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  • What is Lydia's House?
    Lydia's House, established June 1990, is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization committed to breaking the cycle of poverty by Growing Children, Strengthing Families, and Changing Neighborhoods. Headquartered in Washington, DC’s far southwest neighborhood known as Bellevue, Lydia’s House provides social services, emotional support and educational resources that address the needs of low-income and at-risk families at every stage of the poverty cycle.
  • How did Lydia's House get started?
    Lydia’s House, founded in 1990, started with two people, a single dream and a sack of potatoes. In 1989, Pastor Eugene and Patrice Sheppard left comfortable jobs in a safe community and moved to Bellevue, in an attempt to make a difference in the lives of Washington, DC’s poorest men, women and children. They began their work by handing out potatoes from the backseat of their car and came up with the idea for Lydia’s House while working at a local homeless shelter. Under their leadership, Lydia’s House has grown to serve thousands of families, providing quality services to individuals when they need it, regardless of why.
  • What is the "Cycle of Poverty?""
    The cycle of poverty is the "set of factors or events by which poverty, once started, is likely to continue unless there is outside intervention". The cycle of poverty has been defined as a phenomenon where poor families become impoverished for at least three generations, i.e. for enough time that the family includes no surviving ancestors who possess and can transmit the intellectual, social, and cultural capital necessary to stay out of or change their impoverished condition. In calculations of expected generation length and ancestor lifespan, the lower median age of parents in these families is offset by the shorter lifespans in many of these groups.
  • What programs does Lydia's House offer?
    Lydia’s House is a full service Housing and Urban Development (HUD) approved faith-based counseling agency and a District of Columbia funded housing counseling agency serving Ward 8. Lydia’s House is making it possible for first time home buyers to purchase property in the Washington metropolitan area. Lydia’s House offers after-school programs for children ages 6-12, technology-based skill development and entrepreneurial training for youth ages 13-21 as well as substance abuse and teen pregnancy prevention programs. In addition they provide adult literacy programs, welfare to work job readiness training, employment referrals and food and clothing provisions..
  • Who administers these programs?
    Lydia’s House relies on a mix of nationally certified staff and trained volunteers to run the many services it provides including housing counseling, mentoring, technology and computer training, adult literacy, faith-based education programs and general wrap-around services.
  • What is Lydia's House's role as a HUD approved counseling agency?
    Lydia’s House provides pre and post-housing counseling to first time homebuyers. Prospective homeowners participate in several training courses over 17 hours including Budgeting and Credit Management, Shopping for a Loan, Shopping for a Home, Ready for Closing and Caring for Your Home After Closing. Additional services include rental counseling to persons displaced from public housing, credit counseling, and foreclosure prevention counseling.
  • How is Lydia's House funded?
    Lydia’s House relies on support from individuals, corporations, federal and District government agencies and churches to achieve its funding goals. As a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, Lydia’s House has internal and external accounting policies in place and adheres to the Financial Standard Accounting Board regulations 116 and 117 governing non-profits. Every year, its books are audited by a certified public account to ensure the financial integrity of the organization.
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