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Our History

Established in 1996, East River Family Strengthening Collaborative (ERFSC), Inc. is one of seven, neighborhood-based Healthy Families Thriving Communities Collaboratives in the District of Columbia. Spearheaded by the DC Child and Family Service Agency and the Annie E. Casey Foundation, ERFSC received its planning grant in April 1996 and subsequently its implementation grant in August 1997. In 2000, ERFSC separated from its parent organization, Marshall Heights Community Development Organization, to become its own independent 501(c)(3).

In 2001, Mae Best was appointed Executive Director. Under her leadership, the organization has grown from a budget of a little over $700,000 to $9,000,000, securing contracts with city government agencies and foundations. With her guidance, the organization has fostered major programs such as East of the River Regional Socialization HUB (senior services for Wards 7 & 8), Community Prevention and Support (case management for families), Truancy Prevention, Safe Passages and Family Rehousing and Stabilization Program for homeless families, and two Family Success Centers– Benning Terrace/Benning Park and Benning Road and Minnesota Avenue.

Our mission is to empower families, youth, seniors and communities to become more self-sufficient through integrated and collaborative community-based services utilizing evidence-based practices that are family focused and person-centered.
Our vision is to equip the Ward 7 community with the tools and skills to dramatically increase individual self-sufficiency and family stabilization. The tools and skills provided are nationally recognized best practices developed by ERFSC and its partners.
ERFSC Board Members
Our leaders bring expertise and plenty of passion to help
communities east of the river.
Dr. Janice Davis-chair
Dr. Janice Davis
Officer: Chair
Dr. Lewis Tait
Officer: Vice Chair
Ms. Vanessa J. Banks-secretary
Vanessa J. Banks
Officer: Secretary
Stacye Stewart
Officer: Treasurer
Saudra Armstrong
Saundra Armstrong
Ms. Vanessa Brooks
Vanessa Brooks
Mr. Aaron Ford-members
Aaron Ford
Mr. Sheldon King-members
Sheldon King
Dr. Rustin Lewis
Dr. Rustin Lewis
Bernadette Morris
Mae Best, LICSW
Executive Director
Our Directors ensure residents benefit from all the
activities ERFSC has to offer.
Mae Best, LICSW
Executive Director
Dr. Jemila James
Dr. Jemila Daniels
Chief of Staff
Artherelle West, LGSW, LMFT
Deputy Director of Youth and Family Services
Saudia headshot
Saudia Nix-Benn
Clinical Director
Aisha Bailey
Deputy Director of East of the River Regional Socialization Hub (EOTR HUB)
Irwin Royster- Director of Community Engagement _ Partnership
Irwin Royster
Director of Community Engagement and Partnerships
Mosi Tomlinson
Program Director- Washington Seniors Wellness Center
Helping the community is within your reach. Let’s work together to help our residents achieve great things.