Story: The Commons at Stanton Square

The Sponsor

As a nonprofit organization, Martha’s Table’s mission is to ensure a bright future for children through education and family support services. It provides full-day, early childhood education to kids up to three years old and afterschool programming for children in elementary school. It also increases access to fresh, healthy foods and runs pop-up farmers markets in schools with free seasonal produce. Through its Healthy Connections program, Martha’s Table matches middle and high school students to service, leadership, and work opportunities. Martha’s Table engages the families of its students, through home visits and parenting classes, to foster strong school-home relationships.

The Project

Martha’s Table used $28 million of New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) financing to construct its new 40,000 SF headquarters in Washington, D.C.’s Hillside neighborhood. The new headquarters for Martha’s Table is part of a larger campus called the Commons at Stanton Square, a collaboration between Martha’s Table, Community of Hope (COH), the Horning Family Fund, and the Horning Brothers, a developer. The Commons is a single campus where children and families receive social services, education programming, and healthcare. COH, a federally qualified health center (FQHC), occupies 13,000 SF of space. The COH portion of the space received separate NMTC financing through LISC’s Healthy Futures Fund, which encourages FQHCs to co-locate with non-clinical service providers like Martha’s Table. By sharing the building, Martha’s Table and COH coordinate services in one of D.C.’s most under-resourced neighborhoods where more than 30% of residents live in poverty. A subsequent phase of development includes affordable housing and transitional/supportive housing adjacent to the Commons at Stanton Square.

The project was made possible by the Horning Family Fund, which donated the land and $9.3 million towards the Commons. The NMTC financing helped to fill the gap between the lead gift and Martha’s Table’s other fundraising efforts.

Impact Statistics

  • $5 M Broadstreet NMTC Allocation
  • 24 Permanent Jobs Created
  • 30,000 Families Served Annually

The Impact

Martha’s Table has served D.C. children and their families since 1979. The new facility in Southeast D.C. makes Martha’s Table more accessible to the majority of the clients it serves. Overall, Martha’s Table supports more than 30,000 D.C. residents a year.

In 2021, Martha’s Table early childhood education program opened two new pre-kindergarten classrooms increasing their capacity to 136 children. For every child who completes their early education program and continues on to kindergarten, receives an $1,000 deposit into a Child Savings Account. Such accounts are associated with higher rates of attending and completing post-secondary education.

With systemic barriers to accessing nutritious food in Southeast D.C. – including few full-service grocery stores, low car ownership rates and inadequate public transportation – Martha’s Table goes to the communities where need is most prevalent. In 2021, Martha’s Table distributed more than 248,000 bags of no-cost groceries or 1.8 million meal equivalents, supporting approximately 4,000 families a week: 2,500 through groceries and 1,500 through McKenna’s Wagon meal distributions in Downtown D.C.