Patty Smith
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Dear Street Sense supporter,

Almost two years ago, on a cold, windswept and snowy night, I ran into a Patty—a Street Sense vendor—a few blocks from the US Capitol. She was alone and shivering in the cold. A veteran, Patty had been homeless, in and out of shelters, for years. But homelessness was just a small part of Patty’s story. Patty is blessed with a beautiful singing voice. Possessing that talent, she began to engage with our theatre workshop. This involvement brought her into contact with Julie, the social worker we partner with to help our vendors navigate to services like health and mental health care and affordable housing. As a result, this coming spring, Patty will celebrate her two-year anniversary of being housed. There are no more cold winter nights outside for Patty. Again and again, she has charmed audiences with her singing and storytelling talents. She is surrounded by people who love and care for her, people who see her for the talented person she is.

In this city, income, housing, and educational opportunities are distributed quite inequitably. But talent is spread out with graceful equality. Sadly, tonight, many talented entrepreneurs and artists will struggle to find a peaceful night’s sleep because they are living in a loud, overcrowded shelter or worse, outside. At our core, Street Sense exists to provide opportunity for these people. Opportunity to work and earn an income. Opportunity to tell their story. Opportunity to build the kind of connections that form the fabric of community. Opportunity to live a better, more stable and fulfilling life.

Recognizing that those vendors who also published in the newspaper were gleaning greater benefit from their work with us, we strategically expanded our programming in recent years to include other forms of self-expression. Today, artists at Street Sense are creating original theatre, films, photography and graphic design. In doing so, they are transforming their lives and enriching our community with heartfelt story-telling.

All of our work is made possible through the generosity of donors like you. We are deeply grateful for your past support and the trust that it implies. This year-end appeal is the single most important fund raising effort we conduct. A successful campaign would give us the means to invest in new programming—such as expanding our capacity to provide the kind of social work assistance that was so critical to Patty; and building new employment training capacity. We want to do more. We want to see others travel beyond homelessness as Patty did. We can only do this with your help.

Please consider making a generous, tax deductible contribution today. You can do so by clicking on the donate button below or by mailing a check to Street Sense, 1317 G Street, NW Washington, DC 20005. We thank you for your support and wish you the very best this holiday season.

 

Many thanks and best wishes for a wonderful holiday season.

Brian Carome signature

 

Brian Carome
Executive Director