Board Members and Staff
I learned of The Aged Woman’s Home of Georgetown over a number of years through two of my friends, Board members Patsy Giebel and Donna Ayers, speaking about the many wonderful Guests that the Home is serving, and the beautiful historic home where they live. I had recently retired as the Executive Director of a trade association supporting the nation’s farmers and knew that I wanted to get involved in another organization that also served others. An opportunity to serve women of limited means and proactively work to assist them as they make a new life at the Home really appealed to me, and the more that I have learned has only reinforced my desire to work with this wonderful group. My skillsets seemed to align with a number of the Board’s responsibilities, so, when I was encouraged to submit my name as a nominee for the Board, I jumped at the opportunity.
I joined the Board in November 2019, but the subsequent onset of the novel coronavirus made my ability to get to know the Guests on a personal level impossible. I understand that they are an independent and caring group, and I very much look forward to getting to know them! The Board’s dedication to the mission of the Home (some of them have been on the Board for decades!), and its commitment to providing a safe, dignified, and supportive community to senior women who have fallen on hard times motivated me to be a part of this special place. The Guests have found at The Aged Woman’s Home a warm and reassuring environment with new friends and are supported by an exceptional staff that provides the Guests with the social services that bring even greater meaning to their lives.
Board House Manager
I first learned about the Home from my good friend (Catherine Jaynes) and her mom (Carol Freeman) and was immediately moved by the Home’s kindness. It’s a lovely home, in the middle of a busy city, that cares for elderly women in poverty. The fact that it has been in service for women for many, many years is a calming presence in the midst of dramatic change.
Even though I no longer live in DC, it’s a privilege to continue to work with the Home, the Board, and staff. It’s also a nice counterpoint to my professional work in management consulting, that tends to focus on school-age children. The opportunity to learn about issues related to aging is a gift.
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.
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.
Jasmine O. Wilson is a proud native of Grenada, Mississippi. Her clinical background is in the area of geriatric mental health and serving as a member of the External Affairs Committee is a part of her coming full circle of pursuing her passion to serve older adults. She obtained her Bachelor of Social Work from Jackson State University, a historically black university in Jackson, Mississippi and earned her Master of Social Work at the University of Pittsburgh in Pittsburgh, PA.
Following her clinical study in Pittsburgh at the Veterans Affairs Pittsburgh Medical Center, she began her career working with several National Institute of Mental Health projects focused on rehabilitative therapy for adults with autism spectrum disorders as well as adults with early course schizophrenia. Upon moving to the District of Columbia she resumed her career at the District of Columbia Government’s Department of Aging and Community Living (formerly DC – Office on Aging) serving older adults and adults with disabilities as a Transition Care Specialist. Through her appointment at the Department of Aging she was able to identify gaps in care and assist with improving the quality of care for DC residents.
Jasmine has served as a resource expert and catalyst on both the local and state level for initiatives that support the continued well-being of older adults and their caregivers. One of her proposals, The Life Changes Grief Project , won her the Department of Aging’s Innovation Award and was a catalyst to addressing the gap in mental health services for older adults in the District of Columbia. The proposal led to geriatric mental health services in the District of Columbia Government’s contracted wellness centers with the purpose of being another bridge for seniors to community mental health. Her passion for geriatrics continues to lead to championing age-friendly, culturally competent, and psychoeducational initiatives for older persons of color and new caregivers.
By virtue of her achievements and continued career service to the aging community, Jasmine was welcomed to the Master Faculty Scholar program (MFSP) through the Center on Aging Health and Humanities at George Washington University for being a gerontology expert in the area. Her year-long embarkment as a faculty scholar has contributed to her gaining unique leadership and teaching skills as a practitioner and gerontologist. She graduated as an emeritus faculty scholar June 2019.
Although her career has been very fulfilling, her greatest rewards are internal balance, passion for humanity, and most importantly being an avid creative. She serves as a clinical consultant for upcoming clinicians and professionals in navigating the vast umbrella of social work and community resources. She also takes great pleasure as being a clinical support for family and friends that are new caregivers. Jasmine finds these roles as another means to tap into her creative side.
When Jasmine is not being a clinical support to the community she finds solace in photography, anything creative, being a foodie, and her village of loved ones. Her goal is to ultimately bridge all her passions together and become a lifetime creative.
Erin received a leadership award from the Soroptimist International Club of America. Outside of the Home, she enjoys traveling, poetry and the great outdoors.
When I was six years old, I first came to know of the Home when my mom, who is a social worker, was a weekend assistant there. I am now 30 years old and have a little girl of my own. Over the years, I have come to various events at the Home. Mostly during the wintertime to celebrate the many holidays. On the weekends, I enjoy spending time visiting with the guests and getting to know more about them. I have always been interested in social work and have mentors who are in the social work field. My current academic interest is in business, and I plan to utilize my business skills with my social work skills in my future