Board Members and Staff
I first served on the Board of The Aged Woman’s Home of Georgetown (Home) at the request of my friend and colleague, Carol Freeman. I admired her lifelong commitment to the Home and wanted an opportunity to serve others in a different way as most of my endeavors had been involved with our children’s schools or our church. I was intrigued to serve senior women in need.
I continue to serve because The Aged Woman’s Home of Georgetown presents me with a unique opportunity to be part of a historic institution providing indigent women of the Washington DC Metro area with not only free housing but support, safety, community and dignity for them in their senior years. Working to maintain this unique presence has brought many unexpected benefits, such as seeing our Guests respond to the warmth of an embracing community. Guests have also been able to enjoy new friendships and to reduce their daily level of stress in the peaceful environment at our Home with support from our social workers and Board of Directors. The Home has continued to foster and develop a safe haven for elderly women of all races, creeds, and nationalities to thrive and I am proud to serve that mission.
I joined the Board of The Aged Woman’s Home of Georgetown (Home) in 2012. My friend, Patsy Geibel, and Board of Director member, asked me to consider volunteering my time and talents to the Home. I had never heard of The Aged Woman’s Home of Georgetown and Patsy encouraged me to accompany her during a room check at the Home. During that visit, I learned so much about what a little gem this Home is for the Guests who live here. The Aged Woman’s Home provides a beautiful, safe place for senior women who have nowhere else but often times public shelters to go to. My background is in design and I was asked to help with the on-going renovation and redecoration of some of the rooms in this historic home. Over the years I have come to know the Guests and they are lovely women who take pride in their home, themselves, and their jobs, if they are able to have one. Often, I think this could be me or someone I know who has fallen on hard times or just bad luck. Working with the Guests, and in this beautiful historic home, has been a very rewarding experience.
First Vice President/House Manager
I have been on the Board of Directors (Board) of The Aged Woman’s Home of Georgetown (Home) since 2001. I grew up in the metropolitan Washington area and attended school in Georgetown. I always have enjoyed helping people. Serving on the Board of the Home has enabled me to combine my concern for women and my enjoyment of historical homes. The Home was built in 1756 and is one of the oldest homes in the District of Columbia. I find great joy in providing our Guests with a safe and comfortable residence where dignity and respect are most important.
Some of our Guests have had quite remarkable lives, lovely homes, advanced educations, successful careers, but due to unexpected circumstances, they have come to the Home for housing. Some of our other Guests have not been so fortunate and have experienced poverty, eviction, addiction, and abusive relationships. The Home takes Guests from different cultures, religions, backgrounds, and personalities – they all come seeking housing and find peace, happiness, respect, friendship and a home. Perhaps because they have had such difficulties in their own lives, they find they do have a common thread. They seem to form a bond. They come together to share gardening, meals, daily activities, including socializing which has made their lives more tranquil. Many have taken the opportunity to give back to the community through volunteer activities at local hospitals, nursing homes, libraries, churches and the Kennedy Center.
I enjoy visiting with them. Hearing their stories. Sharing their good news. Most of all, I enjoy their happiness.
Second Vice President/Admissions
I joined the Board of Directors (Board) for The Aged Woman’s Home of Georgetown (Home) in 2001 when I was transitioning from a career in secondary education to a new career in oncology social work. Invited by two friends on the Board, I was taken by the mission and spirit of the Home. What particularly attracted me to this role is the focus on women. The Home has provided a resource for women in need of lodging since the Civil War. Both this historical aspect and the resources the Home provides creates the best part of being on the Board for me. The Home really is a unique and rare setting for women in the Washington, DC area. In addition, over the years I have been impressed with the diverse and interesting Guests who bring a richness to the spirit of the Home. It is an honor and a privilege to serve on the Board and be a part of the life of the Aged Woman’s Home of Georgetown.
As a fourth generation to be involved with The Aged Woman’s Home of Georgetown (Home) all by marriage, it was expected of me to join the Board of Directors (Board) as those in the family before me had. I have truly been rewarded for 41 years on the Board to implement the mission to help those in DC struggling to find housing that is safe and affordable. The Freeman family originally lived on upper Wisconsin Avenue from the mid 1800s and was very involved in the community and church. I have always enjoyed volunteering to help others and the Home seemed to fit the bill of reaching out to others with a helping hand to offer the shelter of a small community in a safe environment. When I first joined the Board I was the youngest with many ages ahead of me to offer opinions in managing the Home but also guidance in the selection of our Guests – it was like having many mothers and grandmothers who looked out for you. I have worn many hats on the Board throughout the years and each one has given me a different perspective of the Home and its Guests. In part that is one of the special privileges of being on the Board, is getting to know the Guests one-on-one and feeling like you have a new friend with each new addition and a sincere loss when a Guest must move on. Some of our Guests have been fortunate to stay for extended number of years (over 20) and others have spent shorter periods of time before their circumstances forced them to find other housing situations – each one has been appreciated for their contribution. What has been surprising is the generosity of the public in supporting the Home for almost 150 years. The Guests have always been most appreciative of not only finding a home in the District that is safe and enjoyable to live but also to receive the many gifts that have made their stay more pleasant. I often look forward to find a time to sit and just “chat” with one or more of the Guests to gain a better understanding of what is going on in their lives and how they have benefited from the Home. This has given me a sense of accomplishment to know that the time spent has been well worth the effort to help someone in need.
Nancy L. Peterson
I became a member of the Board of Directors (Board) of The Aged Woman’s Home of Georgetown (Home), because it appealed to me as a wonderful opportunity to volunteer and be part of a small organization helping senior, indigent women. Knowing that these less fortunate women are living in a safe environment, being watched over but still living independently, and not in public shelters or on the street, has been a satisfying part of being on the Board. Because of the public support, the Home has been able to meet the needs of the Guests and continue providing a comfortable, safe environment allowing them to live independently. The Home is staffed with social workers to assist the Guests if the need should arise.
I was born in Washington, DC and grew up in Bethesda, MD. My Aunt, Clara Bachschmid, who lived in Georgetown and had been on the Board of Directors (Board) of The Aged Woman’s Home of Georgetown (Home) for many years made me aware of the opportunity the Home afforded indigent women. Later Linda Derrick, a Board member at the time, remembered my Aunt and asked if I would be interested in joining the Board. Over the years it has been a rewarding experience to not only follow in my Aunt’s footsteps but also to be a part of an organization that helps mostly homeless women. What impresses me the most is that regardless of the background of the women, their race or religion, they bond together and become a community that gets along and cares for each other. The Board is a cohesive unit in decision making, always thinking of what is best for the women, regardless of our own personal feelings. Being a member of the Board for many years has been a rewarding experience and I have enjoyed the many friendships that have formed.
Erin has been on the staff at The Aged Woman’s Home of Georgetown for more than 20 years. She has worked in the area of housing for the elderly, families and children since 1996. In her current role, she oversees the day-to-day operations of the Home including admissions, activities, volunteer coordination and direct support services to the Guests of the Home. She is assisted by several part-time staff members who are also experienced in the area of housing and support services for the elderly. Erin holds an MSW from Virginia Commonwealth University and attended James Madison University for her undergraduate degree.
Erin received a leadership award from the Soroptimist International Club of America. Outside of the Home, she enjoys traveling, poetry and the great outdoors.
For over 15 years, Guests have enjoyed the support and expertise of Courtney Cunningham, a weekend assistant at The Aged Woman’s Home of Georgetown. Courtney’s experience with seniors includes serving as activities director, program director and volunteer director, as well as additional volunteer experience in the Washington DC area at homeless shelters, soup kitchens, and national parks. Courtney actively seeks to extend our Guests’ connections with other visitors and volunteers during her shifts.
In January 2017, Judy Robinson came to the Aged Woman’s Home of Georgetown as a weekend assistant after 34 years with Arlington County Social Services. As a Transportation Coordinator/Administration Specialist for Arlington, she coordinated support services for foster children and families. Additionally, she has a vast volunteering background with a variety of organizations including Meals on Wheels, food and commodity distribution, summer recreation reading programs and fundraising for various private charities and churches. The Guests of the Home have welcomed her and look forward to her weekend shift. Ms. Robinson has enjoyed her time at the Home.