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Thank You from DASH!

DASH wants to extend a huge and heartfelt thank you to everyone who donated to our gift drive this holiday season.  Due to the incredibly generous donations we received from individual donors, groups, and organizations throughout the DC region, we were able to provide gifts to the over 50  women and 70 children in our housing programs who would otherwise receive nothing during the holiday season.

On Thursday, we held our first annual DASH Holiday Store (complete with a gift wrapping station) with all of the generous donations we received, enabling the women in our program to come and “shop” and wrap gifts for their children and pick up the gift cards and gift bags for themselves.

It was a truly wonderful day at DASH.  Our residents and staff were so thankful and amazed by the generosity of all of our community partners whose donations made it all possible.  Thank you, from the bottom of our hearts.

DC Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Key School, TD Bank, Metropolitan Police Department; Victoria’s Secret, United Way-National Capital Area, DuPont Governmental Affairs Office, Planned Parenthood Federation of America,  The Red Derby, MOII, The Clearing Inc., Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP, Park Road Community Church, Bank of America Women’s LEAD Group, Washington Business Journal,  Gifts for the Homeless, Women’s Law Society, Christian Law Society, Sports and Entertainment Law Society of UDC Law School, Hoppmann Audio Visual, Marriott Hotels, Kettler Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP, andour many generous individual donors.

We wish everyone a very happy holiday season and thank you all for your continued support!

DASH Gets a Mention on MSNBC’s Morning Rundown by Celinda Lake

Celinda Lake

DASH was honored to be mentioned in a “shameless plug” Wednesday by leading Democratic political strategist/pollster Celinda Lake of Lake Research Partners. At the end of a segment on the upcoming election and concerns for the Democrats, payroll tax debate and the latest on Newt Gingrich, Celinda told viewers to look up the District Alliance for Safe Housing for its work with survivors of domestic and sexual violence. You can see the footage here at the eight-minute mark. Thank you so much Celinda! We are honored to have your support. Follow Celinda on Twitter @Celindalake.

DASH Recently Cited in HUD Paper

DASH is proud to report that we were recently cited in a paper from HUD about what public housing authorities across the U.S. are doing to address domestic violence. The paper, found here, notes programs and strategies in a number of different regions. The DC Public Housing Authority was mentioned. The report notes that when meeting with them, a representative of the District Alliance for Safe Housing reported on the dilemma of a public housing resident who had moved several times due to threats of domestic violence. The victim’s ex-husband managed to find her after each move, and she wanted to move to another city, but could not afford to leave public housing.

By staking a claim in the national debate on homelessness, DASH is furthering the voice of survivors of domestic and sexual violence. We continue to remain interested in partnering with government officials, corporations, and the public at large to strategize about eliminating domestic and sexual violence.

DASH Now Using VRS/VRI Services for Deaf Clients

DASH is pleased to announce that we now have the capacity to do video relay interpreting (VRI) and  video relay service so our Deaf participants can call other Deaf people.  This helps us greatly to be able to responsibly serve our Deaf survivors. DAWN (an organization that works with Deaf survivors) has told us that DASH is the only domestic violence prevention organization in DC that has this capacity.

VRS: Video relay service allows a deaf individual to call another deaf individual and communicate using ASL via a web video. Essentially, it allows deaf individual to sign to another deaf individual over a streaming video camera.

The following explains the services:

VRI: Video relay interpreting allows a deaf individual to call a hearing individual and communicate through an ASL interpreter. A deaf individual will call an interpreter and communicate with them through a streaming video camera while the interpreter communicates with the hearing individual via phone.

When Deaf people call hearing people they typically use a video phone so that a relay service can do the talking.  That’s what Deaf people use when they call DASH, and most Deaf people communicate using a video phones.  When Deaf survivors come to DASH they need not worry about not having a video phone because we now have the technology, along with the ability to have third party interpreting at a moment’s notice.

DASH can also receive calls from Deaf clients. We are including a screensaver shot so you can get a feel for what it looks like. All DASH has to do is click on the green bar that says “start interpreting session” and an interpreter will pop up (like skype) and interpret for us while we’re working with a Deaf participant.

Thank you for DASH’s Thanksgiving

This Thanksgiving, generous community members all over the Greater DC area worked to ensure that DASH program participants celebrated Thanksgiving to its fullest extent. Due to their efforts, every participant enjoyed a hearty Thanksgiving meal with all the fixings, allowing them to celebrate despite the hardships that they have endured.  Men Can Stop Rape youth participants did fantastic work to mobilize donors.

We are grateful for the churches, schools, restaurants, and businesses whose members donated time, space, and food in order to make Thanksgiving memorable for our residents. Special thanks go out to The Red Derby and the Potomac Lighthouse Charter School for collecting an overwhelming amount of canned goods and Thanksgiving fixings for Cornerstone residents. At Potomac Lighthouse, Ms. Fell’s fourth grade class (pictured) collected more food than any other class, winning the first-ever Turkey Trophy!

On Thanksgiving Day, E&G Group teamed up with First New Hope Baptist Church for the second year in a row to provide a home-cooked meal to all Cornerstone residents. Located in the church’s basement, E&G’s Thanksgiving feast was a huge success, and residents enjoyed sharing the meal together with their families.

Finally, a turkey and fixings was delivered to each Empowerment Project participant. Thanks to the generosity of the Park Road Community Church, none of the families in our scattered site program had to worry about buying a Thanksgiving meal.

DASH extends its most heartfelt gratitude to all who contributed to Thanksgiving celebrations. Your thoughtfulness has given our residents as well as our staff something to be truly thankful for this year!

Reports of DC Rate Rape Increase Highest in the Nation

Last week, the FBI released crime statistics for each state. While DC’s rate for homicide and violent crime on the whole decreased, the rate of forcible rape increased, up to 187 from 2009’s 150. This 24.7% increase is the highest of any state (cities are not documented), with the second highest increase being an 8.9% rise in Nebraska. As a whole, the nation’s forcible rape rate went down 5% last year.

Clearly, these numbers point to the urgent need in our community to address sexual assault. In 2010, the District Alliance for Safe Housing decided to add sexual assault survivors to those for whom it provided service. Domestic violence and sexual assault are often interrelated. Many survivors are assaulted within intimate partner relationships. Additionally, many of those who survive a sexual assault also face the potential for homelessness, especially if the assault occurred in the survivor’s home or the assailant learns the victims’ address.  In these situations, it is imperative for victims to have safe housing, much like those escaping domestic violence.

DASH’s housing and services provide critical space and support for survivors of sexual violence to recover from the trauma of victimization and rebuild their lives on their own terms.  While the path to healing may look somewhat different from domestic violence, the need for access to safe, affordable housing is a reality for survivors across the spectrum – whether recovering from domestic abuse, sexual assault, trafficking, stalking, or other threat.  Providing housing access to sexual assault survivors in our constituent base is yet another way in which DASH aims to be agile, responsive, and innovative in serving those impacted by violence.

Survivors of sexual assault in the District can also access these resources for support.

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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