Check out last year’s winners of UPO’s annual Vote Your Block challenge!

Voting for this year’s challenge is open now.

Call 202-231-7924 to vote for your block!

Volunteer Opportunities

If you are interested in volunteering, participating in a service day or event, or working with UPO or one of our community-based partners, please or see the following for more information:

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Washington Highlands

Lifting the community to a higher place

The Washington Highlands neighborhood of Southeast DC lies within the District’s Ward 8 — home to the third smallest number of residents in the city yet plagued by the highest concentration of poverty and unemployment and a significantly high rate of crime.
Since 2014, we have provided Washington Highlands residents a wide range of services designed to help them gain employment, confidence, and financial well-being, including job training/placement and wraparound case management.
Our work began through a partnership with residents of the Atlantic Terrace and Atlantic Garden communities of Washington Highlands, with the opening of an early childhood education center and recruitment for participation in a variety of UPO training programs.
In 2016, we held focus group discussions with single parents in the neighborhood aged 17–30, which revealed a desire for increased assistance and resources in such areas as physical and mental health, child-rearing, and employment. We now work with community partners and Washington Highlands residents to actively develop programs and services that address these needs and help build a safer, stronger community.

Project highlights

To address concerns of domestic violence, we have held several events and workshops focused on education, awareness, empowerment, self-defense, and community support with such partners as the DC Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Domestic Violence Wears Many Tags, Healing Broken Wings, Momma’s Safe Haven, Reconnecting Our Communities, and WinnResidential.
Our neighborhood beautification project brought together nearly 100 community volunteers and area residents to clean yards, plant flowers, and paint fences for the winners of UPO’s “Vote Your Block” challenge, which raised more than $3,000 in donated materials!

Poverty Forums

Talking is the first step to doing

UPO’s annual poverty forums shine a light on a subject that needs to be at the forefront of our national conversation — promoting dialogue, discussion, and debate about the complex issues surrounding America’s poverty epidemic and the lives of those in need of our time, attention, and care.
Since 2012, UPO’s Facing Poverty forums have addressed such critical topics as poverty’s impact on education, displacement, food insecurity, health care, civil rights, and media coverage. The forums were launched as part of our 50th Anniversary Celebration, underscoring our commitment to finding new ways to move the community forward.
UPO’s poverty forums are hosted by our Advocacy Division. To learn more, suggest a forum topic, or find out how to participate, contact Ayana Bias at 202-231-7946.

 Research & Poverty Data

Research results in information, insights, and action. We collect data, conduct surveys, release reports, and share findings to help develop new ideas and approaches for eradicating poverty.
By sharing the stories and successes of DC’s low-income residents, we help put a human face on poverty. But the numbers and research also tell an important story — the quantitative extent of the poverty epidemic and how much work is left to do in helping improve the lives of those in need.
Our repository of research and poverty data is designed to help maximize the impact, efficiency, and effectiveness of dollars expended in the ongoing effort to put individuals and families on the path to self-sufficiency and success.