Living Our Values Within Our Communities: A Photo Essay
Each year at Capital Impact Partners, we host an offsite, where all staff comes together to discuss successes and challenges in our work, and strategizes how we can continue to commit to the communities that we serve for greater social impact. This year, we held our offsite in our backyard: Washington, D.C. Being a mission-driven organization, we also sought to live out our values and be “of” our Washington, D.C. communities by getting out from behind our desks and serving those who need the most support.
Gentrification and greater income disparity are just some of the barriers to success that impact low-income, underserved communities across the District. Healthy food access is certainly one of them. Healthy food is vital, promoting our overall health, making it possible to be productive at work and in school, and benefitting healthy and dignified aging in community. Without healthy food access, individuals cannot thrive. According to Capital Area Food Bank, 700,000 residents in the Washington Metro area are at risk of hunger; comprising 16 percent of the region. Compounded on top of hunger are companion issues like heart disease, undernutrition, and obesity.
This year, we volunteered at Capital Area Food Bank, a nonprofit helping residents in our nation’s capital access healthy food. Each year, they provide 540,000 meals to individuals who may otherwise go without. Capital Area Food Bank’s work to support the health of District residents through healthy food directly aligns with our mission, and we were honored to serve with them.
In addition to volunteering with Capital Area Food Bank , we visited investments that we are making in disinvested District neighborhoods. Terrace Manor is a well-known case in Washington, D.C. The 2.2 acre, 61-unit affordable housing property in DC’s Ward 8 was allowed to fall into disrepair by its previous owner, leaving many low-income families in unlivable conditions including extensive mold and physical safety issues within buildings. It sits within the Congress Heights neighborhood, which is isolated from downtown D.C. and has historically been disinvested, with high poverty rates. Capital Impact and partners are enabling the redevelopment of the property, which will create more than 168 units of housing for low-income residents living below 50 percent of the Area Median Income. Additionally, we are proud to have been selected as fund manager for the District’s Affordable Housing Preservation Fund, enabling us to expand our investments in affordable housing across the city.
We also visited the new headquarters of Martha’s Table. Located in the Fort Stanton/Hillsdale area at The Commons at Stanton Square, Martha’s Table works to address poverty by increasing access to quality education programs, healthy food, clothing, and family supports through a variety of innovative methods. Originally located in downtown Washington, D.C., the organization relocated its headquarters to one of Washington, D.C.’s lowest-income, highly marginalized areas based on community needs. The organization thinks broader than food in reimagining what is necessary to support communities. Its “Strong by 8” strategy focuses holistically on early childhood development, the type of innovation needed to address systemic inequities holding back too many of our communities.
Through our support of The Commons – which is also occupied by Community of Hope and an affordable housing complex – Terrace Manor, and other investments across the city, we are committing to empower our communities to break the barriers that hold them back from opportunity and success. Look through our photo essay, which gives a glimpse into our day.
Interested in knowing more about our day getting out into our Washington, D.C. communities? Watch this video to share in our journey.