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October 31, 2014 / Ciara Myers, Editor

Friday roundup – Oct. 27 through Oct. 31, 2014

Healthcare Alliance programs designed to help low-income immigrants in D.C. gain access to services often have rigid eligibility procedures that can keep people from utilizing the program. The D.C. Fiscal Policy Institute sheds light on some of the barriers to getting healthcare for immigrant residents, and offers suggestions for how to improve access to the program. (DCFPI, 10/30)

The District adopted a stringent requirement in 2011 that all Alliance participants recertify their eligibility every six months through an in-person interview at a service center. Since then, enrollment has dropped sharply, and new data from the Department of Health Care Finance suggest that the six-month interview requirement created a barrier to getting services.

This is not surprising. Workers with limited access to child care and full-time work find it difficult to complete the frequent interview requirement. Beyond that, many families are forced to make multiple trips because of a lack of language assistance, long lines, and delays in staff processing information.

The Community Foundation for the National Capital Region has announced $2.3 million in grants to 28 D.C.-based nonprofit organizations on behalf of the City Fund.  Awardee organizations will receive grants for up to $100,000 to strengthen their organizational capacity with the ultimate goal of improving the lives of District residents. Awards are one-time capacity building grants that can be implemented over a three-year period. Find out more here.

We are proud to administer the City Fund and help provide resources to these important organizations that are working to improve the lives of DC residents,” said Angela Jones Hackley, Interim President of The Community Foundation for the National Capital Region. “Helping these organizations build capacity and grow stronger allows them to more effectively serve the community. There is a great need in this city and the City Fund is helping to fill it.

Staff from WRAG member organizations were also in the spotlight this week! Silvana Staw, Senior Program Officer at the Community Foundation for the National Capital Region revealed a hidden passion of hers in The Washington Post – spoken word poetry! (WaPo, 10/29) Brian Castrucci, Chief Program and Strategy Officer at the de Beaumont Foundation provided insight into the often overburdened public health system that tends to be overshadowed by fears over epidemics. (HuffPo, 10/27)

The D.C. Council passed a bill this week that will require future development projects on city-owned land to make 30 percent of all units affordable housing if they are located close to transit systems, and 20 percent if they are not. Housing advocates wonder if the new measure will create additional affordable housing in the city, and where it will be. (WCP, 10/28) Outside of the District a community of mixed-income housing and market-rate townhomes is planned for the former site of the troubled low-income housing complex, Glenarden Apartments, in Landover, Maryland. (WaPo, 10/28)

Focus was placed on the “disconnected youth” of D.C., whose economic hardships can often go overlooked, despite the urgent need to keep them engaged in society. (WaPo, 10/27)

If you plan to give out candy this Halloween, don’t overlook the importance of giving out the right stuff. Here’s a guide to making sure your house doesn’t get egged this weekend!

– Ciara


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