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Lydia's House in Southeast

A HUD approved Housing Counseling Agency providing Housing/Credit/Debt Counseling Education and related services to low and moderate income households in the DMV.

Lydia's House in Southeast

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Lydia's House was incorporated in the District of Columbia in June 1990 to address the social needs of low income at risk families living in abject poverty.  After a 2 year tenure at a transitional shelter for homeless families and witnessing the staff comb through donations and giving the residents what they didn't want, Lydia's House founders Eugene and Patrice Sheppard made a decision that they could better serve families by providing tangible services regardless of why they were needed or who needed them. Lydia's House has three program areas: Growing Children, Strengthening Families and Changing Neighborhoods.  Since 1990, we have grown from a fledgling start up non-profit with a volunteer staff of 2 and budget of $25,000 to an institutional community resource with an operating budget of over $660,000 in FY19.   

Under our Growing Children platform, Lydia's House safe, structured out of school time activities for children and youth ages 5 to 18 with programs in Washington, DC.  Lydia's House Growing Children program in Washington, DC is a peer to peer mentoring program for ages 12 to 18 with a focus of developing healthy self-esteem, social skills, and educational achievement. Mentoring is a critical component of the development of the next generation. Our mission is to help youth and young adults build self-esteem, develop leadership skills, and value community service. We connect youth with responsible and caring adults to foster this environment.  Concepts include:  building healthy relationships, friendships, preventing bullying, budgeting and educational achievement to include and college prep. Developing a well-educated and well-rounded younger generation can help build a stronger community and future. We also invest in the community through service and special projects.   Lydia's House Strengthening Families platform has established the organization as a full service HUD approved Housing Counseling Agency.  Lydia's House Housing Counselors are HUD and NeighborWorks America Certified to provide Homeownership Counseling, Foreclosure Prevention Counseling, and Financial Management Counseling to include Credit and Debt Management, Home Maintenance, First-time Homebuyer Education, Rental Counseling and act as the underwriter for the District's down payment and Closing Cost Program that provides up to $84,000 in down payment closing costs.       

In response to the Foreclosure Crisis in Prince George's County, MD, Lydia's House established an office in 2013 to exclusively provide Foreclosure Prevention Counseling for households in Foreclosure Hotspots throughout the county.  Lydia's House, Changing Neighborhoods platform acquires brownfield properties and develop them into affordable housing opportunities for low-income residents in the District of Columbia. Most recently, Lydia's House completed a $17 million mixed use project-Trinity Plaza. Trinity Plaza provides 49 affordable rental units for households making between 30 - 60% of the area median income. Trinity Plaza also provides 5,000 square feet of new retail space.  
Plans are underway to develop the Lydia’s House Bellevue Family Success Center  with a launch date in 2020.  This center will provide services to approximately 500 of the 7,700 plus residents living in the Bellevue Neighborhood located in Ward 8.  The Family Success Center will specifically target residents living in rental and housing located at Wingate/Forrester/Elmira (Bellevue) to address:  (1) Increasing homeownership housing types and choices and encourage new mixed-use, mixed-income development; (2) Create new mixed income housing opportunities through infill development of underutilized lots; (3) Support vocational job training, life skills and career development services especially for area youth and at-risk populations to include creating new or expanded existing adult education and basic skills courses; and to link area youth to jobs and mentoring opportunities with Ward 8 non-profit organizations and religious institutions and (4) provide services to allow seniors to age in place.

We will serve as the repository for prevention and intervention services available to the target population and expand partnerships to provide access to health care and other services necessary to promote healthy families.  Lydia’s House Bellevue Family Success Center will employ 5 full time employees (Program Manager, Case Managers, Community Outreach Liaison, and Intake Specialist) and 2 part time employees (Entrepreneurial Trainer and Grants Manager) who will provide educational, mentoring and skills development training designed to improve parenting skills, increase employability, improve financial management skills, coordinate access to health care services, provide homeless and other housing counseling services to reduce housing insecurity in Bellevue.  Lydia’s House Bellevue Family Success Center will also operate a Respite Center creating a calming environment where resident can get a mental health break, meditate and/or participate in Art Therapy to address the impact of trauma, violence, abuse and neglect, pain and addiction.  The Respite Center will be open Monday through Friday from 4:00 pm until 7:00 pm.