It’s now been more than three years since Hyacinth’s Place opened its doors, and we are blessed to have many things to be thankful for. So before heading to the dinner table, we just had to jot down a few of the big ones.
First and foremost, it was a big year for our residents. So many have big accomplishments to tout to family and friends!
Dana testified in front of the City Council in support of the Housing Production Trust Fund, a program that funds low-income housing production and maintenance in the District. She also finished her first semester toward earning an Associate’s degree in business management—and was honored as one of the top students. Prestine bravely shared her personal journey for the first time in observance of September’s National Recovery Month so that she could give others inspiration and hope. Dynise, an avid writer, recited one of her pieces to an NBC 4 reporter—and an excerpt aired on the nightly news! And we’re excited to report that just recently Jay got her own apartment. We’re sad to say goodbye but so happy for her! These are just a few of the fantastic accomplishments and victories we celebrated with the Hyacinth’s residents this year.
And Hyacinth’s Place itself has a lot to be thankful for too. Dynise’s interview with NBC 4 was part of an entire segment just focused on Hyacinth’s Place. After it aired, we got some great feedback from friends and new supporters.
We also spread the word about Hyacinth’s Place with other audiences as part of a new advocacy initiative. We are forging relationships with the City Council, and sat down with Councilmember—and now Mayor-elect—Muriel Bowser in April to discuss our programs. We also met with staff from our very own Ward 5 Councilmember Kenyan McDuffie, chatting about how the government provides mental-health services and his legislative proposals to expand affordable housing in D.C.
Our advocacy initiative has given us something else to be thankful for—we’ve made some rewarding friendships in the housing-rights community. We joined the Coalition for Non-Profit Housing and Economic Development (CNHED), which led the way most recently to the City Council’s passage of a bill endorsing putting $100 million toward the Housing Production Trust Fund. There are way too many outstanding advocacy groups we’ve been honored to work for to list here—Miriam’s Kitchen, the National Coalition for the Homeless, the Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless, the DC Coalition Against Domestic Violence, SOME, and our very own sister organization, Open Arms Housing. The list goes on, because there are so many dedicated providers and activists who are working every day to make affordable housing a reality for all Washingtonians.
That’s not to say that with its ups, the year didn’t have any downs, but that’s because life is never without adversity. We’re grateful at Hyacinth’s Place for something our residents have taught us about hardship: it gives you strength and resilience. That’s what Hyacinth’s Place is all about—we know that providing a safe, stable space and support system makes room for that strength to grow into healing. Because often those who have once felt the weakest or have experienced the most adversity come out the strongest and the most empowered.
Finally, we’re so thankful for all of our friends and neighbors, and we wish you a wonderful Thanksgiving!
Your friends at Hyacinth’s Place