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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Children & Youth, Children & Youth Services, Homeless & Housing, Personal Social Services, Temporary Housing

Mission: Our mission is "Growing Children, Strengthening Families and Changing Neighborhoods" to ensure that low income at risk families receive quality services, when they need them, regardless of why, from caring people. Lydia''s House, established in 1990 by Eugene and Patrice Sheppard, takes a holistic approach to family development and provides multi-faceted services to end the cycle of poverty. Over the past 16 years, Lydia''s House has grown to provide youth intervention services, including a homework center for children ages 6-12, tutoring, and mentoring for youth ages 13-17, teen parenting/ pregnancy prevention. Lydia''s House adult intervention services include adult literacy , entrepreneurial development, computer training, substance abuse prevention counseling and housing for seniors.Their work with families living in far southwest and southeast neighborhoods of Anacostia, Bellevue, Congress Heights and Washington Highland began in 1989 at a shelter for homeless families. Under their leadership, Lydia''s House has served hundreds of families, often paying rent to prevent eviction, providing food and paying utility bills. Lydia''s House provides fist time homebuyer training and works with lenders, real estate brokers and other industry partners to promote home ownership.

Programs: Lydia's House major operating programs include Housing Counseling Services that provide very low, low and moderate income families professional support to achieve homeownership, prevent foreclosure and eviction in the case of renters; and increase the number of families using banking services. We conduct weekly workshops for first time homebuyers, and financial literacy workshops.Lydia's House provides affordable rental units to senior citizens.Out of School programs for children ages 6-12; entrepreneurial and job training for youth ages 13-21; adult career development and literacy; and housing counseling services.Youth Zone, an after school enrichment program for children ages 6-12. The overreaching goals of the the Youth Zone are to: improve grades in reading and mathematics, reduce youth on youth violence, and increase school and community interaction. The program objectives are to provide a safe, fun structured environment during critical after school hours, provide direct support to allow children to complete daily homework assignments, ensure that each child knows the 44 sounds necessary to read english, ensure that each child learns addition, subtraction, multiplication facts, and improve garages. Promote environmental stewardship through a series of indoor and outdoor hands on projects, Youth Zone is open from 3:00-7:00 pm Monday through Friday. Children participate in peer mediation, conflict resolution training as well as self-esteem building to gain skills necessary to avoid violence. During the summer, Lydia's House operates "Kids Kamp" and provides a seven week summer enrichment program for 200 children ages.Tech Zone provides a technology based entrepreneurial training for youth ages 13-21 as well as personal development and career options that lead to work and/or self-employment. The program objectives include: provide low income at risk students and adults access to technology and business incubator support, increase employability of students and adults, assist program participant's to meet school to career and welfare to work competence and provide youth and adults with the skill training necessary to get jobs.Housing Counseling Services provide very low, low and moderate income families professional support to achieve homeownership, prevent foreclosure and eviction in the case of renters, and increase the number of families using banking services.Lydia's House provides affordable rental units to senior citizens.

Community Stories

4 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1 Donna78

Board Member

Rating: 5

I Have watched Lydia's House grow from a tiny non-profit serving the most vulnerable population, children many of whom were living in unstable homes. Today, Lydia's House is the only Housing and Urban Development (HUD) approved faith-based counseling agency in Ward 8, Lydia’s House is making it possible for first time home buyers to purchase property in the Washington metropolitan area. As a District funded full-service housing counseling agency, Lydia’s House provides homeless and homeowner counseling, foreclosure prevention and financial literacy. Today, Lydia's House has expanded its work to work with individuals and families who are struggling with foreclosure issues, helping them to navigate the road to successfully remain secure in homeownership

Previous Stories

Board Member

Rating: 5

Lydia's House is a United Way Organization and a Combined Federal Campaign charity that provides critical support to individuals to increase opportunities for secure housing, access to services and education to increase their financial management skills. The staff works with clients in an caring fashion. It is an honor to serve Lydia's House. I am humbled by their caring, resourcefulness and efficiency.

Board Member

Rating: 5

One of the single most memorable facts I heard repeatedly while working to help revise the Lydia's House 2012-2015 Strategic Plan was the obvious sentiment of the staff who not only are caring people but they genuinely care about the clients who come to Lydia's House. While their focus is to serve low-income residents, each client regardless of the reason for their circumstance, are made to feel as if they are their only client. A staff of three full-time counselors, it is quite an accomplishment to see staff execute this personal and individualized attention for over 1,000 clients served annually.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have personally seen the families achieve homeownership and independent living thru the work of Lydia's House. And for more than one family! It is such a joy to see these individuals achieve a goal that most of them never thought possible. Thank you Lydia's House for all you have done!