The District of Columbia Housing Authority is proud to announce two Office of Returning Citizen Affairs awards.

Smart from the Start, a service provider in the Woodland Terrace community, and Bradley Holmes, a neighbor and community builder in the Richardson Dwelling and Clay Terrace neighborhoods, received awards at Friday’s ceremony.

Mayor Muriel Bowser said it is her job to ask the greater community to “not only think about themselves, but the greater good they are contributing to” when supporting ex-offenders as they return to the community.

She said her office plans to create more synergy between job training, housing, and other benefits that use strategic innovations to stop recidivism.

Smart from the Start focuses on community engagement and youth intervention, said Lashonia Etheridge-Bey, the ORCA emcee. “Your work is deserving replication,” she said.

Holmes has “the ability to offer love and support” to returning citizens, Etheridge-Bey said.

He works with Sasha Bruce Youthwork, in addition to being a mentor and guide to certain neighborhood residents.

“It is always inspiring when government and private providers come together to make a difference in a person’s life,” said DCHA Executive Director Adrianne Todman. “DCHA works to provide housing and a stable place for our returning citizens to pull different parts of their life back into place.”

Todman also serves as the chairman of the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council housing committee.

Last modified: 4/13/2015 1:47:40 PM