The Sun is Shining Brighter in Ward 8 Today

Today, it was sunny and dry in the District, and we like to believe that it is because Bright Beginnings, the only child and family development center in the District that is dedicated solely to the needs of homeless children and their parents, just opened their second center.

Located in Ward 8, the new development center will serve an additional 100 children and their families, providing comprehensive educational, therapeutic, and social services to families with children in nearby homeless shelters.

LISC has supported Bright Beginnings for more than a decade,  providing over $116,000 in grant funds, which included $25,000 for a feasibility study as they sought space for their new facility.

Being homeless is traumatic, and significantly impacts children as they are in the earliest stages of development.

Bright Beginnings is the place that children living in homeless shelters go – to learn, to feel safe, and to thrive – and LISC is proud to be a supporter of an organization that is restoring and revitalizing the quality of life for homeless children and transitioning their families out of homelessness.


Oramenta Newsome, LISC’s long-time Executive Director and Vice President who passed away earlier this year, was an ardent supporter of Bright Beginnings.

Former LISCer, Quinn Pregliasco recalled how Oramenta was moved by a story of a 3 year-old child who would eat a lot of food at Bright Beginnings.



“Although the child couldn’t articulate it, his actions demonstrated his fear of not having enough food to eat. As the child started to trust that he indeed would have a meal every day, he began to eat normal portions, and his anxiety gradually decreased,” Quinn stated.  Oramenta believed that educating homeless children was not enough, thus Bright Beginnings’ holistic approach of providing support services to stabilize families is profound and much needed.  Both she and the late Dr. Betty Jo Gaines, Bright Beginnings’ previous Executive Director, left a vibrant legacy at their respective organizations and would be very proud of today’s ribbon cutting and what the center’s opening means for vulnerable families.