Sarah's Circle, Inc.

Washington, DC   |


To provide affordable housing and a comprehensive array of supportive services that enable senior citizens to age in place.

Ruling year info


Principal Officer

Jessica Petro

Main address

2551 17th Street NW

Washington, DC 20009 USA

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Formerly known as

Sarah's Household



NTEE code info

Senior Citizens' Housing/Retirement Communities (L22)

Services to Promote the Independence of Specific Populations (P80)

Human Service Organizations (P20)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

According to the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, the fair market rate for a one-bedroom apartment in the DC metro area (which includes Maryland and Virginia) is $1,561 per month and for a studio is $1,504 per month. Sarah’s Circle sets rents at 30 percent of a household’s take-home income (after the deduction of out-of-pocket medical expenses, if applicable) and the average rent payment for a unit at Sarah’s Circle is just $371 per month. Further, in 2017 in DC, the average rate for a semi-private nursing home room was $325 per day, or $118,443 annually. By providing an overlay of supportive services designed to help our tenants achieve the activities of daily living and thrive independently, we aim to reduce institutional admissions for a population for whom government programs would foot the majority of the bill.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Supportive, Permanent, Affordable Housing for Very Low-Income Seniors

Sarah's Circle provides service-enriched affordable housing at an independent living residence and community center.

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people

Where we work


Excellence in Housing 2002

Met-Life Foundation/Enterprise Foundation

Best Community Life Program in Washington, DC 2007

Housing Association of Nonprofit Developers

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

We aim to provide the following for very low-income seniors:
1) Affordable housing for seniors under 30 percent of area median income, ensuring they pay no more than 30 percent of their take-home income for rent

2) A meal program (lunch every day plus additional meals forthcoming) designed to meet senior nutritional goals and provide a safe place for individuals to congregate over a healthy meal and develop friendships and a supportive peer group

3) Health and wellness, educational, and social programming and referral services designed to help seniors age in place

Individual goals we track for participants include:
1) Satisfaction with housing, programming, and services
2) Positive changes in knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs as a result of our programming
3) Improvement in key health indicators as a result of participation in on-site health clinics and preventive medical education

Sarah's Circle provides the following key programs:
Affordable housing: 49 affordable housing units in a newly renovated, five-story, elevator-equipped building within a short walk to a grocery store, pharmacy, and other shopping and entertainment

Nutrition: healthy and appetizing meals five days per week. Our hot meal program is vital to those on severely fixed incomes and ensures that our participants get the nutrition they need to stay healthy, including those with specific dietary needs. Our meal program meets two primary goals: 1) ensuring the nutritional needs of seniors are met despite the challenges of limited incomes and/or dietary restrictions; and 2) providing a congregate meal site so that seniors who live alone (as most of our participants do) have a peer group to meet with each weekday in an effort to combat loneliness and isolation.

Health and wellness: a variety of programming designed to help seniors improve cardiovascular health, coordination and balance, muscle tone, and strength and flexibility. We also provide education on nutrition, disease prevention, symptom management, and other key health topics in an effort to encourage participants to better understand health vulnerabilities and therefore make better choices.

Educational, social, and skills enhancement: a busy calendar designed to keep our seniors active and engaged. Our programming is developed with input from those we serve so we will strive whenever possible to deliver meaningful opportunities that will improve knowledge and skills for a broad base of those we serve. Focusing on critical topics like financial literacy, current events, art therapy, etc., we offer a variety of activities to appeal to a wide range of interests. A secondary offering will be our new business center, which will be equipped with computers and staffed monthly by a volunteer who will offer group and one-on-one computer training.

Referral services: individualized goal setting and monitoring to help our participants hone the skills they need to remain independent. As our participants age, we observe and identify emerging health or social needs and work directly with these individuals (and family and friends wherever possible) to provide counseling and referrals to appropriate providers to ensure these needs are met.

Sarah's Circle has served very low-income senior citizens since 1983. In December 2018, we recently completed a gut renovation of our property, which has enabled us to shift focus from maintaining an aging building (which was built in 1917) to developing and implementing excellent programming for older adults as they age in place.

We have recently welcomed a new group of residents to our community who join many existing residents who were with us before and during our massive renovation project. We are focusing our programming on integrating all residents - as well as individuals who live in the neighborhood - into our programs and services. We are also exploring opportunities to develop more affordable housing serving older adults at or below 30 percent of area median income to help the hundreds of people on our waiting list and on waiting lists throughout the District.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive, We tell the people who gave us feedback how we acted on their feedback, We ask the people who gave us feedback how well they think we responded

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    Staff find it hard to prioritize feedback collection and review due to lack of time


Sarah's Circle, Inc.

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The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.


Connect with nonprofit leaders


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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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Connect with nonprofit leaders


Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

Sarah's Circle, Inc.

Board of directors
as of 06/29/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Christine Brosonski

Nixon Peabody LLP

Chris Hobbs

Ginny Gibson

Real Change Consulting LLC

Jimmy Hauer


Randall Kelly

Foundation Housing

Zelina Ali-Aziz

Sarah's Circle Resident

PJ DeAntona

WC Smith

James Graham

Fannie Mae

Aubrey Jason Grant

Emotive Architecture, PLLC

Matthew Hodson

M&T Realty Capital Corporation

Amoy McGhee

R. McGhee & Associates

Don Plank

National Cooperative Bank

Timur Ryspekov

Telesis Corporation

Alisha Sanders


Tshaye Taylor

Sarah's Circle Resident

Darien Thall


Madia Brown


Ted Gendron

Silver Street Development Corporation

John Parreco

Foundation Housing

Hallie Henderson

Fannie Mae

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? No
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? No
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 6/29/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.


The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

Transgender Identity

Sexual orientation

No data


No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 06/29/2021

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We analyze disaggregated data and root causes of race disparities that impact the organization's programs, portfolios, and the populations served.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We disaggregate data by demographics, including race, in every policy and program measured.
Policies and processes
  • We use a vetting process to identify vendors and partners that share our commitment to race equity.
  • We have a promotion process that anticipates and mitigates implicit and explicit biases about people of color serving in leadership positions.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We measure and then disaggregate job satisfaction and retention data by race, function, level, and/or team.