Who We Are
Woodley House provides personalized mental health supportive services and housing for Washington, DC residents. Founded in 1958, Woodley House has enabled tens of thousands of people to access mental health care and to live independently in our communities. With a team of community providers and professionals who ensure our residents receive the right services at the right time, Woodley House operates 32 homes for more than 300 residents per year across 4 Wards.
Woodley House enables Washington, DC residents with mental health disorders to live full and healthy lives with dignity by providing supportive housing and services.
All Washington, DC residents with mental health disorders have a dignified place to live, services needed to thrive, and respect and inclusion in the community—and are part of a world where mental health is viewed as health.
While working as an occupational therapist at St. Elizabeth’s Psychiatric Hospital in the 1950s, Woodley House founder Joan Doniger recognized that not all patients benefited from hospitalization, and as a result, often made returning to their communities more challenging.
Understanding that hospitalization often resulted in worse outcomes for patients with treatable mental health issues, Joan envisioned an alternative: therapeutic housing in a neighborhood setting with a community-minded environment. Her carefully researched framework provided a place where residents could learn to live with their illness, set personal goals, and work toward recovery.
With seed funding from the Eugene and Agnes Meyer Foundation, Joan established the very first mental health halfway house in the District in 1958, creating a middle ground between hospitalization and independent living. Originally known as the Potomac Residence Club, Woodley House first opened its doors to eleven residents. After a successful beginning, Woodley House received a grant from the National Institute of Mental Health in 1961 and was able to expand its staff and services. Since then, it has become a constant innovator in the mental health space.
Having seen her dream come to fruition, Joan passed away in 1972. Today, Woodley House lives on as a legacy to her pioneering and compassionate spirit.
To achieve our vision, our core values guide how we interact with each other and our community, empowering our residents to achieve their goals and greater independence. These attributes exemplify the convictions of all those who represent Woodley House and were compiled by staff, residents, and board members.
We believe that providing Washington, DC residents with mental health support services and safe housing depends on the involvement of the people and partners in our community. We respect the needs of our residents and seek to build relationships based on dignity, trust, and equity.
- Treat our residents, staff, neighbors, and partners with dignity.
- Demonstrate respect by providing safe and comfortable homes to our residents.
We recognize that being trusted to provide mental health support services requires an understanding of people with diverse backgrounds, experiences, and needs.
- Recruit and develop our staff to demonstrate empathy in their interactions with each other and with our residents.
- Collaborate with our residents to deliver services and support based on immediate and longer-term needs and goals.
- Create a daily environment that encourages interactions driven by caring and kindness.
We believe that our residents have the power to achieve their goals and work toward greater independence. Staff and residents build relationships based on trust, giving space for our residents to find their own strengths throughout their recovery.
- Provide the tools and information for our residents to develop goals and plans for achievement.
- Celebrate our residents’ efforts in reaching their goals.
We seek to implement services and offer housing for residents who have often faced inequities in education, healthcare, and opportunity throughout their lives. We believe in creativity and innovative solutions for creating more access to mental health support services and safe housing.
- Share what we have learned to benefit adults with mental health disorders nationwide.
Annual Report for 2021
Letter from Ann Chauvin
In 2022, Woodley House is poised to grow exponentially, doubling the number of people we serve by 2030. With nearly 1,700 adults with mental health disorders currently unhoused in the District, we can no longer stand on the sidelines and watch our neighbors suffer.
Woodley House has the skills and tools to help address the longstanding structural racism and disparities inherent in both the city’s housing market and the availability of mental health services. Woodley House has helped close to 20,000 men and women over the past 63 years, providing a welcoming home and therapeutic, family-like environment in which people can work toward recovery and greater independence. That core of our mission is what we will never cease doing.
We are so grateful for your support and your participation in this community.
Become a Volunteer
Woodley House offers fun and fulfilling volunteer opportunities throughout the year.
Meet our Amazing Team
Board of Trustees
President, Board of Directors
Jeremiah is the Principal of D | WATTS Construction, where he is responsible for providing project and executive oversight managing projects from design development through construction occupancy. Prior to founding D | WATTS, Jeremiah worked with HITT Contracting for more than a decade, overseeing large teams and an award-winning portfolio. He holds a BS in Public and Private Sector Organizations from Brown University.
Diane is enjoying retirement after serving as Assistant Vice President in the Strategy and Innovation Division at SourceAmerica. Prior to joining SourceAmerica Diane worked at Northrop Grumman for 32 years, where she served as VP, Chief Information Officer, and Deputy GM of the Global Information Technology Division, before retiring in 2009. Active in her church and community, Diane has received several awards recognizing her professional achievements and community service, including Computerworld’s Premier 100 Technology Leader and National Women of Color Technology Leadership awards. Diane received a Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics from Spelman College and a Master’s degree in Operations Research from Cornell University.
Isabel most recently served as Vice President and Corporate Officer for Goodyear. She headed government relations for Goodyear’s Washington, D.C. office since 1995 and served as the company’s senior lobbyist. Prior to Goodyear, Isabel set up and ran the office of Business Liaison at the U.S. Department of Commerce. Having started her career as director of local issues for Gov. Jimmy Carter’s 1976 presidential campaign, she has more than 25 years of government relations and Capitol Hill experience. Isabel holds a BA in political science from Barnard College and a Master’s from Columbia University.
Norm Schneider, JD
Norm is a partner at the Kamerow Law Firm. He has been on the Board of Woodley House since 1994, serving as President, Vice-President, Treasurer, and as an At-Large member of the Executive Committee. Norm first became acquainted with Woodley House when his father, psychiatrist Irv Schneider, referred the first patient to the nascent Woodley House in 1959. Norm fondly remembers picking cherries from high up in founder Joan Doniger’s backyard for the luscious cherry pies she used to make for Woodley House events. Trained as an historian and then as a lawyer, he’s one of the few people who can truly say that he has worked with all Executive Directors of Woodley House–Joan Doniger, Edee Maeda, Debra Young, Gary Frye, and now Ann Chauvin–and he has brought both skills to the organization. He was President of the Board when the movie benefit was inaugurated with the premier of “Titanic,” a reception at the Vice President’s house, and the screening at the Uptown Theater.
Kelley Barnaby, JD
Jeanine Boyle, JD, MPH
Matthew Hoffman, JD
Ann Chauvin, LICSW
Ann Chauvin joined Woodley House at the end of October, 2018 as Executive Director … or really, re-joined … as her first behavioral health job in the District was as a crisis counselor at Crossing Place in 1991. Ann has worked in the field of behavioral health since 1987 for non-profit organizations in New York, Maryland, and DC. Prior to her return to Woodley House, she served as as Chief Clinical Officer at SOME, Inc for 17 years where she started their Jordan House program modeled after our Crossing Place. Ann earned her Master of Social Work, Social Administration concentration and a specialization in Mental Health and has her independent clinical license in DC.
Maria Paipa Farias
Maria Paipa Farias joined Woodley House in 2004, overseeing our clinical work, all programs and now Supported Independent Living and Compliance. She received her MA in Clinical Psychology and completed her residency in clinical psychology in Buenos Aires, Argentina before moving to Los Angeles, California to continue her career. She provided individual and group therapy while with Excelsior House, the Didi Hirsch Mental Health Center and Step Up on Second in Santa Monica, California. Moving east to New York City, Maria worked with a diverse population with the Metropolitan Center for Mental Health, among others.
Chief Financial Officer
Tyrone Cartwright joined Woodley House in 2000 as Director of Finance & Administration. In 2009, he moved to the Transitional Housing Corporation. In 2015, Mr. Cartwright returned to Woodley House as Finance Director. He is past president of the DC Behavioral Health Association, a coalition of 26 community-based mental health agencies in the District. Prior to Woodley House, he served as the President/CEO of Public Health Service FCU. A native of Newark, NJ, he graduated from Elizabeth City State University with a BS in Business Administration.
Sue Breitkopf serves as Chief Development Officer. Previously, she was Director of Development for George Washington University’s Corcoran School of the Arts and Design. Prior to GW, she worked as Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations at the National Building Museum and for over ten years in communications, marketing, and development roles at the American Alliance of Museums. She spent the earliest part of her career as a journalist, covering a broad range of topics from the arts to footwear to food for such publications as the Washington Post, Fairchild Publications, Washingtonian and Urban Land.
Chief Operating Officer
Kecia Tinubu serves as Woodley House’s first Chief Operating Officer. The former Director of Operations for several Adventist Healthcare clinics in Maryland, Kecia has strengths in strategic planning, business operations, team leadership, and coaching and motivating teams toward optimal performance.
Betty Johnson has worked nearly everywhere at Woodley House. Joining Woodley House in 2007, she has managed Holly House, Valenti House and Crossing Place. Now as Senior Director of Programs, she supervises all of our 24-hour residential programs. Prior to coming to Woodley House, Betty worked for 15 years at the Devereux Foundation as lead staff and then supervisor.
Virginia “Ginger” Cabrera, LICSW
Ginger Tagliarino is an experienced clinical supervisor with a demonstrated history of working in the mental health care industry. She is skilled in volunteer management, nonprofit organizations, crisis intervention, group therapy, and psychotherapy. She received her MSW from The Catholic University of America with a focus on Clinical Social Work.
2021 by the Numbers
of residents remained stably housed 300 serviced through our residential programs and Food Pantry
of our residents were previously homeless
of our Food Pantry customers are DC neighbors in need
food orders delivered through our Food Pantry
Catch up with Our Publications
See all of Woodley House’s news from the last few years.