Alicia had a tent under the Francis Scott Key Bridge. She bathed in the river and ate canned food from a nearby church. But maintaining even this basic stability was difficult because of her struggle with alcoholism, respiratory infections, and schizophrenia, according to an article in The Atlantic. It was only when Pathways to Housing DC stepped in that Alicia found regular medical care and a safe place to live—no strings attached.
Following the belief that housing is a basic human right, Pathways to Housing DC addresses chronic homelessness among people with psychiatric disabilities or addictions by providing immediate access to housing without preconditions. Its staff help people attain a level of dignity that they could not find sleeping under a bridge or on a park bench. In addition to housing, the organization serves as a comprehensive resource for its clients by providing supportive treatment services—all at lower costs than most shelters or psychiatric hospitals. Services such as wellness groups, therapy, nutrition consultations, and vocational planning help clients move toward recovery and achieve personal goals. With these services in place, Pathway to Housing DC maintains an 85% housing retention rate, even among those who were not considered housing-ready by other programs.
The graceful ease with which a good bartender mixes drinks masks the difficulty of the job, one that requires knowledge and dexterity—not to mention charisma. The seasoned barkeeps at Bartender of America, a TIPS-certified school, know what it takes to be a good bartender and lead their students through deliberate exercises inside a fully simulated tavern environment. Amid ambient sounds and music, novice bartenders dole out maraschino cherries and shake martinis while refining their conversational skills and learning how to identify underage kids by their mustaches. Fully committed students can opt for the entire Bar 101 curriculum, attaining a bartending license and valuable tricks for managing their resume and acing job interviews, while abbreviated classes offer insight into the fundamentals of the trade.
Run or Dye is making race running a little more colorful, one major city at a time. This 5K is divided up into four separate courses of varying lengths, each designated by a separate color––which also reflects the color of safe, eco-friendly powered dye the participants get splashed with. At the end of the race, they'll cross into the aptly-named Dye Zone—a polychromatic free-for-all, where fluorescent color is thrown freely from all sides, allowing runners to splash their fellow runners or get colorful revenge on their friends, family members, and any cranky art-history teachers that happen to be walking by.
Unlike some races that rank runners by time, Run or Dye only measures success in color and fun. While the safe-to-eat dyes should wash out of clothing, runners are encouraged to wear things they don't mind getting dirty, preferably in white, grey, or another neutral color to allow give the dyes maximum visibility.
Terrapin Adventures never fails to live up to its name—even their swing set gets the stomach fluttering with excitement. To be fair, though, the swing in question is anything but the traditional apparatus you'd find at a city park. It seats three people and starts its trajectory 40 feet above the ground, generating 2Gs of force as it swishes riders back and forth over the landscape. The park's other attractions are equally exhilarating. On the high ropes course, visitors attached to sturdy safety harnesses cross 18 traverses situated between lofty platforms; some must be tackled via a rickety bridge, while others require leaps of faith. The 43-foot high climbing tower offers 10 routes up and down, including a head-first downward climb over the Rainbow Serpent. Otherwise, the 330-foot-long zipline sends visitors gliding through the treetops at speeds of up to 20 mph, fast enough to beat the USA track team's star squirrel.
A phosphorescent Frankenstein stands guard over a legion of glowing ghouls that loom throughout the black-lit corridors of Monster Mini Golf's 18-hole course. Framed by neon-green rails, the course's pitch black putting surfaces give the impression that luminescent orbs are either somersaulting in far-reaching pockets of space or rolling across the darkened cellar of your boss's punishment office, a murky abyss populated only by gothic tropes and the presumably undead. A live DJ soundtracks each birdie-hunting expedition with bone-chilling beats as players read putts or meander around the flashing lights of the adjacent arcade, where guests can wager a month's rent in games such as skee ball, air hockey, and Guitar Hero.