, too. These harvests even inspired several impromptu garden tours for residents who had not yet seen what’s growing.

Next up: tomatoes!

A Happy Mother’s Day at DASH

Every holiday is worth celebrating, but for the busy families living in DASH programs, holidays sometimes go by unnoticed. Luckily, this Mother’s Day, DASH received generous gifts from local organizations to make the holiday memorable for everyone.

Following their incredible donations for other holidays throughout the year, The Red Derby donated Mother’s Day gift bags for Cornerstone residents and Empowerment Project participants. Each bag was beautifully decorated and filled with unique gifts meant to remind moms how special they are. Thank you to The Red Derby once again for all that you do!

Over the past few years, DASH has undergone many changes. Despite these changes, DASH has always counted on Jewish Women International to make Mother’s Day extraordinary for our residents with their annual donation of flowers and OPI products. This year, residents were particularly delighted by the variety of nail products and beautiful flowers donated. DASH is so grateful for JWI’s continued support in celebrating the courageous women in our programs.

Thank you to all of our donors for brightening special occasions for our residents! If you are interested in making a donation for a special event or holiday, please contact Dana Arneson, Development Specialist, at 202-462-3274 x 1228 or by email at darneson@dashdc.wpengine.com.

DASH Featured on Channel 9 News

Note: Some content may be triggering due to graphic descriptions.

Last night, DASH was featured in a lead story on Local Channel 9 news (CBS) about safe housing for survivors of domestic violence, a story that was prompted by the murder on Tuesday in Kensington, MD of Heather Lynn McGuire by her estranged husband, who then committed suicide.

Journalist Gary Nurenberg interviewed DASH Executive Director Peg Hacskaylo, as well as three residents of DASH’s Cornerstone Program, to learn more about safe shelter and how victims of domestic and sexual violence can escape abuse to establish safe, independent lives.  The story, which also included footage of the safe housing apartments DASH provides its residents at Cornerstone, was the centerpiece of the feature, which also highlighted the story of the tragic murder/suicide, an interview with Dr. Phil McGraw, and an interview with Yvette McCade, a local survivor of an attempted murder by her estranged husband.

Click here to view the broadcast and read the accompanying story, click here: WUSA 9 DASH Story

If you would like to learn more about DASH and support the work we do to help women and children in our community, our 2nd annual DASH Allies in Change Luncheon is March 28 (2012) at 12:00pm at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill. The lunch is open to the public and tickets can be purchased here: Allies in Change. You can also visit www.dashdc.org for more information or to make a secure donation online.

DASH extends its gratitude to WUSA Channel 9 and Gary Nurenberg for its attention to and coverage of this important issue and the work that DASH does to help survivors and their families.

Spotlight on Allies in Change Awardees: Andrew Lazerow

On March 28th, DASH will hold its Allies in Change luncheon, honoring individuals who have supported and amplified the organization’s work to provide relief to survivors of domestic and sexual violence,through emergency and long-term safe housing, and innovative homelessness prevention services. We are doing a series of interviews of our awardees beforehand to share a bit more about them. This blog focuses on Andrew Lazerow, who provides DASH with legal support. Remember to buy tickets to the luncheon here!

Andrew Lazerow, Allies in Change Awardee

DASH is happy to introduce Andrew Lazerow. Mr. Lazerow is of counsel in the Covington & Burling LLC’s  Washington, DC office.  He has extensive experience representing clients in numerous industries in alternative dispute resolution proceedings, antitrust class actions, securities fraud class actions, and complex commercial disputes.  He litigates and tries complex matters in federal court.

Below are comments Andrew had about his relationship to DASH and to the District of Columbia:

I grew up just outside the city, in Bethesda, Maryland.  However, I went to law school in DC, and lived in Adams Morgan for a number of years.

I have had the privilege of acting as quasi outside counsel to DASH for a few years now.  I truly enjoy working with DASH’s executive staff to ensure that DASH operates safe facilities.  It is obviously critical that victims of domestic abuse not suffer a second injustice.  DASH offers that refuge, and I hope that my small part furthers DASH’s mission in this regard.

DASH is proud to honor Mr. Lazerow for his ongoing contributions to the organization.

Spotlight on Allies in Change Awardees: Paul M. Aguggia

On March 28th, DASH will hold its Allies in Change luncheon, honoring individuals who have supported and amplified the organization’s work to provide relief to survivors of domestic and sexual violence,through emergency and long-term safe housing, and innovative homelessness prevention services. We are doing a series of interviews of our awardees beforehand to share a bit more about them. This blog focuses on Paul M. Aguggia, who provides DASH with legal support. Remember to buy tickets to the luncheon here!

Paul Aguggia

Mr. Aguggia had the following commentary on his involvement with DASH:

“I am extremely proud to serve as outside legal counsel for DASH.  I hope to help serve the community that DASH serves by providing support for this wonderful organization. I grew up in NYC but have spent most of my adult life in DC.  I like to think I have become “connected” to DC in many ways … but I still love New York.  I believe strongly in DASH’s mission.  I commit to that mission with my time and I urge others to find their own way to help these women and their families. I am proud to be able to assist DASH in some way.  Peg Hacskaylo and the DASH team are truly extraordinary.”

Paul Aguggia focuses his practice on public and private capital raising transactions, corporate reorganizations and restructurings, mergers and acquisitions, federal securities reporting, federal and state securities compliance matters and general corporate law. He provides strategic advice and counsel to public and private companies. Mr. Aguggia also advises private investors, including private equity funds and hedge funds. He has experience with proxy contests and shareholder relations matters. Mr. Aguggia frequently advises boards of directors and committees of boards of directors on corporate governance matters, including compliance with the provisions of Sarbanes-Oxley. Mr. Aguggia has extensive experience in the representation of financial institutions and has frequently represented mutual financial institutions with respect to mutual-to-stock conversions, mutual holding company reorganizations, charter choice and depositor/member issues. Mr. Aguggia received his J.D. from Duke University School of Law and a B.A. from Colgate University.

Spotlight on Allies in Change Awardees: Dr. Kathleen Maloy and Heather Burns

On March 28th, DASH will hold its Allies in Change luncheon, honoring individuals who have supported and amplified the organization’s work to provide relief to survivors of domestic and sexual violence,through emergency and long-term safe housing, and innovative homelessness prevention services. We are doing a series of interviews of our awardees beforehand to share a bit more about them. This blog focuses on Dr. Kathleen Maloy and Heather Burns of the Live to Give Charitable Trust Fund, a philanthropic endeavor established to make strategic and catalytic gifts that support community oriented efforts focused on promoting social justice, equity and human rights. Dr. Maloy speaks to us here on behalf of Live to Give. Remember to buy your tickets to the luncheon here!

Dr. Kathleen Maloy and Heather Burns, Live to Give Charitable Trust Fund

“We learned about DASH from our good friend Jane Pittman who prepared a short film for DASH.  We were so impressed during our conversation with Peg Hacskaylo, DASH founder and ED, about the DASH philosophy and programs to support women and their families leaving domestic violence.  This inspired us to contribute support to DASH and to the building that can provide a safe and healing haven for women and their families.

Both Heather and I grew up in New England but have lived in DC for last two decades.  We both are committed to supporting organization that contribute to creating healthier communities for vulnerable populations, especially women and their families.

We think that services like the ones that DASH offers, i.e., services that support that availability of safe and peaceful spaces where women and their families can start to recover from the experiences of domestic violence at their own pace and in accordance with their own needs are very important.  Too often the deep impact of experiencing domestic violence is not understood.

Heather and Kathleen at Habitat for Humanity build in Egypt, 2010

Because of the prevalence of domestic violence, as well as the frequency of insecurity and uncertainty for women and their families, it is so important to expand programs and services that secure safety and peace for women and their families.  The long-lasting impact on children mean that these program and services are key to securing the future for our country.

We love DASH and the principles that DASH stands for.”

Dr. Kathleen Maloy has worked for 30 years to improve the lives of low-income and vulnerable populations by engaging in research, policy, and advocacy focused on health equity and social justice. Her expertise include Medicaid, Medicare, healthcare financing reform, state health and mental health policy, intersection of health and public health policy, and the social determinants of health.

Heather Burns recently retired as the Senior Vice President with Booze Allen Hamilton, having successfully led the firm’s health care business. Since leaving Booze Allen, Heather and partner Kathleen Maloy have created the Live To Give Charitable Trust Fund. She is also the Executive Producer of In Your Hands, a film about two people’s journey to reintegrate into society after incarceration.

Thank you, Live to Give!

Spotlight on our Staff: LaToya Young

LaToya Young, DASH Housing Resource and Training Manager

Since 2007, LaToya Young has worked as the Housing Resource & Training Manager at the District Alliance for Safe Housing in Washington, DC. A native Washingtonian, she works with survivors and service providers – some people coming for assistance directly from the street, some who are referred to DASH. She also works with DASH’s innovative program, the Empowerment Project, where she connects with landlords and realtors to help them understand domestic violence and consider partnering with DASH in locating affordable, safe housing for clients. Additionally, she leads a host of different kinds of trainings for DASH.

Young works with all new domestic violence advocates in the District through the DC Coalition Against Domestic Violence. She teaches these newcomers about the local and federal protections that survivors have under the Violence Against Women Act, and helps new advocates get acclimated to the work and the field. Through DASH, she also leads a DV 101 class on the barriers that domestic violence survivors face, and how individuals and communities can support them. DASH and the Housing Resource Center also point housing programs and staff to Young’s trainings, showing people what is available for survivors and pointing out emerging options.

Interally, she trains all DASH staff on housing resources and process. People know of Young and DASH’s work through community outreach and education, as she and other staff regularly attend a host of community meetings. There have also been a lot of referrals to lead service providers to Young. Requests for training are also made through the DASH website. “People are fascinated by how DASH works, and want to learn more,” says Young.

But what makes DASH so different in terms of its community work to address domestic violence? “It is really the culture,” Young explains. “We have few barriers – really none – for survivors interested in accessing our services. We allow survivors to be self-governing. We know that when given the chance, these clients can make good decisions, and are not interested in taking that power away from them. Power was already taken from them in the abuse, and we don’t want to do that again as an organization.”
Before coming to DASH, Young worked for three years at a “Housing First” organization, helping chronically mentally ill people to secure permanent housing. It gave her the expertise she is currently able to use in her work with DASH. She is very passionate about her work with survivors.

“What I also love about DASH is that while we are new in the field of dv prevention, we are very open to learning from and helping others in the movement and the field,” Young shares. “We are also committed to learning from survivors and working with them to help break the cycle of violence and create healthy lives. We are unique in how we as a staff come to understand social and economic justice, and how we commit, as a staff, to learning and growing.”

Contact DASH for more information on participating in one of Ms. Young’s trainings.

Spotlight on Our Supporters: MOI

DASH is grateful for its network of supporters, and will be featuring interviews with those companies, foundations and businesses. Today, the spotlight is on MOI, a full service furniture dealership, and an interview with Jennifer Ives.

1. How did MOI first find out about DASH and how did you decide to become such a strong corporate partner?

We first learned about DASH from a previous team member, Carolyn Franco. Carolyn and I discussed doing an Art show to raise funds for DASH and to show off our industry artistic talents. MOI has always been involved in the community. This year we are moving to a more structured Corporate Social Responsibility.

2. What has it been like working with DASH so far?

It’s been wonderful. MOI and DASH have built a strong relationship. The passion that the team at DASH have for the mission has driven engagement from MOI’s team – the grass roots enthusiasm has been shown through the gifts and donations we were able to collect during the holidays.

3. Does MOI have a history of other community partnerships?

Yes, through both financial and in-kind donations.  We also have a history of employees donating their time and effort through collective ventures like the Real Estate game for JDRF and Habitat for Humanity.  We frequently team our efforts with manufacturing partners for donations.

4. What were some of the values you wanted to bring from your company in this partnership?

MOI’s core values expressed with our mission statement; Agility, Accountability, Growth, Excellence, and Commitment. We believe DASH supports and drives these for their clients, making it a natural partnership.

5. What would you like DASH residents to experience when they come to stay?

We would like the new DASH residents to feel safety, peace of mind and hope for the future.
6. What would you hope other businesses and corporations would do to invest in safe housing for the District?
MOI hopes for awareness followed by action.
7. What are you looking forward to in your relationship with DASH coming up?

We are looking forward to building awareness and support for the cause of safe housing and safe lives. We are also looking forward to increased exposure for MOI through this partnership.

Thank you so much, MOI! DASH appreciates you!

Freddie Mac Generously Supports DASH’s Empowerment Project!

DASH is honored and grateful to be a grantee of Freddie Mac in the coming program year. Freddie Mac, also known as Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (FHLMC), is a public government sponsored enterprise (GSE), headquartered in Tysons Corner. It was created in 1970 to expand the secondary market for mortgages in the US. This secondary mortgage market increases the supply of money available for mortgage lending and increases the money available for new home purchases.

With its dedication to community programs and affordable housing, Freddie Mac has partnered with DASH in 2012 on a $125,000 grant initiative supporting our scattered-site Empowerment Project. Participants in the project are able to sign an apartment lease that meets their familial, financial and safety needs. DASH provides the rental subsidy along with intensive support services and resources that enable the woman to become economically independent over the course of two years. This level of support allows DASH to increase the project to house an additional 10 families and help women to develop the tools to be fully financially supportive of their families and to develop real skills that ensure their economic independence.

The outcome of this grant will be that the women and their children served will have exited homelessness, secured stable homes, and be prepared to retain permanent housing through rental assistance, supportive services, and intensive education and advocacy around establishing economic self-sufficiency.
DASH partners with Wider Opportunities for Women in this work (link), an organization that helps women learn to earn, with programs emphasizing literacy, technical and nontraditional skills, the welfare-to-work transition, career development, and retirement security. Since 1964, WOW has trained more than 10,000 women for well-paid work in the DC area.

We are honored to have such generous, visionary partners in the important work to help survivors of sexual and domestic violence secure safe, long-term housing and live free from violence. We believe that DASH is a visionary organization that takes a holistic approach to serving survivors. Through research and listening we have developed a number of proven best practices we share with other organizations addressing domestic violence and homelessness. Without our corporate and organizational partners we would not be able to have the lasting impact that we do.

For more information or to pursue corporate sponsorship of the Empowerment Project, contact Peg Hacskaylo at 202/462-3274 x110.

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District Alliance for Safe Housing | PO Box 91730 Washington, DC 20090
202-462-3274 | info@dashdc.org | 501(c)(3) | #71-1019574