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.
Our VisionAll 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.
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.
Norm Schneider, JD
Kelley Barnaby, JD
Jeanine Boyle, JD, MPH
Matthew Hoffman, JD
Ann Chauvin, LICSW
Maria Paipa Farias
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.
Director of Development and Marketing
Sue Breitkopf is thrilled to be joining Woodley House as its Director of Development and Marketing. Until recently, 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.
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