MONTHLY MATTERS & NEWS
November 2018 Issue
Just 8 Days until Lights. Camera. Auction. Gets Underway Don't Miss Out! Make Your Plans to Attend Today!
Time is running short, but it you can still make plans to join us for a spectacular dinner and fashion show event, “ Lights, Camera, Auction .”

This special evening, set for Thursday , November 15 at the MGM National Harbor’s , includes a sit-down dinner, keynote speakers, and a fashion show featuring area VIPs modeling the latest business attire for both men and women by various designers. In addition. the event also includes a silent auction offering up special merchandise and services, donated by local businesses. Proceeds from this fundraisier event will go towards a brand new program that assists local young men and women to successfully prepare for entry and sustainability in the workforce, along with other FMGW crucial services assisting area families.
 
The Master of Ceremonies for the evening will be Sunni in the City" radio host favorite from WPGC-95.5 FM. Among some of the celebrity models taking to the runway wearing the latest professional business attire during the fashion show, are:
  • Maryland State Delegate Kris Valderrama (D-Prince George’s County), who also serves on FMGW's Board of Directors
  • Chelsey Rodgers, Miss DC USA 2008 and Miss DC International 2010
  • Yodit Gebreyes Endale, award-winning wedding & event planner, and founder of Favored by Yodit Events & Designs
  • C’yana Tavae, Miss Maryland 2018 (2nd place runner-up)
  • Michelle Katz, healthcare executive, published author and PR strategist
  • Thomas L. Johnson, Family Matters' Interim President and CEO

Three keynote speakers will also be part of the program:
  • Jenny Stonemeier, Executive Director of APSE (Association of People Supporting Employment First)
  • Steven A. Reeder, Assistant Director of Clinical Services Division (Adults and Older Adults), Behavioral Health Administration, Maryland Department of Health
  • Catherine Drake, Staff Specialist of Community Rehabilitation Programs, Maryland State Department of Education, Division of Rehabilitation Services
Fatima Lubrino Joins FMGW Staff
Family Matters is happy to welcome Fatima Lubrino to the FMGW family. Fatima is from Zimbabwe, has a bachelor’s degree in Accounting, and has 15 years of experience in the accounting field. She is currently working towards her master’s degree in finance. Fatima has served different organizations and industries, such as biotech, education, architecture, real estate, as well as worked with other non-profits groups. Her goal is to bring all the expertise she has acquired over the past several years to Family Matters. “I am so excited to be one of the newest members of FMGW, and hope to excel to higher levels," she explains. Fatima's motto is "The biggest risk is not taking one." Please join us in welcoming Fatima Lubrino to the FMGW family; we're so happy she's aboard.
To find out the 5 ways you can contribute to the Dresses4 Dreams Program, click below
Save that Dress & Tux for Our 2019 'D4D' Donation Drive
Save and put aside that lovely cocktail dress, New Year’s Eve gown, or that tuxedo you wore during the holiday season, you may wish to donate them to “Dresses4Dreams" or our Suited 4Success” programs! We're gearing up for our next big “D4D” event, our popular “Pop-Up Prom Boutique,” offering area teens prom wear — new or gently-worn gowns, suits and accessories — at no cost!  Set for Friday, March 29 2019 at the FMGW’s DC offices, the event provides Washington-area teens access to beautiful evening attire and services — anything or everything it takes to ensure that prom night is a night to remember. For more information, contact Tanesha Anderson at 202-289-1510 x187.
 
The Many Accomplishments of the "Ways to Work"
In 2011, Family Matters became a servicing provider for "Ways to Work" (WtW), a nonprofit financial empowerment vehicle loan program.
This national program, based from Milwaukee, was launched to help low- to moderate-income families with challenging daily commutes and credit histories to help them combat predatory lending practices. It provides such families the opportunity to access low-interest loans to assist in the purchase or repair of used vehicles — cars gravely needed to improve their quality of life; and in many cases, to obtain and maintain a job and easily meet professional demands while raising children. For many people, a car is their biggest purchase, and a necessity for continuing to work.

Proudly, FMGW managed the largest portfolio with the smallest team our entire territory was operating more than 40 sites in 20 states. FMGW's WtW Program had many accomplishments to be proud of. The program focused on financial education, credit repair guidance and individual coaching that helped families gain a greater understanding of their finances and improve their budgeting skills. FMGW was awarded a generous $165,000 grant from the Freddie Mac Foundation, which was used to expand our Financial Literacy Training from basic monthly budgeting to comprehensive financial planning for many families who were at risk of losing jobs and homes. The goal was to equip these families with the tools needed to improve their credit scores, become more financially stable, and increase their likeliness of paying off their vehicle loans and other debts.

Family Matters' five-year statistical data reveals that 1,879 of our total applicants completed financial literacy training, and from that number more than 582 individuals actually completed the WtW program and received approval for vehicle loans. Remarkably, more than half of them increased their income and improved their employment circumstances, credit scores, and educational attainment. Many of them were allowed the chance to drop from the public welfare system, saving the federal government millions of dollars.

Based on personal stories, most of the FMGW participants were sincerely appreciative of the opportunity presented to them and they agreed that the advantages outweighed the disadvantages. Most all of them thank the WtW Program and FMGW for offering such a much-needed asset to DC and Prince George's County residents facing difficult socio-economic challenges.
FMGW's Ways to Work Program received federal funds through the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Job Access Reverse Commute Program (JARC) of the Federal Transit Administration.  Local support was received from PNC Bank. Private-sector funding was provided by the Walmart Foundation, which enabled the launch of the program in the District. WtW accomplished a great deal during the time we operated the program, and we can look back with satisfaction at its success as it winds down.
A Message from the Family Matters' Interim CEO
THOMAS L. JOHNSON
"A Transition for Bright Futures"
Transition for a business can be frightening, especially in the nonprofit world. It can be frightening for the workers involved; it can be frightening for those that receive needed services; and it can be frightening for those managing the bottom line. Such is the case with Family Matters ending our role with the Bright Futures program at the end of November. The program provided hope, support and education to hundreds of young mothers who are wards of the District of Columbia and their children. The program historically empowered mothers by providing housing through a supervised independent living style that was enhanced with parenting classes and independent living skill education. The program also supported teen mothers in successfully maintaining daycare, healthcare, and vocational training, high school matriculation and employment.
Family Matters' involvement in this program was successful; however, as those who were eligible to participate significantly decreased in number, the DC government has decided to both change eligibility and reduce the number of providers in the program. Therefore, we will no longer to be able to participate.

FMGW, and I personally, wish to sincerely thank all the staff directly assigned to Bright Futures. We're all so incredibly appreciative of the magnificent work you have provided to moms and their children. You made a big difference in the lives of so many young people, which is invaluable. You also made a strong contribution to FMGW, leading one of our most successful programs. We wish each and everyone of you the best. Your contributions will always be remembered, and we cannot forget the valuable contributions those in management have made to ensure the program was successful. And lastly, we wish the absolute best for those teen mothers transitioning on to another provider, as well as those previously in the program.
But with any transition, there also comes a chance for exciting and new opportunities. Over the next 60 days, Family Matters will be making announcements on a number of new fronts in mental and behavioral health, as well as other areas, as to where we plan to go in the future. Stay tuned. But again, to those who worked on the Bright Futures Program and made such valuable contributions.... we thank you!