Coalition’s History

History of the Coalition for the Homeless


  • The Coalition was conceived by the Interfaith Conference through its Hunger Task Force.


  • Incorporated as a 501 © (3) non-profit organization. The initial board of directors was Reverend Clark Lobenstine, John Hannay, Mary Sears, and Elizabeth Farrell
  • First offices were at 1419 V Street


  • Became a direct service provider to the homeless and operated 600 bed shelter in S.E. D.C.


  • Developed and implemented smaller transitional houses: Park Road, Webster and Davison


  • Assumed management of Blair, Peirce, and La Casa emergency shelters for men.
  • Incorporated “Continuum of Care” model designed to assist homeless individuals and families by providing shelter, transitional and permanent housing with supportive social services.


  • Spring Road Family Apartments was opened to serve 28 families.


  • Opened its first Single Room Occupancy (SRO) at 2822 Sherman Avenue, NW
  • Headquarters moved headquarters to 1234 Massachusetts Avenue, NW from 2822 and 2824 Sherman Avenue NW
  • Pierce Shelter closed


  • Renovated and reopened Park Road and Davison House
  • La Casa Transitional Rehabilitation Program (TRP) opens


  • Assumed management of the Virginia Williams Family Resource Center
  • Former President Clinton and First Lady Hillary Clinton visited the Blair Shelter and helped serve Thanksgiving dinner


  • Began a special partnership with Temple Sinai Assistant Rehabilitation Program and managed the Sinai House.


  • Blair Shelter was converted to a Transitional Rehabilitation Program (TRP)


  • D.C. Works Employment Project was launched when the Coalition was awarded 1.9 million dollars for a two year grant from the U.S. Department of Labor to provide work first activities to TANF (Temporary Assistance for Need Families) and homeless families


  • The Board of Directors revised the mission of the Coalition to include individuals and families who are vulnerable and at-risk of becoming homeless.
  • Anacostia Road Apartments began to provide permanent rental housing for low income and formerly homeless individual and families.


  • Assumed management of the D.C. Village Shelter. With the addition of D.C. Village, Coalition program sites grew from 12 to 13


  • Valley Place Transitional program site opened


  • The Coalition collaborated with the 14th & U Street Initiative and UDC’s Agricultural Experience Station to establish the Beautification & Maintenance program known as the Green Team.


  • The Coalition participated in the development of Mayor Anthony Williams’ 10-year plan to end homelessness in the District called “Homeless No More.”


  • The Coalition was selected as one of the beneficiaries of Freddie Mac’s Hoops for the Homeless.


  • Emery House was converted from a 150 bed men’s shelter into the first large-scale transitional program for employed men.


  • D.C. Village Family Shelter closed.
  • The Coalition held its first mini-walk at M.V. Leckie Elementary School as part of the Fannie Mae Help the Homeless Walkathon.


  • Michael Ferrell, Executive Director was honored for 20 years of service to the Coalition
  • First Annual Apprenticeship Recruitment Fair was held.
  • During the Community Partnership for the Prevention of Homelessness’ 20th anniversary celebration, the Coalition received an award in recognition of excellence for the use of the Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) for data collecting and reporting. The HMIS is used by most homeless service providers to track client usage of services and other demographic information within the District’s homeless continuum


  • La Casa Transitional Rehabilitation Program moved to 1131 Spring Road, NW
  • La Casa Emergency Shelter closed October 14th for redevelopment of a new facility under the D.C. Government.


  • Celebrated 30th Anniversary at Ronald Reagan Building & International Trade Center


  • November 12, Virginia Williams Family Resource Center moved to a temporary location at 33 N. Street NW. Washington, DC


  • The Coalition updated its vision statement in March during its 5 year Strategic Plan Board of Directors meeting. The changed vision statement is: Rebuilding lives through the
  • elimination of homelessness.
  • Frederic Davison House closed on August 16th
  • First Stepping out for the Homeless dance held Friday, October 25th at St. Francis Hall Washington, DC.


  • 2nd Annual Stepping out for the Homeless Dance


  • 7th Annual Job Fair 4, September 24, 2015
  • 3rd Annul Stepping out for the Homeless Dance on Friday, November 6, 2015



  • Acquired 400 50th Street SE to replace the Spring Road Family Apartments.
  • Combined 35th Anniversary and 4th Annual Stepping out for the Homeless Dance on Friday, October 14th at Ronald Reagan Building & International Trade Center
  • October 1st. The D.C. Department of Human Services (DHS) resumed the day-to-day management of the Virginia Williams Family Resource Center (VWFRC) which had been previously done by the Coalition.
  • October 8th. the Spring Road Family Apartments program located at 1433/1435 Spring Road, NW closed. The Spring Road families were transferred to the Coalition’s recently acquired property located at 400 50th Street, SE.

Coalition for the Homeless, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization registered with the Internal Revenue Service/Department of the Treasury.



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