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Revolution: DASH is born

Kylie Musolf is a senior at American University studying Philosophy and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. She has worked at DASH as the development intern since January 2014.

It’s hard to pinpoint the first service project I ever completed. I grew up in rural Michigan with plenty of opportunities to do community service, and I was fortunate to grow up in a community that valued my participation. Doing community service opened my world up to unimaginable possibilities and passions and helped me gain some of the skills and experience I needed to move toward them.  Service certainly helped bring me to DASH: one of the recurring volunteer projects I did in secondary school was at my local domestic violence shelter.

While I can’t remember my first experience with community service, I can certainly remember my most recent. Last Saturday I showed up at DASH (a little late, as the red line was single tracking) with two wonderful young women of Alpha Phi Omega, the national service fraternity. Little did we know that Revolution: DASH was soon to be born. Five young residents showed up on Saturday morning to clean up their community by picking up litter. We suited up with our warm clothes, sanitary gloves, and trash bags and headed out. We picked up several bags worth of litter such as beverage containers, old newspapers, cigarette butts, and candy wrappers from the sidewalks and street gutters. We took breaks between blocks to play tag and talk about school and sports.


The streets were sparkling clean and we were exhausted! The five young residents, two members of Alpha Phi Omega and I, returned to the community room to eat pizza (generously provided by &pizza) and talk about the environment.  We talked about the different kinds of litter we picked up, statistics about trash and litter, and how litter impacts our clean water supply. We also talked about how much water we use daily—I think everyone was surprised to know that we use nearly 350 gallons a day! We discussed how doing something simple like picking up litter impacts the entire world around us in multiple and important ways.  From this Revolution: DASH was formed. The founding members determined this awesome name for their community service club, which will meet monthly to do service and talk about social justice.

While we haven’t yet decided on the mission of the club (stay tuned for next month), my goal for the club is to help our young residents: recognize their social efficacy, build and explore their passions, and lead purpose driven lives.

Do you want to get involved in the Revolution? If you ideas for our next project or would like to donate lunch, please contact me at: KMusolf@dashdc.wpengine.com

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Healing Through Creative Expression

photo 3The Arcade, which is dedicated to promoting and educating art in Washington DC, and whose goal is to establish studio and workshop space for artists in the area has partnered with DASH to develop and hone in on the remarkable talents of some of the children at DASH.  Every Tuesday night at our Cornerstone location, Anne-Marie VanTassell and Beth Hansen volunteer with our resident children at DASH.  February 4, DASH hosted its second Children’s Art Show at Cornerstone.  Our resident children proudly provided presentations of their works to their families and community members. This showcase not only illustrated the hard work of both the volunteers and the resident children; but it also demonstrated the healing of trauma through creative expression.  One DASH supporter stated, “It was awesome to see the children showcasing their art, explaining processes, and thoughtfully answering questions about their pieces!”

photo 2 Thank you to all of who attended the art show, volunteered your time, and donated funds and/or art supplies for the program.  A major KUDOS and THANK YOU to our volunteer art teachers, Anne-Marie and Beth and to our Children’s Program Director, Emma.

4th Annual Allies in Change Awards Luncheon


Each year, DASH recognizes those community partners who have made a difference in the lives of women and children facing homelessness due to domestic violence.

This year we are excited to welcome back Erika Gonzalez of NBC4 as our Mistress of Ceremonies.

And we are thrilled to have Yvette Cade as our keynote speaker who will share her inspirational story of survival as she escaped domestic abuse.  Ms. Cade was a guest on the Oprah Winfrey show and has focused her survival on speaking out against domestic violence in communities around the country.

Join us on April 2nd as we honor those who continue to be an ally in the community to amplify our mission and work to ensure that every home is a safe home for survivors of abuse.

Purchase a ticket or be a sponsor!

When:  Wednesday, April 2, 2014 at 12:00PM to 1:30PM

Where:  Hyatt Regency at Capitol Hill, 400 New Jersey Avenue, NW, Washington, DC

For more information on the Allies in Change Awards Luncheon, please contact Tameka Martin at tmartin@dashdc.wpengine.com or Meghan McDonough at mmcdonough@dashdc.wpengine.com.

12 Days to Make the Season Bright for DASH Families!

It’s not too late to consider a gift for the District Alliance for Safe Housing (DASH)!

DASH’s programs help prevent homelessness for women and children who have survived domestic violence; and help them to establish safe, independent lives on their own terms.

We decided to make it easy for you to give.

Click on the link below to make your year-end donation to DASH!

Donate Now

Your giving will allow a family a fresh start and their NEW YEAR can begin TODAY.

DASH has grown to become D.C.’s largest dedicated safe housing provider for survivors and their families. We are able to continue to provide these services for survivors with your support!

  • 23,870 safe housing bed nights to 220 individuals (74 women and 97 children);
  • prevent another 350 individuals from falling into homelessness by facilitating their placements in emergency, transitional, and permanent housing; and
  • assist over 1,500 survivors to exercise their housing rights to avoid unlawful eviction stemming from violence in their homes through our community outreach efforts each year.

 Thank you for your support!

DASH Receives National Award for Innovation in Safe Housing

On Monday, December 16, the District Alliance for Safe Housing, Inc. (DASH) was named as one of four national awardees of the Mary Bryon Project’s Celebrating Solutions Award for its innovative work in providing safe housing for victims of domestic and sexual violence in the District of Columbia.

The Mary Byron Project was established in 2000 in memory of the young woman whose tragic murder led to the creation of automated crime victim notification technologies. As a nationally recognized thought leader on domestic violence, the Mary Byron Project cultivates and supports efforts that extend beyond crisis management to attack the root causes of this epidemic and help build safer, healthier communities.  They created the Celebrating Solutions Awards to showcase and applaud local innovations that demonstrate promise in breaking the cycle of violence. They select programs that can serve as models for the nation and offer $10,000 cash awards in recognition of their pioneering efforts. Nominations are judged by a panel of experts in criminal justice, health care, and public policy, and other disciplines that address domestic violence.

DASH is being recognized for their ground-breaking model of providing housing for survivors who face homelessness as a result of abuse.  Throughout all of their programs, DASH works to ensure that domestic violence survivors, regardless of their circumstances, have access to a full range of housing options and that they don’t have to become homeless in the first place just to become safe from violence.  Since then, through their model, partnerships, and example, they have helped change how safe housing is operated throughout the District and have helped hundreds of survivors find a safe place to call home.

“We are thrilled to be honored by the Mary Byron Project with the Celebrating Solutions Award” said Peg Hacskaylo, Executive Director of DASH.  “Women are one the fastest growing groups of homeless people in the country and are also more vulnerable to be victimized while homeless.  Through this award, we can continue to highlight our work to ensure that hundreds of families become safe from abuse without facing life on the streets.”  Funds will be used to support DASH’s safe housing programs.

DASH Partners With DC Diaper Bank

DASH has partnered with DC Diaper Bank to support the babies of DASH.  In 2 months we’ve provided diapers to over 20 families and could not do it without their support!  DC Diaper Bank also recently celebrated 3 years of service!

DC Diaper Bank works to provide an adequate and reliable supply of diapers to babies, toddlers and their families in the Washington, DC metropolitan area. It is modeled after successful diaper banks around the country, providing diapers to social service organizations that are already helping families in need through comprehensive programs and services. Diaper banks using this model ensure that diapers are distributed to the families that need them the most and in the most effective way.

DC DiaperBank2DC DiaperBank1

DASH Partners with People Animals Love!

pupDASH is proud to announce a new partnership with People Animals Love (PAL). Twice a month, volunteers with dogs will be joining DASH children and their mothers for some pet therapy and playtime.
November 2nd was the first PAL event and it was beautiful outside. We had two pup2puppies, Paris and Tamu, join us for an afternoon of fun on the playground. Paris even came dressed in costume as a banana split! Both the dogs are trained by PAL to work with people and are calm, loving animals. We ran around, played on the playground, did tricks and enjoyed some cuddling with the puppies. After an hour of hardy playing, both the puppies and the kids were ready for naps. We can’t wait to have the puppies and their owners back in two weeks!

From Garden to Table

ZaireThis week at DASH, we brought our gardening and eating full circle. On Tuesday, Wellness Coordinator Annabeth Roeschley and a child resident in DASH’s Cornerstone transitional housing spent time in the garden, harvesting a bounty of fresh “cherry” red and “sun-gold” tomatoes, as Zariawell as learning about the natural therapeutic value of herbs. (After picking lavender, the child was overheard sharing it with her mom and “teaching” her how to use AB and kiddosit for stress relief.)

Two days later found Annabeth with Advocate Afusat Olaifa for her cooking class in our Wellness Room kitchen, joined by two avid cooks who live at Cornerstone. Together, big bunches of basil DSCN0101were clipped from the beds outside, becoming the star ingredient in a tasty homemade pesto.  Mixed in with fresh pasta, seasoned chicken, and our homegrown tomatoes, this garden-to-table pesto delight waDSCN0108s shared and loved by all!

Art Group: From the Children’s Perspective

ArtGroup1Every week Beth and Anne Marie, two of our outstanding and dedicated volunteers from the Red Derby, have been teaching an Art Class to the kids of DASH. The class is a huge favorite among the children; they love the teachers, the fun projects and the chance to unleash their creativity.

photo-1Alice*says that she appreciates the class because of the positive encouragement that she gets: “I can’t draw, but they always tell me I can. Even when I mess up they’re like, ‘oh that’s sooo good!’”(It should be noted that Alice is in fact an amazing artist who last week used feathers and glitter to create a wacky, unique mask.)

Alice also talked about how different and fun the projects are every week, “I didn’t do any of this in art class last year.” The art projects Continue Reading

Beautiful Playground!

photoOn Saturday, September 15th, DASH hosted a group of volunteers from Clark Construction to work on making the DASH playground safer and more beautiful. The volunteers met at 7am with DASH staff to drink coffee and eat delicious cheese and bacon muffins generously made by a IMG_1130talented Clark volunteer. Due to the hard work of the Clark volunteers, DASH now has fresh wood chips to ensure the children’s safety; a freshly cleaned playground; more durable, stained, outside furniture; beautifully hung murals that were created by DASH children during our playground build photo_1with KaBOOM!; and no more weeds! The volunteers from Clark Construction also spent time putting in colorful stepping stones painted by DASH children in the Red Derby sponsored Art Group. They look absolutely beautiful! A huge thank you to Clark Construction for providing the manpower, the materials and the expertise for our playground re-beautification. We are so grateful for Clark’s continued support of DASH and look forward to working together again in the future!

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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