At Mary House, we serve up to 50 families by providing transitional housing for those in crisis. Families receiving housing services can be anyone from parents with several children to single mothers struggling to find independence, refugees from Iraq or a family of five from El Salvador. All of these families share the desire to become the strongest parents possible and to provide a safe and secure environment for their children.
With the assistance of Mary House family advocates, families living in transitional housing work to secure stable employment, pursue education and address health care issues."
While at Mary House, parents are able to pursue academic and career goals. These range from finishing a GED to going to nursing school or completing a teaching degree.
Too often, families have to make difficult choices about buying food, paying rent, or providing medical care for their children. Fortunately, Mary House offers a supplemental food program to meet our residents and after-school families' daily food needs. Food items are donated from religious communities, local schools, and the Capital Area Food Bank. We offer a bi-weekly food pickup onsite. The supplemental food program helps to relieve part of parents’ burden and allows them to make healthier choices for their families.
Mother to Mother Program & Newsletter
The Mother to Mother program offers a space for Mary House mothers to find a voice within the organization. Mothers meet bi-monthly and identify issues and obstacles that impact their lives, and learn about resources available to them. The mothers collaborate to produce the monthly Mother to Mother newsletter, which deals with issues of common concern for mothers: caring for their families, mental health, child safety, raising children in a foreign country, etc. Mothers write articles about their cultural traditions and holidays, recipes from their home country, and other articles about their experiences either in the US, their home country, or both.
After School Program
Mary House has run its After School Tutoring and Mentor Program since 1997. Serving thirty students at a time, we have a strong partnership with schools in the neighborhood that allows us to pick the children up from school and walk them to our site. Many of the students we work with live in homes where English is not spoken primarily, so we work with children to improve their reading, writing and comprehension skills.
The After School Program is a free program where children stay until 6 P.M, and are provided a nourishing, healthy snack. The program is open to the children living in Mary House housing, as well as other children in our neighborhood schools who are referred to our program.
We aim to provide a safe and nurturing environment where kids complete their homework, have access to help from tutors, and receive mentoring from DC high school and college volunteers.
Mary House offers a summer day camp for children involved in our After School Program. Each year there is a theme for the children to reflect upon, with last year’s theme focusing on the children’s communities.
The program runs for six weeks. This year, through field trips, arts & music, and visits to Capitol Hill, summer camp participants will learn about D.C. residency and citizenship. They will become familiar with the geography, resources and issues in the area; our campers will become aware of opportunities in their communities.
The kids closet is a space where parents can exchange their children’s clothes for new and lightly used items, which helps to reuse and recycle Mary House resources and facilitate sharing between mothers.
Adult Resource Center and Continuing Education Program:
The Adult Resource Center at Mary House provides seminars to parents every Monday night from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm. Along with workshops, the parents have access to computers and have the opportunity to work with the Mary House staff to develop career materials including resumes and cover letters.