Building Brick Award
We are excited to award Mary Braxton, Assistant Community Manager at Edgewood Commons, with the “Building Brick” award. In construction, the “building brick” is that which makes up the substance of the structure. Mary Braxton’s help to ensure that the families at DASH are provided with more than just a safe place to run, but the ability to establish new homes – quickly, easily, and comfortably, the way a home should be – helps changes lives.
How did you first become connected to DASH?
My first connection with DASH was around the beginning of 2014 while working at another Edgewood Managed property. I was online researching housing programs for victims of Domestic Violence to assist a resident that was dealing with a serious domestic issue with her family and I came across a link (http://www.endhomelessness.org/library/entry/dashs-empowerment-project-rapid-re-housing-for-survivors-of-domestic-violen ). I clicked on the link it was an article about DASH. I then googled DASH to get the contact information. I reached out to DASH to get more information and I started referring residents to them.
What has DASH’s impact been on the survivors of domestic violence you work with?
DASH has had a tremendous impact on the survivors I work with. The financial assistance that DASH has provided to survivors it has enable them to maintain their affordable housing and most are now receiving counseling from other sources. Unfortunately, due to the type of work I do I’m unable to provide specific stories.
From your perspective as a property manager, what are some of the unique challenges that survivors of domestic violence face when looking for affordable housing?
The greatest challenge survivors face is having good credit. Many of the survivors I work with depended on their abusers for financial assistance to pay their rent . Once the abuser leaves then the survivor can no longer rely on that source for assistance. Unfortunately, it’s a trickle-down effect and they’re not able to pay the rent on time and as a result I have to sue them. Every time they’re sued it’s reported to the credit bureau and then their credit is negatively impacted. When the survivor goes to look for affordable housing the first thing that is checked is their rental and credit history. Most HUD funded properties will not accept applicants with negative rental history.
Why do you think that safe housing is an important service for survivors of domestic violence in DC?
I think safe housing is an extremely important service for survivors because it allows them time to get themselves together and reflect on their situation. Without safe housing they will not be able to move forward with their recovery.
Join us at Allies in Change as we honor the people and organizations that make a difference at DASH. Need a reason to buy a ticket? We’ve got six good ones. See part 1 here.
4. Hear a Survivor’s Story. Our Special Guest Speaker will be a DASH survivor who will share her story and courageous efforts to escape from abuse and rebuild her life.
5. Take snapshots in our photo booth! Thanks to MOI Inc. our photo booth sponsor!
6. Support Safe Housing. At DASH we believe that safe housing should be a right shared by everyone. Help us make that a reality, buy a ticket today.
Join us on April 30th, go to our event page for tickets and information.
Join us at Allies in Change as we honor the people and organizations that make a difference at DASH. Need a reason to buy a ticket? We’ve got six good ones.
1. A chance to stay at the Luxurious Jefferson Hotel. We have some amazing Silent Auction items this year – including a one-night weekend stay for two in a Deluxe King Guest Room with breakfast valued at $500.
2. It’s the Allies in Change 5th anniversary! In the last 5 years, with the help of DASH supporters, we have grown by leaps and bounds in our capacity to safely house survivors of domestic violence. Come honor the individuals and organizations that have made our growth possible – being DC’s largest dedicated safe housing provider.
3. We’ll be showcasing the #WhatitTakesDC campaign. For the last 6 months we have been working with Ad 2 DC on videos and materials designed to raise awareness about DASH services and highlight the challenges that survivors often face when trying to find safety.
Join us on April 30th, buy your ticket today.
Not convinced? Stay tuned for part 2 next week!
Support Beam Award
We are excited to award Princess McDuffie with the Support Beam award at our 5th annual Allies in Change benefit on April 30th. In construction, the “support beam” is that which steadies and strengthens a structure. Mrs. McDuffie has helped to strengthen and steady the lives of the youngest survivors of abuse – children – with fun, creative expression and have truly made a difference in the lives of those recovering from trauma, and we and the families that we serve are all better for it.
Interview with Awardee, Princess McDuffie
What brought you to the DASH Art Group? I have worked in the domestic violence field for the past 13 years and I have always had a love for creative arts. I was able to merge my passion of working with survivors of domestic violence and my creativity when I saw an advertisement for help needed in the Art Group at DASH.
Why do you think Art Group is an important program at DASH? Children need to be exposed to the arts. They should be able to be creative and have a place that allows them to be expressive. The trauma of domestic violence on children can have a lasting impact on them and having an Art Group gives children the development, growth, and outlet needed to overcome the obstacles that domestic violence may have placed upon them.
What is your favorite Art Project that you have worked on with the kids? I enjoyed working on the framed art projects that were showcased during the DASH Open House as well as the BalderDASH Reception. These items captured the children’s hard work and efforts and they were bid on and purchased by several donors. Personally, I was able to bid and snag a couple of the art pieces at BalderDASH to showcase in the office and at home. They are great conversation starters for guests and colleagues about the great work at DASH.
Why do you think safe housing is an important service in DC? Safe housing allows survivors of domestic violence to continue with their daily lives, have a place that they can call home, and be able to have support and advocacy in the fight against domestic violence.
DASH is an innovator in providing access to safe housing and services to survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault and their families as they rebuild their lives on their own terms.