Media Appearances

My Sister’s Place regularly appears on local media to advocate and share resources for survivors of domestic violence. For media inquiries, please contact our Executive Director Mercedes Lemp at 202-529-3328 or email.

Deputy Director, Toshira Monroe, testified at the FCC Open Commission Meeting on the importance of the Safe Connections Act for domestic violence survivors.

Washington, D.C. – My Sister’s Place (MSP) is proud to launch the first emergency cash transfer program specifically targeted toward domestic violence (DV) survivors. This pilot project will benefit families served through MSP’s Reaching Independence Through Survivor Empowerment (RISE) transitional housing program and is aimed at improving financial stability and economic opportunities for survivors by putting money directly in the hands of the recipients. Cash transfer programs have been offered throughout the country, but none have targeted DV survivors. Yet, we know financial insecurity is the number one reason a survivor might return to an abuser. The program’s intention is to support upward economic mobility and allow survivors to set and meet financial goals that help them gain and maintain safety and self-sufficiency.

“At MSP, we know that the most common reason victims of domestic abuse do not leave their abuser is economic dependency on the abusive partner. We know that lack of financial independence traps people in abusive relationships and is often the reason victims feel the need to return,” said Mercedes Lemp, Executive Director of My Sister’s Place. “A cash assistance program for survivors of domestic violence provides a gateway for survivors to leave abusive relationships and gives them the support they need to rebuild their lives while ensuring financial issues are not a reason to risk their safety.”

To promote long-term financial stability, MSP’s partnership with CAAB provides survivors with a broad range of financial literacy programming including credit score education, assistance with setting up bank accounts, tax preparation support, savings matching programs, and more. These types of resources are not often available to DV survivors. This partnership is a means of building equity for marginalized groups who often don’t get these opportunities.

“We are honored and excited to be partnering with My Sister’s Place on this unique and innovative cash transfer program for the benefit of domestic violence survivors,” said Joseph Leitmann-Santa Cruz, CAAB’s CEO & Executive Director. “We applaud the intentionality and strategy to provide access to cash transfers and CAAB’s financial empowerment services in order for the participating resilient women to have an opportunity to achieve financial stability and long-term prosperity.”

Studies on previous programs demonstrate that most participants spend almost all the payments on rent and/or food and use any remaining funds on debt reduction, investments in small businesses, education, or transportation. The program will provide 45 families with $500 per month for two years, playing an integral role in setting survivors up to be experts in their own finances. The program is funded through generous financial support from The Greater Washington Community Foundation’s Health Equity Fund and The William S. Abell Foundation.

“The Health Equity Fund at The Greater Washington Community Foundation are honored to support the partnership of My Sister’s Place and Capital Area Asset Builders on this very important cash transfer project.” said Dr. Marla M. Dean, Senior Director of the Health Equity Fund. “In a city as wealthy and resourceful as the District, all of its residents should have a basic income – one that allows families to thrive. The Health Equity Fund believes there is an inextricable link between health and wealth and that the goal of health equity begins with economic mobility. The My Sister’s Place and Capital Area Asset Builders’ partnership is an important step in this process.”

MSP is also proud to work with GiveCard ( to provide debit cards to the clients who chose this option to receive their funds. “We at Givecard strive to make an immediate impact with the power of our card programs,” said Sofia Pedro, Head of Product. “We are thrilled to work with My Sister’s Place DC…with their decades-long history as an institution making a difference in the world, we are excited to facilitate their financial assistance efforts so that they may make an even greater impact going forward.”

Roundtable will focus on next steps to implement the Safe Connections Act and how to protect and support domestic violence survivors with FCC programs

Federal Communications Commission Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel will host a roundtable discussion this Monday with My Sister’s Place, a local organization providing safe housing for survivors of domestic violence and their children, along with other organizations working hard to help survivors get a fresh start. She will lead a discussion focused on implementing the Safe Connections Act. Specifically, she will seek input on how survivors can separate phone service lines from accounts that include their abusers, protect the privacy of calls made by survivors to domestic abuse hotlines, and support survivors who suffer from financial hardship access our Lifeline and Affordable Connectivity Programs. Chairwoman Rosenworcel will be available to the media for questions after the roundtable discussion concludes.

For people living in poverty, getting an abortion is hard. It’s about to get harder.

Mercedes Lemp, Executive Director of MSP, comments on Domestic Violence amidst ongoing pandemic.

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March 12, 2020 – Executive Director, Mercedes Lemp talks with the New York Times on how the Coronavirus outbreak could hit women hardest

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October 22, 2019 – MSP continues to get great coverage for our innovative partnership with Silent Beacon. Msp’s Executive Director Mercedes Lemp, and Abby Singh, MSP’s social worker and children’s program manager, and Silent Beacon’s Partnerships CEO and creator Kenny Kelly, spoke with the Washington Post about our partnership with Silent Beacon.

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October 22, 2019 – Executive Director Mercedes Lemp, Shelter Manager Elizabeth Horrigan, and Silent Beacon’s Partnerships Director Tyler Charuhas, spoke with Washington City Paper about our partnership with Silent Beacon who has donated panic buttons that allows survivors to get immediate help in life-threatening situations.

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October 16, 2019 – Executive Director Mercedes Lemp, Silent Beacon’s Partnerships Director Tyler Charuhas, and one courageous survivor spoke with NBC 4 Washington about our mission, services, and partnership with Silent Beacon who has donated panic buttons that allows survivors to get immediate help in life-threatening situations.

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October 9, 2019 – Executive Director Mercedes Lemp spoke with The Washington Times about our implementation of stealthy new technology courtesy of Silent Beacon, enabling survivors to get immediate help in life-threatening situations.

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March 2, 2018 – Interim Executive Director Valerie Graff spoke with WJLA-TV‘s Good Morning Washington highlighting MSP’s programs and our partnership with Mother2Mother – M2M.

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February 22, 2018 – Interim Executive Director Valerie Graff was interviewed for NPR’s Marketplace Business News this week! Listen in at 9’57” to hear how My Sister’s Place, Inc. has been impacted by the #MeToo movement.

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February 18, 2018 – Director of Programs Chandra Robinson joined M2M’s Executive Director Lauren Feliz-Durishin on 94.7 FM’s Fresh Perspective to highlight domestic violence, MSP’s services, and M2M’s upcoming concert benefiting My Sister’s Place on March 10th.

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Chandra Robinson, Director of Programs, speaks with NBC 4 about safety planning for domestic violence survivors.

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Chandra Robinson, Director of Programs, speaks with BET about MSP’s Batterer Intervention Program and toxic masculinity.

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Newsletter Archive

My Sister’s Place sends monthly Newsletters to supporters, informing them of organizational updates, our current projects, and ways to support My Sister’s Place. To join our mailing list, click here.

March 2023 Newsletter

February 2023 Newsletter

January 2023 Emergency Cash Transfer Announcement

October 2022 New Shelter Announcement

September 2022 Newsletter

August 2022 Newsletter

July 2022 Newsletter

June 2022 Newsletter

May 2022 Newsletter

April 2022 Newsletter

March 2022 Newsletter