Archive for April, 2015

Letter to the Editor re: “Stay and Wait” story

Wednesday, April 15th, 2015

A Letter to the Editor: by Audrey Lyon, Yachad Executive Director

Letter to the Editor re: Metro Section story: “Stay and Wait” by Frederick Kunkle

Frederick Kunkle’s (Metro, April 13, 2015) reporting about the problems plaguing the D.C. Government’s Single Family Home Repair Program shines a welcome light on the challenges many of the city’s seniors face when they need critical home repair. As troubling as the programs delays and poorly performed repairs are, I can say from my perspective as the head of nonprofit local home-repair organization that the problem is far more wide-spread than even this article describes. The consequences for our city’s most economically fragile lower-income homeowners and on the communities around them are enormous. These homes are providing the last bastion of affordable housing to multiple generations of family members often within one home. Much attention is given to people without homes at all, but lurking just below this crisis is the serious and largely overlooked problem of dangerous and substandard housing in many of our city’s neighborhoods. This problem is underreported because there is no new unit of housing to point to or a family unit to show moving out of a homeless shelter. However, these families are in a silent crisis too.

This is housing that is often older, and has been owned by families for multiple generations. It will be gone either through on-going deferred repairs or gentrification. It is grandparents living with children, grandchildren and others in homes where the family is one step away from homelessness due to leaking roofs, dangerous electrical issues, toilets and sinks that don’t work.

Unfortunately, there are precious few resources and attention given to working with these families to ensure functional homes.

We need DHCD’s Single Family Home Repair Program with its significant resources to run efficiently and safely to help not only our city’s seniors but the hundreds of other families where a functional home is the first step to insuring a family’s success.

Audrey Lyon
Executive Director
Yachad, Inc.

About Yachad:
Yachad’s mission is to bring communities together by preserving affordable homes and revitalizing neighborhoods throughout the District of Columbia and the greater metropolitan area. Yachad means “together” in Hebrew, and that is how we do our work through partnerships with homeowners, houses of worship, nonprofits, and other community stakeholders. We mobilize skilled and unskilled volunteers, invest financial resources, and, through our work together, transform people and properties. Our mission is rooted in the Jewish commitment to seek justice by engaging in acts of loving kindness. We welcome people of all faiths to share in our work to keep our communities diverse and vital.


Get to know our neighborhoods

Tuesday, April 14th, 2015

Yachad’s homeowners make our work special

We want you to get to know the neighborhoods we’ll be working in this Sukkot in Spring!

Get to know our neighborhoods…
Over the next few months, we will repair the homes of families in two DC neighborhoods. Together, we can keep these neighborhoods diverse and thriving and can give homeowners the safety and security that they deserve.

Lamond-Riggs, NE

Lamond-Riggs is home to four of our homeowners, rich with history and alive with new energy! The neighborhood is right off of the Fort Totten metro stop and is energized by the abundance of family friendly public space. It is home to a historic public library, the Lamond Recreational Center, Riggs Park, and Food and Friends.

Lamond-Riggs is the neighborhood of Mayor Muriel Bowser. When meeting with homeowners here, they proudly told us that the Mayor lives a few streets down!

This is a community that values public space! Click here for more on the history and fight for the Lamond-Riggs Library!

Skyland, SE

The tight-knit Skyland community is home to eleven of our homeowners and is in the heart of Historic Anacostia: once home to Frederick Douglass, Ezra Pound, Marvin Gaye, and the former mayor of D.C., Marion Barry. Here you can visit the Smithsonian Anacostia Museum, the Frederick Douglass House, Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens, new public libraries and good eats…just to name a few!

The big chair is a well-known DC landmark. For generations, people have flocked to this tourist attraction, claiming to be ‘the largest chair in the world.’ Musicians and activists alike have been featured here.

Want to try a new neighborhood restaurant while you’re in the area?
Check out Nurish Food & Drink!

Volunteer for Sukkot in Spring and explore these neighborhoods on your own: Meet our homeowners and their families, and be an active part in keeping these DC neighborhoods thriving! Join us April 26th and/or May 3rd to volunteer. Contact your group leader or the staff at Yachad to sign up for Sukkot in Spring and please specify your home repair skill level.

See you around the neighborhood!