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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.

Share-A-Haircut for DASH!


In need of a haircut? Visit a local Hair Cuttery!

On February 4th and 5th, when any client (adult or child) purchases a haircut at Hair Cuttery, they will match that haircut by donating a free haircut certificate to DASH!  The free certificates will be given to women and children residents at DASH.  Help spread the word!


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.

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.

Newtown Action Alliance visits DASH

On December 12th DASH hosted a group of volunteers from the Newtown Action Alliance (http://newtownaction.org/). This week over 150 volunteers from all over Connecticut traveled to Washington, DC in order to commemorate the tragic events of the Sandy Hook Elementary School Shooting on December 14th, 2012. Groups of Newtown Action Alliance volunteers were working all around the metro area in order to infect DC residents with kindness, and it worked! We immensely enjoyed having them. They helped us prepare picture frames for our upcoming talent show and organized our art supplies closet. For DASH, the experience was humbling.  We appreciate their work and for allowing us to be a part of this day.


DASHing into the Holidays

DASH is really gearing up Christmas!!  On Saturday, December 7, 2013, DASH had a holiday party hosted by Washington Biggest Givers on Saturday.  We had an awesome time with volunteers and residents as we decorated the tree, had hot chocolate and popcorn, made ornaments and colored Christmas pictures!!  If you haven’t had the opportunity, please check out our Holiday Wish List to make a donation to support the families of DASH!

Xmas Biggest Givers

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!

Happy Halloween from DASH!

photo (2)The DASH Community Room at Cornerstone on Wednesday was an explosion of dragons, bumblebees, doctors and ninjas as the DASH kids picked out their Halloween costumes. The excitement in the air was palpable as the kids dug through mountains of donated costumes. It took some kids over a half hour to choose between being a ninja, a zombie, a knight or batman for this Halloween. It’s thanks to the work of the Red Derby that they get to choose between so many wonderful options. The Red Derby donated over 70 costumes and dozens and dozens of bags of Halloween candy to DASH again this year, helping to make it special and fun for all our kids and their moms.

photo (3)Tonight the kids will celebrating Halloween at a Halloween party hosted by Homeless Children’s Playtime Project. The community room has been decorated, there is green spaghetti in the fridge candy everywhere in the office. It looks like it’s going to be a fun, spooky night.

photo (6)As the kids are celebrating Halloween at DASH, we will be celebrating BalderDASH at Agora bar for our annual fall fundraiser. Stop by for a chance to win the costume contest and meet some of our great staff!


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!

The Giving Library

DASH’s founder and Executive Director Peg Hacskaylo just returned from an exciting trip to Houston, TX, where she filmed a video for the Giving Library, a groundbreaking initiative that connects donors to nonprofit organizations through online video interviews. The library’s goal is to help nonprofits share their work while helping philanthropists enhance their strategic charitable giving.

DASH is thrilled to have the opportunity to highlight the innovative work we do and the courageous families we serve, on a national stage. As Peg notes in the video, “In the last seven years, [DASH has] grown to become the city’s largest dedicated safe housing provider for victims and their families and [has] almost tripled the amount of safe housing, through our own programs and in partnership with other providers.  Moreover, our model of services has since become nationally known for our comprehensive and compassionate approach.”

20131010_110943The video will be ready in a few months and we can’t wait to share it with you. In the meantime, check out the photo of Peg filming in the studio.  Thank you so much to the Giving Library and the Laura and the John Arnold Foundation for providing us with this opportunity and for their support as we continue our work to prevent survivors from having to choose between living without a home and living with abuse.

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United Way: #9391 | CFC: #99008
District Alliance for Safe Housing | PO Box 91730 Washington, DC 20090
202-462-3274 | info@dashdc.org | 501(c)(3) | #71-1019574