Metro Offices Sponsors Our First Dignity Drive

“Among the most important human needs is the desire for respect and dignity. That need doesn’t change when a person becomes ill or disabled. Indeed, it may grow even stronger.”
                                                                                                    — National Caregivers Library

What’s one of the first things you do when you get up in the morning? Besides eat breakfast, you most likely shower, brush your teeth, shave or wash your face — routine self-care before you head out the door. And you probably don’t think twice about buying toiletries or personal hygiene products.

But what if you had to make a choice between spending your money on medication, food, or toiletries? What if you don’t have any money at all? Soap, clean underwear, toothpaste, feminine hygiene products can mean a world of difference to a person recovering from mental illness, who may also be homeless or otherwise economically disadvantaged. (We estimate that one-third of our clients are homeless or living in community residential facilities.)

We are grateful to Metro Offices for sponsoring our first-ever Dignity Drive on our behalf. At each of their DC and Greater Washington locations, Metro Offices gathered bags and bags of toiletries, hygiene items, underwear, and other everyday necessities, which are being distributed to our clients. We know that with basic needs met*, our clients are better able to focus their energy on recovery, independence, and a better quality of life. (*McClendon Center’s Day Program also distributes two nutritious meals each day to program participants.)

Caitlin Gritt, McClendon Center Board member, who made the introductions between Metro Offices and McClendon Center, commented “We’re advocating on behalf of those we serve — because many of them cannot speak for themselves. I’m so grateful to work in such a supportive office space, surrounded by generous, engaged citizens.”


If you would like to host a Dignity Drive at your office, or as part of a community service project, please contact Elissa Brooks ( or use our Donate Now button to make a financial contribution.

Are you a Nats Fan?

Are you a Nats fan? Then you’re going to want to be at the Art of Transformation event on April 26!

We’re raffling off two INFIELD BOX tickets to a 2018 (regular season) home game! Sports Illustrated predicts that the Nats will win the World Series this year so if you’ve never seen the Nats play, then this is the year to go! (Infield Box tickets donated by the Washington Nationals)

But you can only win if you’re at the Art of Transformation event — buy your ticket today by CLICKING HERE.

Your support of  this event is so important to our clients, especially those who use art as a therapeutic tool. In addition to raising critical funds for our arts therapy and other programs, your ticket purchase, sponsorship, and/or gift will help us cover the costs of our meal program for our Day Program participants.

2018 Art of Transformation: April 26

Every year we strive to find unique venues and transform them into art galleries to showcase our clients’ original artwork and raise awareness about mental illness and our work. This year is no different! We are very grateful to Crowell and Moring for donating their beautiful space at 1001 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW (complete with a deck overlooking Pennsylvania Avenue).

In addition to a wide variety of artistic styles and mediums, guests will enjoy tasty bites; mingling with friends, staff, Board members, and clients; and a chance to win awesome prizes in our popular raffle drawings, including round trip tickets (donated by Jetblue), infield box tickets to a Nats game (donated by the Washington Nationals), and gift certificates donated by local businesses.

Your support of  this event is so important to our clients, especially those who use art as a therapeutic tool. In addition to raising critical funds for our arts therapy and other programs, your ticket purchase, sponsorship, and/or gift will help us cover the costs of our meal program for our Day Program participants.

Please don’t wait until the last minute! CLICK HERE to buy your ticket or sponsorship, help sponsor a client to attend the event, or make your gift today. 

McClendon Center Recognized for Excellence

For the third year in a row, McClendon Center is recognized for its excellence by the DC Department of Behavioral Health. We are one of the two community behavioral health providers to earn a five-star Provider Scorecard* rating, which reflects the hard work and dedication to our clients by our staff and leaders as well as by our clients’ commitment toward recovery.

*The Scorecard evaluates 20+ Community-based mental health providers for quality of services, adherence to Federal and District regulations and policy requirements as well as financial compliance. The sections that comprise the review this year are: Essential Information, Assessment, Crisis & Relapse Planning & Responsiveness, Treatment Planning, Service Provision, Teaming, and Care Management.

DC FY18 Budget and What It Means for Behavioral Healthcare and Public Care

from the DC Behavioral Health Association Newsletter, June 27, 2017  |


DC Council FY 2018 Budget
$2.9 million included in the Health Committee markup to support a rate increase, pending conclusion of the anticipated rate study, was included in the final FY 2018 budget approved by the DC Council. Without these funds, even if the rate study showed favorable results, rates would have been unlikely to increase until the beginning of FY 2019, in October 2019. We hope these funds will make changes easier pending the rate study.


Fair Budget Coalition
As a member of the Fair Budget Coalition, the DC Behavioral Health Association (DCBHA) has closely followed the coalition’s recommendations for the DC FY 2018 budget. Fair Budget Coalition’s analysis of the final budget passed by the DC Council is as follows:

The good: Despite what you’ve been following on twitter, there really are some great things in this budget!

  • $40 million in start-up funding for Paid Family Leave
  • $2 million in transportation subsidies for adult learners
  • The elimination of the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) time limit
  • A mostly funded Neighborhood Engagement Achieves Results (NEAR) Act
  • $19 million for repairs for public housing
  • An increase in the reimbursement rate for Mental Health Rehabilitation Services and Adult Substance Abuse Rehabilitative Services
  • Housing subsidies for 459 chronically homeless singles and 340 families
  • Fully funded Produce Plus, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), and money for a cooperative grocery store in Ward 8
  • A fully funded Fair Criminal Records Screening Act

These are big wins to be celebrated- again — thanks to everyone who worked so hard to make all of this possible. 

The Bad:  We know these housing resources do not come even remotely close to meeting the need for people who are experiencing homelessness or housing instability. For the 2nd year in a row, there are zero vouchers available to move the 40,000 people off of the DC Housing Authority (DCHA) waiting list. There are huge gaps in the Interagency Council on Homelessness (ICH) plan to end homelessness. Limited Project/Sponsor based Local Rent Supplement Program (LRSP) vouchers will make it difficult to build more units for extremely low income people. The Trust Fund is not fully addressing the affordable housing crisis in the city. 

The Alliance program re-certification will still be burdensome, there is still only one air monitoring station around the city, and the Language Access for Education Amendment Act has still not been funded. 

The Ugly:  In a final (and valiant) effort to fund some of these gaps, Council member David Grosso introduced two amendments that would have:

  • Kept the threshold of the estate tax at $2M
  • Limit the business tax cut to businesses that earn $10M or less in profit.