A Look Back: Summer Cultural Experiences at Calvary

As we look back over a dynamic summer here at Calvary, we wanted to share photos from a few of the extracurricular trips we’ve shared with women who live at Calvary. As part of our education program, Elaine Johnson, our education coordinator, has worked to offer a number of off-site trips for women at Calvary to cultural sites in the region.

As Elaine notes, these opportunities are especially important to women at Calvary.

“Our ladies live in one of the most culturally rich cities in the world, but many don’t feel comfortable accessing it. They feel intimidated or out-of-place in these institutions because they’ve either never experienced them, or haven’t visited since they were very young. My goal is to explore these sites with them, so they can continue to feel comfortable exploring them after they’ve moved on from Calvary.”


Elaine has been working to make trips like these available to women at Calvary throughout the year, but we’re particularly excited that this summer we were able to offer trips to some of the further afield sites with help from our partners at Deloitte and Hogan Lovells, who provided transportation for the women.

In July, Hogan Lovells volunteers joined women from Calvary on a visit to George Washington’s Mount Vernon. Hogan generously provided a bus to transport women to the site, without which the trip would not have been possible.

Mount Vernon Statues for blog

Women enjoyed the living history aspect of Mount Vernon and touring the historic home. They were able to draw parallels between the sweeping views at Washington’s house and Frederick Douglass’s house (which they visited earlier this year).

Mount Vernon 7-20-16 049 for blog


Mount Vernon Selfie for blog


Next up was a trip to the Martin Luther King Jr. and Abraham Lincoln Memorials, which are both nearly a mile from the closest public transportation. Deloitte generously furnished the bus transportation for this trip, and volunteers accompanied the women at the memorials.

MLK and Lincoln Memorials 2016 057

MLK and Lincoln Memorials 2016 063

MLK and Lincoln Memorials 2016 059



At the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, each woman had her picture taken next to the quote that resonated most with her.

MLK and Lincoln Memorials 2016 026

MLK and Lincoln Memorials 2016 014

MLK and Lincoln Memorials 2016 008

MLK and Lincoln Memorials 2016 007


This summer, women were also offered a trip to the Renwick Gallery’s popular “Wonder” exhibit. Elaine noted, “The women who went to ‘Wonder’ grasped the beauty and the expansiveness of the exhibit immediately.”


Joan Rainbow

IMG_20160628_143914 (2)

Group Mountains


And just yesterday, women visited the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.

Holocaust Museum


These off-site trips over the past three months are one of the many ways Calvary works to empower women in all aspects of their lives as they are working to overcome homelessness. By sharing these cultural experiences with one another, women grow more comfortable and confident in building their own experiences like these long after they leave Calvary. We also build these activities into the classroom curriculum (by reading a play before attending a performance, or by reflecting on a trip using the memory in a creative writing workshop), harnessing the excitement of the day in a way that also increases many core communication skills.


To support women at Calvary as they work to build stronger futures for themselves and their families, click here.

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