Education Seminar Focuses on GT Grants Theme: Homelessness
In June 2021, the Grants committee organized an educational seminar on the topic of our 2021 grants theme: Housing and Homelessness. The theme was chosen by members last fall for GT’s single-year grant category.
More than twenty Giving Together members attended the seminar on Zoom. It featured two informative speakers, both involved in the development and implementation of policies designed to end homelessness in the Washington area:
Theresa Silla is a policy advisor to the District’s Interagency Council on Homelessness (ICH), which was established to facilitate interagency, cabinet-level leadership in planning, policy making, program development, provider monitoring and budgeting for the District’s homeless services system. Under the leadership of Mayor Bowser, the ICH oversees the District's strategy (Homeward DC) for system change and crisis response to: a) prevent homelessness whenever possible, b) ensure people have immediate access to safe, dignified emergency housing when needed, and c) focus on rapid connection back to permanent housing with the supports needed to sustain that housing. In other words – making homelessness rare, brief, and nonrecurring.
Sharlene Castle is the Director of Operations at Jaydot, a DC-based organization focused on creating housing solutions for our most vulnerable neighbors, particularly those who have experienced homelessness. With the goal to help foster strong and vibrant communities, Jaydot consults on the development and operation of affordable and permanent supportive housing, focusing on projects that will help end homelessness in the Washington, DC area. The organization believes in and follows the Housing First model, which minimizes barriers to entry for potential residents. Jaydot's clients are non-profits, developers, and government agencies committed to creating and operating exceptional affordable housing.