Two outstanding community-based organizations in the Washington, DC area are making national news with network television coverage. A third is opening a major facility for treatment of women and children. All three organizations have received training and technical assistance from the Center for Neighborhood Enterprise and are members of CNE’s Hands Across Network.
ABC Television’s Extreme Makeover program featured The Fishing School, a youth and family support organization founded by former policeman Tom Lewis in one of D.C.’s most crime ridden and drug infested neighborhoods. Lewis had spent 18 years in the Officer Friendly program visiting classrooms throughout the D.C. public school system to counsel students and to teach good citizenship, drug abstinence, and safety. After his retirement he dedicated himself to serving the population of children that he had met, and converted a rental property that he had purchased into a family support center. The Fishing School programs have reached over 2,500 students and their parents in under- served communities throughout the District of Columbia. The old building was razed to the ground in October and in one week a brand new center was built. The program aired Sunday, February 14, 9:11 p.m. EST.
MSNBC is featuring Dr. Satira Streeter, founder of Ascensions Community Services, as one of MSNBC’s 100 Black History Makers in the Making. Dr. Streeter, a former foster care child, chose to locate her practice in the inner city to help those facing special barriers and obstacles.. The organization provides comprehensive therapeutic services to children and families who would normally not have access to mental health services or would be too embarrassed to seek help. Ascensions’ services include group and individual mentoring for girls; parenting support; group support for victims of violence and homicide; and one very special Girl Scout Troop. All services at Ascensions are offered free to those who cannot afford it. Ascensions already has been recognized as “one of the best small non-profit organizations in Washington, D.C.”
House of Help City of Hope, founded by Bishop Shirley Holloway, has opened its second new major facility in the past few months – a 150 bed Kingdom Village Women and Children’s residence in Suitland, MD. Kingdom Village is a faith-based shelter and certified clinical treatment facility and the only area facility to open its doors to families when one person is in treatment. Bishop Holloway has helped more than 6,000 individuals in southeast Washington, DC to overcome life-controlling addictions. Last fall House of Help City of Hope expanded its reach with the opening of its new “Kingdom City” men’s residential drug rehabilitation center in Waldorf, MD, which can accommodate up to 411 men as they receive treatment in a peaceful rural setting.
All three organizations have received technical assistance in leadership and organizational management as well as linkages to support by the Center for Neighborhood Enterprise. They also are members of CNE’s Hands Across Network, a group of some 40 community-based organizations that meet monthly for training and to share best practices and other information .