Adolescent After-School Program
This program is part of the comprehensive health, education, and support services we provide for young adults between the ages of 13 and 21. Through a youth-driven model, we promote primary health care, support abstinence choices, and offer family planning and pregnancy prevention services, HIV/STD testing, health education, counseling, case management, referrals, academic support, and college preparation. Mary’s Center works to help adolescents make responsible decisions and realize their full potential in partnership with their families.
Early Intervention Program
The Early Intervention Program provides education, service coordination, advocacy, psychosocial support, home visits, and translation/interpretation services for parents of children up to three years old with disabilities or developmental delays and who are eligible for the D.C. Infants and Toddlers with Disabilities Program. We help all families enroll their children in daycare, preschool, or public school programs. Mary’s Center hosts weekly playgroups for all parents and their children in the community, with a special emphasis on children ages 0 to 5 years who are at risk of developmental delays. The program also facilitates a support group called Somos Unidos for Spanish-speaking parents of children with disabilities.
Entitlement Benefits Assistance (Bilingual Health Access Program)
Mary’s Center’s Bilingual Health Access Program (BHAP) works in partnership with the city’s Office of Public Benefits to help families apply for disability benefits, Medicaid, food stamps, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), and the District of Columbia’s Children Health Insurance Program. Our staff gathers and translates all necessary documents for enrollment and helps families complete their applications in a timely manner. Outreach workers spend numerous hours in community settings educating the public about the advantages and the process of enrolling in public benefit programs.
The BHAP staff speaks Amharic, English, and Spanish.
Family Support Programs
Mary’s Center’s bilingual family support team addresses social and emotional needs of participants and seeks to help them and their families strive for self-sufficiency. We help families to access available services such as housing and food programs, education, financial assistance, employment, and legal and mental health services. Additionally, the staff ensures continuity of care by serving as liaison between physicians, mental health professionals, and other community service agencies.
Mary’s Center recognizes that fathers and mothers parent differently. For this reason, we created the Father-Child Program, which is designed to help men develop the attitude, knowledge, and skills to become involved in and connected to their children’s lives. Father-Child has three main components: home visits, sports activities and monthly fatherhood outings. During home visits, fathers receive social support services, training, and advocacy services. Sports activities are designed to promote healthy habits and behaviors among fathers, while providing them with an outlet from the stress of their daily routine. Monthly fatherhood outings are activities designed for the whole family that promote recreation, quality time, and family bonding.
Home Visiting Program
Mary’s Center’s home visiting program, also known as Healthy Start Healthy Families (HSHF), provides intensive, long-term home visitation services to pregnant and post-partum women and their families. An interdisciplinary team of outreach workers, assessment workers, family support workers, a registered nurse, an in-home mental health provider, and education specialists ensures that participants receive quality, comprehensive medical care and support services along with education and advocacy services. HSHF serves D.C. residents until the child reaches five years old. HSHF combines the Healthy Families America home visiting model--a national movement to prevent child abuse and neglect—and the federal Healthy Start program, an initiative to reduce infant mortality. HSHF’s mission is to partner with families to ensure that their children are healthy, safe, and ready to learn.
Resources and Referrals
Mary’s Center links participants with community resources and advocates for them. When necessary, we find the assistance needed in their native language so that participants can become more independent. These referrals include housing and food programs, education, financial assistance, employment, and legal services. Also, trained staff facilitates participants’ visits to outside specialists by helping with their appointments and requesting interpreters.
Located at 3531 Georgia Avenue NW in Washington, DC, the Wellness Center features a gamut of health and social services tailored to DC residents 60+. The brand new facility has a state-of-the-art gym and group exercise studio, teaching kitchen, reading room, computer lab, and rooftop patio. All services at the Center are free of charge for DC residents 60+.
The fitness program includes daily studio classes, including yoga, tai chi, zumba, circuit training, and aerobics in addition to one-on-one fitness counseling and support groups. One-on-one nutrition counseling is also available in addition to nutrition education classes and cooking demonstrations. Other activities available at the Center include card and board game sessions, Bible studies, quilting groups, and outings to the theater, farmers market, and more.
The staff at the Bernice Fonteneau Senior Wellness Center genuinely cares about the seniors they serve and are available to link seniors with other health and social services as needed in addition to planning a packed schedule of fun and educational activities.