- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 15, 2017

The District’s N Street Village charity, which works with social services to transition homeless and low-income women in the capital area to jobs and independent living, raised over $1.5 million at a fundraising gala Tuesday evening — the most successful event in the charity’s history.

Despite a late-season snowstorm, speakers and guests converged on the Marriott Marquis in Northwest for the event, which featured two-time Grammy-nominated artist Andra Day speaking and singing before nearly 1,000 guests.

“My prayer for this song that it is healing and inspiring,” Miss Day said before performing “Rise Up” with the N Street Village and Luther Place Ambassadors of Praise. “I see music in its purest form as healing, and the women at N Street Village are examples of the power of healing.”

N Street Village recently opened a new location, the Patricia Handy Place for Women, and renovated its other facility at the Phillis Wheatly YWCA.

“We are all more alike than we are different,” N Street Village Executive Director Schroeder Stribling told the crowd. “Tonight we are here to make our unity visible and to lift up what connects us. This is our ‘compassion economy,’ and we see this currency at work every day in the halls of N Street Village.”

N Street Board Chairman Peter Shields presented the Founder’s Award to Ruth and Arne Sorenson in recognition of their dedication and commitment to the program. Ms. Sorenson serves as vice-chair of the board, and Mr. Sorenson is president and CEO of Marriott International, Inc.

“Not only are they loyal and lovely friends to all of us at N Street Village, but their leadership and dedication to our mission has been transforming, and I know they do it all straight from their hearts,” Mr. Shields said of the recipients.

“We learn from each other. Each of our lives is full of stories,” Ms. Sorenson said upon receiving her award. “We have been welcomed into the N Street Village community, and it has been an opportunity for us to deepen our story.”

“The need is so fundamental. Second, we are all members of the same community,” Mr. Sorenson then said at the podium. “Any of us could be in exactly the same position as the women who walk into the Village.”

The evening’s final award, The Steinbruck Awards, were presented to N Street Village clients named Catherine, Peggy and Thomure, whose determination has helped them turn their own lives around under the most difficult of circumstances.

“It has been a bittersweet journey, but I wouldn’t be here tonight if it weren’t for N Street Village,” Catherine told the crowd.

N Street Village offer safe and dignified housing for 500 capital-area individuals, and support services for over 2,000 more each year.

For more information visit NStreetVillage.org.

• Eric Althoff can be reached at twt@washingtontimes.com.

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