Mary House serves 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.

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. Our monthly food pantry offers essential food items to families as well as fresh produce that they can choose from.

We also send all of our after school kids home with "weekend bags" every Thursday so that families who depend on free lunches from school continue to have food over the weekend.

The On Our Grandmothers' Shoulders program offers a space for Mary House mothers and grandmothrs 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 On Our Grandmothers' Shoulders 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. Click here to view our latest newsletter. 

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.

The Mary House Summer Camp is a six week, full-day summer camp for kids who live at Mary House or are involved in our after school program. 

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.

The Dreamers program meets once a month and provides an opporunity for Mary House teens and young adults to come together and talk about life goals, identity, as well as things that affect them every day like education and politics. 

The Adult Resource Center at Mary House provides support in the form of continuing education and workshops relevant to issues that Mary House families face. 


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