(Photo: men and women gathered together smiling in front of house, with a large purple ribbon that has just been cut.)
There are over 1,200 youth in Washington, D.C. currently experiencing homelessness. At Sasha Bruce, our mission is to help young people find safe homes, achieve and maintain good physical and mental health, create and strengthen supportive and stable families, and explore opportunities in education and careers. We brought that to life this June 2022 at the newly opened Thrive House, a life changing opportunity for young people in D.C., ages 18-24, providing transitional and rapid rehousing, along with dedicated staff resources for mental health and employment.
This act of love took place over three assembly day volunteer events from February through April 2022. Each volunteer shift was five hours, but many volunteers found themselves wanting to continue working longer to complete various tasks. We had 20-25 people at each event, and several people came to all three events.
This work would not have been possible without the generosity of the CoStar Group. In addition to CoStar’s generous gift to cover the furniture cost, staff members also attended all three assembly day events, allowing us to open Thrive House more quickly. We are also grateful for the support from other local partners like Amazon, MGM, and Grace Covenant Church Capitol Hill, led by Stephen Law, for supporting this vision.
We had many generous donors from the community as part of this effort as well. Beth Dunkelberger, of The Potomac School, lent her design eye to arrange artwork around the house and contributed art pieces for the kitchen. Tuesday Winslow, a local artist, donated five art pieces made of beautiful mirrors with paper mache frames. Select pieces were made by youth in our programs, depicting their feelings of hope and aspirations.
Volunteers did anything and everything to get Thrive House set up. This included putting together multiple pieces of furniture including beds, tables, chairs, stools, and desks. Those desks were brutal to assemble, and the team didn’t give up… except twice after four hours of attempting to assemble defective desks. They also hung artwork and made a comfortable space for clients by making beds and adding various personal touches.
You could feel the excitement during the June 7, 2022 ribbon cutting ceremony, marking the grand opening of Thrive House. Deborah Shore, Sasha Bruce Executive Director, kicked off an exciting program where two members of the Sasha Bruce Youth Advisory Council – The CURB shared their experience as thriving young adults today. Their speeches stressed the importance of housing stability to foster motivated and successful youth. Past volunteers were invited to join us to celebrate their hard work. And to remind us that the success of young people is a community effort. Many board members made time to attend as well to honor the hope this new building signifies.
On behalf of our staff and clients, we would like to extend a warm thank you to our partners and volunteers for believing in our youth and providing them a safe home.
Today, Sasha Bruce Youthwork is one of the largest and most experienced providers of services to youth in Washington, DC for more than 45 years. Sasha Bruce helps young people find safe homes, achieve and maintain good physical and mental health, create and strengthen supportive and stable families, and explore opportunities in education and careers.
To learn more about how you can support our residential programs or for group volunteer opportunities, email Jasmine Thakurdas at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (240) 909-1272.