Yachad's mission is to bring communities together by preserving affordable homes and revitalizing neighborhoods throughout the District of Columbia and the greater metropolitan area. Yachad means “together” in Hebrew, and that is how we do our work through partnerships with homeowners, houses of worship, nonprofits, and other community stakeholders. We MOBILIZE skilled and unskilled volunteers, INVEST financial resources, and, through our work together, TRANSFORM people and properties. Our mission is rooted in the Jewish commitment to seek justice by engaging in acts of loving kindness. We welcome people of all faiths to share in our work to keep our communities diverse and vital.
Yachad was founded in 1990 when Jewish housing activists in the DC metropolitan area saw the increasing crisis of affordable housing in our city and the lack of any significant local or national response. Yachad was created to address the local concern by mobilizing people and resources to both advocate for and preserve a greater number of affordable housing units.
Yachad continues to have a big impact twenty years later—by staying true to our original mission to preserve housing in DC and engage the Jewish and greater community in social justice work. We do this through partnerships with homeowners in our Single Family Home Repair Program. This program brings skilled workers and volunteer groups into area homes. Over the course of many months, a home's plumbing, electrical, drywall, and other infrastructure repairs are made. Yachad requires homeowners to participate in our Homeowner Education Workshops to learn home maintenance and financial planning skills. Many of Yachad's volunteers participate in Sukkot in Spring, a program in which synagogues and other Jewish community groups make repairs in a home alongside the homeowners.
Other volunteers throughout the year include semi-skilled volunteers through the Handymensch Program and skilled workers who donate money and/or services through Yachad's Neighbor to Neighbor Initiative. Families or groups of friends may also celebrate a special occasion by hosting a Mitzvah Party, in which they sponsor and participate in a home repair project. Over the summer, high school students participate in Yachad's Ramp it Up! program in which campers build an accessibility ramp for an individual with disabilities.
Additionally, Yachad's Faith to Faith Community Development Program brings together real estate professionals to provide expertise to community development projects by working in partnership with houses of worship and other nonprofits to renovate their community facilities to better serve the congregants and neighborhood residents.