When a group of neighbors launched Forest Hills Connection in 2012 around a neighbor’s dining room table, we had the backing of the Forest Hills Neighborhood Alliance. Under its nonprofit umbrella, we set about working to connect people and create a greater sense of community.
In many ways, we have viewed Van Ness Main Street as a sister organization, as it shares our goals of promoting small and local businesses and building community. And we are excited to announce that Forest Hills Connection and Van Ness Main Street are joining forces. We believe wholeheartedly in Van Ness Main Street’s theme for 2021: #StrongerTogether.
As a program of the Main Street, we will remain editorially independent, just as we were under the Forest Hills Neighborhood Alliance. With the Alliance winding down, we set out to find a new nonprofit home. Van Ness Main Street enthusiastically embraced the idea. We all believe that our alliance will help us better serve our community.
Here’s the announcement from VNMS:
STRONGER TOGETHER – BIG NEWS TO SHARE!
Last year with the DC Department of Small and Local Business Development’s (DSLBD) and Councilmember Cheh’s help and support, Van Ness Main Street (VNMS) took a giant leap and expanded our borders beyond Van Ness to encompass the communities of Wakefield and Forest Hills. This expansion – from Van Ness Street now to Nebraska Avenue – has not only increased our local footprint, but it allows our main street program to make an even greater impact within the community, benefitting both the businesses and the residents.
The expansion was an exciting and necessary step in 2020. Now in 2021, VNMS looks to new challenges and opportunities for growth and we have some very exciting news we’d like to share. VNMS and Forest Hills Connection (FHC) have joined forces. We are thrilled to announce that FHC is now a part of the VNMS family! With FHC’s depth of local knowledge, vast and loyal readership, and incredible staff led by Marlene Berlin, we are all excited to discover the many ways our new partnership will allow us to expand our offerings and better serve our community moving forward with the knowledge that we are #StrongerTogether.
VNMS’ Board Chair, Barbara Lardy shares her enthusiasm for this partnership — “If this past year showed us anything, it is that we are much stronger together. VNMS expanded last year from Van Ness Street to Nebraska Avenue doubling our commercial corridor on Connecticut Avenue. Our community pulled together to support our small businesses and our VNMS mission. Continuing this trend, the VNMS board unanimously voted and is thrilled to have the FHC join our nonprofit. We will be a united voice for our vibrant community as we work on the recovery from COVID and we will come out of this stronger together. Thank you to Marlene Berlin and our VNMS Executive Director, Gloria Garcia for making this happen!”
FHC’s Marlene Berlin echoes our excitement — “We are longtime followers and fans of VNMS’ and other DC Main Streets’ work to aid local businesses, and we are thrilled to become a program of VNMS. The Forest Hills Neighborhood Alliance, our sponsor since our inception, will be closing down. And VNMS was quick to open its doors to us when we approached Gloria Garcia in our search for a new sponsor. We hope for a long and fruitful relationship.”