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2014 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Friendship Place

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Homeless & Housing, Homeless Centers, Housing & Shelter, Human Services, Mental Health, Mental Health & Crisis Intervention

Mission: To empower families and individuals experiencing or at risk of homelessness to rebuild their lives with the involvement of the community.

Results: Friendship Place in 2013: • Outreach ― Street outreach to homeless men and women where they are, with a focus on the hardest to serve. Connected with 130 individuals. Upper NW DC. • Hospitality ― Food, coffee, basic needs, showers and laundry, phone and internet, and case management. 575 individuals served, more than 40 visitors a day. Upper NW DC. • Free Health Care ― 701 medical consultations and 329 psychiatric consultations provided. Upper NW DC. • Transitional Housing ― Congregational-sponsored shelters and apartments. 58 served. Upper NW DC. • Direct Housing ― Rapid rehousing. Helped 32 people move directly from the streets into affordable private-market housing in its first six months. District-wide. • Permanent supportive housing ― 212 housed, with a housing stability rate of 98 percent. District-wide. • AimHire ― Job preparation, placement and retention, paired with housing placement. Placed 116 men and women into jobs, with 113 stably housed as well. DC Metro Area. • Veterans First ― VA-funded program that (1) helps homeless veterans and their families get back into housing quickly and (2) prevents homelessness for veteran households at risk of losing their housing. Served 464 people – veterans and their family members, including 60 female veterans and 150 children. Of 323 people who exited the program during the year, 96% graduated to stable permanent housing, the rest to temporary housing. DC Metro Area. • Community Engagement ― 299 presentations to or meetings with congregations, schools and colleges, businesses, professional associations and conferences, other nonprofits, government entities (DC, Federal and Maryland), involving staff, board, volunteers and/or program participants, for the purpose of educating, advocating, sharing best practices and/or building partnerships. DC Metro Area, national.

Target demographics: people experiencing or at risk of homelessness

Direct beneficiaries per year: 1,000 people

Geographic areas served: the Washington, DC, Metro area

Programs: street outreach, hospitality, free medical and psychiatric services, job placement, case management, transitional shelter, rapid rehousing, homelessness prevention, permanent supportive housing, and specialized services for Veterans and their families.

Community Stories

28 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Client Served

Rating: 5

Friendship Place has been a God sent for me, assisting with my transportation needs, job placement assistance, resume writing and a clean and peaceful shelter to live in decency while achieving your short term goals. In the world of homelessness having a peaceful environment to reside in takes 75% of the distractions from finding your way through the job market of today, which is one of their motto's. Friendship Place is also allowing me to give back by volunteering which is a passion of mine, this allows me to take some of the focus off my situation and help someone else. I love this organization and the people they employ.

Board Member

Rating: 5

Friendship Place (formerly the Community Council for the Homeless at Friendship Place) empowers men and women experiencing homelessness to rebuild their lives, with the involvement of the community. I have been a board member representing Temple Sinai congregation for over 5 years, and in that time has seen the organization grow in size, scope, professionalism and results. It uses its funds wisely and well, and provides permanent supportive housing, health care, outreach, case management, shelters, and programs for veterans and their families (Veterans First) and job preparation, placement and mentoring (Aim Hire). There is remarkable community involvement, with over 500 volunteers contributed over 9000 hours in 2013. The board also has 27 congregations represented, and an additional 25 community representatives, and is quite active in the work of the organization.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

While working at Friendship place, I have found that the staff is not only staff, but also a community of continuous volunteers, always dedicated to helping the Friendship Place cause to end homelessness. I’m also excited to know that at Friendship Place ending homelessness means not only providing shelter, but more importantly empowering people to get employed through mentor-ship and health consciousness starting at the Welcome Center.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have heard about friendship place through our community,the french speaking protestant church... we have gotten involved with this great organization, and it has brought us much joy and rewards...we and all the others involved in it are proud to be part of it, although we can never do enough...have been involved with helping this great organization... every person who is part of this is getting so much more than we give...

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Working at Friendship Place as a volunteer for the past year I have found this organization to be totally committed to its mission of serving people experiencing homelessness. The staff are very professional, skilled and committed to their work. My experience here has convinced me that the organization works in a transparent manner, uses donor financial and inkind contributions in a highly effective manner. The staff welcome volunteers to contribute to the work of the organization in a variety of different ways. Any person interested in contributing to to the work of Friendship Place will find this to be a terrific place to connect with in addressing critical homelessness issues in DC.

RudiK

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I've worked here for a number of years and can say that we help people and we don't waste donors' money. A little bit goes a long way, and we get results. I've worked at a number of nonprofits over the years and have never seen one that has this much community. The Board and volunteers are especially great and staff keep the mission ahead of anything else.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Terry Snead, I commend you Alan on your new responsibilities and the energy you bring!
Homeless/Houseless for 10 years, the last 8 years have been a blessing!!!! Having a place
of my own, affords me many quiet moments, that I cherish to the utmost! Thank you FP,
for the love, for the hope, and the empowerment! The goal now is to help someone! God Bless.

Shelley14

Board Member

Rating: 5

I am a formerly homeless Veteran (U.S.Coast Guard), I was homeless for 17 months. While living in a hotel for 9 months, with my daughter, and 2 grand kids, and managing a local restaurant, I sustained a severe back injury. I was driven to the VA in Baltimore, given strong medication and sent home to recover. Out of work for several weeks, I called a Veteran "hotline" for help, who in turn directed me to Friendship Place. Inside of 24 hours, they helped me to secure an apartment with funding through the "SSVF" Program (Supportive Services for Veterans and Families) They are very well versed with programs to help the homeless. This was LIFE CHANGING for me. I am now on my feet, doing better, and I give back as much as I can, as a speaker, and as a Board Member. This is a worthwhile organization to sow your seed into.

Michael252

Volunteer

Rating: 5

It can be overwhelming and inspiring to witness an organization actually benefitting indivduals experiencing homelessness. That is what happens at Friendship Place, from the "Little Blue House" to AIM Hire and all the associated housing projects, this organzation is a model to be implemented throughtout this and other cities. Friendship Place understands that being homeless is just one side of the issue. Losing hope, and feeling less than can weigh on a person as much as not having a home. Friendship Place helps in rebuilding lives by giving hope back and treating people with the respect that everyone deserves. I am honored to be a voluteer and a program participant.

Board Member

Rating: 5

Representing Church of the Pilgrims on the Friendship Place board has been a privilege and a challenge.
We get to know the people we help and, in turn, they help, too! From Executive Director Jean-Michel and the entire staff there a wonderful spirit of cooperation with the board and all the volunteers who support
a truly inspired and person-centered program to rebuild lives.

Board Member

Rating: 5

Jean Michel and the staff truly work miracles! I became involved after a church in my neighborhood put the word out that they were looking for help in staffing hypothermia shelters. From there, I joined the board and for 3 years I have volunteered and financially supported Friendship Place. FP is a community centered organization where the community includes the consumers of the services, the NW neighbors, commercial partners, the police and city officials - all working together to find permanent solutions to ending homelessness. The success FP has enjoyed has led to national recognition and allowed for exchanges of ideas and methods with other organizations - nonprofits and government - to enable a steady push toward eradicating homelessness. I can't think of a better goal!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Friendship Place has been a life saver for me. The organization gave me a way to let the good in my heart out. My association with Friendship Place is entering year five, I am formally Homeless and after a two year search for housing I was put in touch with this Organization and was placed in an apartment in one week. I tell people "I don't know how they did it, I don't care how they did it, just know that they did do it". Over the years my relationship with Friendship Place has evolved from Program Participant to full time Volunteer serving as Coordinator for Community Engagement, in this position I am now able to give back and help like I was helped. Friendship Place is not only talking the talk, they are walking the walk. All for now, from a very happy heart. AB

Board Member

Rating: 5

The Community Council for the Homeless at Friendship Place (CCHFP) is a rare and special organization that combines passion for its mission with administrative and managerial excellence. CCHFP’s facilities and innovative programs not only provide stop-gap measures to help the homeless of Washington, DC escape the streets, they also provide a full-range of services to help people address underlying problems and re-build their lives. CCHFP works with a wide range of stakeholders, including local and federal governmental agencies, churches and congregations, local businesses, and other homeless client service organizations.

Donor

Rating: 5

I am a former Board member and current donor of this wonderful organization which has grown from an idea discussed at a neighborhood home to an organization that is a true collaboration of many different communities -- churches and synagogues, civic organizations and retirees -- all joined in their support for the homeless men and women who live among us. It is an organization I am proud to be associated with and I continue to amazed at how it thrives.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I was introduced to CCHFP several years ago by a friend who worked for the organization. It was amazing to me how they reached out to people living on the streets of DC and actually made a difference in these peoples lives. It is wonderful to see the results of tireless hours spent by staff members and volunteers to help these individuals get their lives back together, and to see the smiles on the faces of those who have been helped by Friendship Place.

Board Member

Rating: 5

As a founding board member who experienced the worst of NIMBYism in upper NW Washington, I have seen CCH/FP grow in respect and become admired by the community at large. Our homeless neighbors who were living in our local parks, playgrounds and bus terminals, deserve the services just where they are, without leaving their comfort level. This has been happening more and more over the years and the business community, which feared and rejected CCH/FP, now realizes what an asset the organization has become.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have been associated with Friendship Place for over 10 years, as a representative of my synagogue. During this time I have worked with numerous employees and volunteers at Friendship Place. This is an organization that truly honors the people it serves. Friendship Place is the nonprofit to which I donate the bulk of my charitable gifts, because I know that they use the funds appropriately, wisely, and with full and devoted respect to their consumers. I have also brought many student groups to learn about homelessness.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I remember when I first joined the board, six years ago. We were barely scraping by, and I dreaded the financial updates at the board meetings because they always seemed so dire. In the past four years, under the able leadership of Jean-Michel Giraud, our executive director, our finances have stabilized, our programs have grown and our staff morale has improved. There is so much more to do--and now we are working hard to develop an employment program for those consumers who are ready for it. It's very staff-intensive, both in terms of finding employers willing to hire our folks, and helping our consumers prepare themselves for employment. I feel confident that we can succeed in this important new area of focus.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I feel privileged to serve on the Board of this highly effective organization. With a hands-on Board, a large and committed group of volunteers and, most importantly, an extremely skilled and dedicated staff, Friendship Place has grown from a small, neighborhood institution to one that now serves the homeless population throughout the city. Yet it has never lost sight of its original mission of providing housing and essential, direct services to some of the most vulnerable residents of D.C.

Board Member

Rating: 5

The most outstanding element of this charity is its remarkably committed, skilled, and effective staff. They contribute so much to peoples' lives. There also is a remarkable amount of involvement, including a good deal of consultation with the professional staff, on the part of board members. This is a "hands on" organization that gets a great deal of leverage from each dollar donated; peoples' lives are directly improved.

Board Member

Rating: 5

The Community Council for the Homeless at Friendship Place provides vital services to persons experiencing the crisis of homelessness in Washington, DC. The organization is centered in Ward 3, but in recent years the organization has expanded to reach out across the city. I am constantly impressed by the dedication, motivation, and expertise of the staff. I cannot imagine a more active and engaged board of directors. I have met many consumers who have been served by Friendship Place and have listened to their incredible stories of how Friendship Place helped them to find shelter; receive medical, psychiatric and addiction services; reconnect with family and rebuild their lives.

David D.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I was introduced to this organization in 2006 and I remain incredibly impressed. Friendship Place is the perfect example of a nonprofit that does everything right: caring and dedicated staff, committed board and volunteers and programs that actually achieve their goals.

Lee Carty

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I go a long way with this organization, having been one of its founding board members. Important to me is its true community base, from the beginning, when a single social worker worked with housed members of the community to reach out to our homeless neighbors, to its present well-staffed operation that serves several hundred consumers every year -- still with the community's active participation. As a mentor to individual consumers, I've had an up-close-and-personal view of how the Community Council for the Homeless at Friendship Place, by combining professional case management with volunteer activity, enables even the most vulnerable people to come off the streets and into housing and rebuild lives once thought to be lost. I believe it merits the financial support of every housed Washington DC resident and its model deserves replication in communities nationwide.

Board Member

Rating: 5

CCHFP is the only service organization in Ward 3 for homeless adults, but its reach is citywide and there are some 200 formerly homeless men and women living in their own apartments in both east and west of Rock Creek Park and in Anacostia, thanks to its work. The compassion and professionalism of the staff, dedication of the Board and the leadership of its Executive Director, Jean-Michel Giraud, combine to make CCFHP an outstanding organization dedicated to provide help, dignity but above all a safe home for homeless neighbors.

Board Member

Rating: 5

Friendship Place is such a well-run organization offering absolutely essential services in this community. Working in its drop-in center, I see first-hand the appreciation people feel when they come in from the heat/cold/rain, have a bite to eat, and get help and encouragement from staff who treat them with dignity and genuine caring. This organization has helped so many with medical and psychiatric services and housing, and it has recently grown substantially—despite the flagging economy—to offer employment services, dramatically increased “housing first” assistance, and a special initiative to help homeless veterans. There are excellent reasons why this has been possible: individuals, foundations, businesses, community organizations, and local government can see that Friendship Place produces results. It is so gratifying to be involved with a group that truly is making major headway in its goal of ending homelessness in the District of Columbia.

Board Member

Rating: 5

The Community Council for the Homeless at Friendship Place, in Washington, D.C., is the finest nonprofit organization I have come across in the past 25 years of serving on nonprofit boards. Since I became a board member two years ago, I have been impressed by the caring, commitment, personableness and professionalism of the staff; the dedication of consumers who have been helped by Friendship Place and who volunteer their talents to continue its work; and the enthusiasm that Friendship Place generates among community donors. Government, donors, and volunteers flock to support the work of Friendship Place. They trust the integrity and ability of its staff. They see that Friendship Place provides results. Most important, the mission of Friendship Place is unmistakable and uncompromising-- not to be a model nonprofit, but to end homelessness.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have been a board member/volunteer for the past 6 years. During that time, I have watched the organization blossom and develop new programs for the homeless while our number of consumers has increased nearly 7-fold. Our donor base and donations have increased despite the economy plus our Executive Director, Jean-Michel Giraud, has been lauded for his vision in ending homelessness. I am very proud to be associated with the exceptional staff and with Community Council for the Homeless at Friendship Place; the only homeless resource center in Ward 3 in Washington, DC.

4

Donor

Rating: 5

I am a former employee and continue to be a donor of Community Council for the Homeless at Friendship Place is an innovative, wonderfully creative professional organization that serves a key function in helping to end homelessness in Washington, DC. In the three years I worked there I met dozens of men and women who were at the end of their ropes and coming to CCHFP they were met with dignity and a lifeline. The compassion that homeless services outreach worker and case managers show men and women on the streets of DC can not be understated. The outreach worker would go out day and night to engage people where they were. After almost a year of working to build trust with one gentleman the outreach worker finally got him to come into the office and eventually got him into shelter and then a group home. I am most taken by their efforts in the Neighbors First Program which is a housing first initiative. The program has grown leaps and bounds receiving accolades from the city and other organizations.