Making a Difference in DC

By Hirsch on November 15, 2011 in AmeriCorps

Finding affordable housing in Washington, DC can be an uphill battle. As gentrification drives housing prices up in different neighborhoods around the District, some residents e are pushed out to Maryland or Virginia, and/or find themselves with insecure housing situations. The Transitional Housing Coalition (THC) is one organization that works to maintain affordable housing options for families and individuals, and the organization also helps prevent people from becoming homeless in the first place.

For Make a Difference Day, Team DC met up with the wonderful people at one of the transitional housing sites of THC. Families stay at sites like this one before making the move to a more permanent living situation, such as one of the long-term affordable rental housing sites of THC. The organization also has programs for permanent supportive housing, and for rapid rehousing and homeless prevention for displaced families or families that are in danger of losing their homes.

After learning a little bit about the organization and about housing issues in DC, we donned gloves and masks and got to work sanding and taping a few of the walls of the apartment complex. The walls had recently been re-done, and we were prepping them for painting, which we were able to do after lunch. With the power of twelve team members, and the help and guidance of the maintenance staff, we managed to finish painting all of the walls that we prepped. The staff was very happy to have the extra help, and we felt proud to have contributed to the beautification of the building.

One of the highlights of the day was when we met up with a three-year-old resident who wandered into the room that we were in and started hopping around and “ribbiting” like a frog. He hung out with us for a little bit before his mom came for him, and he even came back to say goodbye to us later.

THC not only provides affordable housing for individuals and families, it also has a number of enrichment programs for the people that it serves, and most of these programs are staffed by volunteers. If you live in the DC area and want to help out with a ‘Time for Tots’ program, for example, check out the Transitional Housing Corporation and you might be able to meet our frog friend!

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