Passport to Success
Community Family Life Services (CFLS) provides emergency food and clothing to homeless and low-income families and individuals, as well as women returning home from a period of incarceration. Our Drop-in Center serves clients in our programs with immediate and unexpected needs and caters to those with short term needs who may not need ongoing case management.Reentry women (released from jail or prison within the past 6 months) are particularly encouraged to “drop in” to receive an HIV test, access hygiene items, use our clothing closet, and get connected with our broader services.
We are working with our partners, D.C. Department of Corrections (DOC) READY Center (Resources to Empower and Develop You), Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency (CSOSA), DC Reentry Action Network, Fairview Halfway House, Federal Bureau of Prisons, House of Ruth, Jubilee Housing, and Thrive DC to provide women returning home from DOC or BOP a Starter Kit containing the essential tools needed to thrive. The most critical time of a woman’s reentry are the days immediately following her release.
The Starter Kit includes items such as funding for a laptop computer, tablet, or kindle, prepaid mobile telephone, transportation stipend, hygiene items, Personal Protective Equipment (mask, gloves, hand sanitizer, etc.), business attire, and informational flyers, among other items. On average, there are approximately a total of 100 women housed at DOC and Fairview Halfway House. In conjunction with our partners, CFLS will ensure each Starter Kit is appropriately customized to address each woman’s specific needs. It is important to highlight that the Starter Kits will equip clients with the necessary technology to participate in ongoing virtual programming.
CFLS’s goal is to create a reliable supportive community that clients can turn to in their moments of need. The Starter Kit initiative is an invaluable complement to our existing reentry programming. To
support this initiative, please visit cflsdc.org/donate.
Food, Clothing & Hygiene Items
Food Bag Distribution: Every Tuesday from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm and at other times with a referral notice.
Clothing & Toiletries Distribution: Open to women every Thursday and Friday 10:00 am to 12:00 pm; Open and to men on Fridays from 10:00am to 12:00pm. Clients can also receive clothing Monday through Friday through referral or appointment.
CFLS also participates in the Senior Grocery Plus Program, which provides healthy groceries monthly to seniors ages 60 and over who live in the District of Columbia and meet eligibility criteria.
Walk-in Assistance: Our Drop-In Center conducts intakes and refers clients to programs based on their identified needs. Based on availability and eligibility, we also offer transportation assistance. Our waiting area offers refreshments (coffee, snacks, water) Tuesday through Friday from 10:00 am – 12:00 pm.
ID & Birth Certificate Vouchers: Our Drop-In Center provides vouchers for clients to redeem non-driver identification and birth certificates in the District of Columbia.
Please note that we provide these based on availability, so it is important to call ahead of time to ensure you are eligible and we have vouchers available.
Computer Lab: We have ten computers available for community use every weekday from 10am – 4pm. Community members are encouraged to use the computer lab for learning activities, job applications, housing searches, benefits applications, or other business. Staff are available to assist with printing needs.
Diaper Program: In early 2016, Community Family Life Services (CFLS) partnered with the DC Diaper Bank. Through this unique collaboration, CFLS is able to provide an abundance of much-needed diapers to families in the Washington, DC metropolitan area.
We provide diapers to CFLS clients who are single parents, low income, or affected by domestic violence and/or the justice system.
The cost of diapers puts an enormous financial strain on struggling families, and in many cases, families are forced to choose between diapers and basic necessities.
The Drop-In Center hosts several special drives throughout the year to address specific needs, including our annual book collection and Book Bash, Community Reboot technology drive for back to school, Thanksgiving baskets, and Holiday toy giveaway.
Annual Book Bash: For the past three years, we have hosted BOOK BASH, a celebration of reading where we give away hundreds of free books to our community, bring in a DJ and authors to entertain the children, and engage families in educational activities. BOOK BASH is all about getting families excited about reading!
In 2020, due to COVID-19, we moved our 3rd Annual Book Bash to a virtual event. We mailed out packages of books, games, and crafts to our clients, and we hosted a series of virtual performances that anyone could tune into. We know that our families are working hard to keep their children educationally engaged during this pandemic.
Annual Thanksgiving Baskets: During the Thanksgiving holiday, each family is given a bountiful food basket with all the necessary items for a traditional Thanksgiving meal. Every year, we request our community partners to help the families we work with by donating a box or basket of traditional Thanksgiving fixings.
With generous donations from various partners, last year in 2020, 149 people received Thanksgiving baskets and were able to share a gratifying meal with their loved ones on this special holiday.
Annual Holiday Toy Drive: During the 2019 winter holidays, CFLS organized a toy drive for the families in the community. Parents were given the opportunity to pick out gifts for their children. Through generous donations from companies and individual donors, we were able to provide Christmas presents for 82 families.
During the past winter holidays, we organize our annual Adopt-a-Family program where families and individuals in our housing, mentoring and case-management programs are paired with individuals and/or organizations throughout the community
For additional information about our Drop-in Center, annual holiday drives, applications to participate in the Senior Grocery Plus Program, or to make an in-kind contribution to support our emergency services, contact Alexma Alvarado at 202-864-6295 or Aalvarado@cflsdc.org.