Community Built. Community Driven.
District Bridges was born out of a collaborative grassroots effort, known as the Columbia Heights Initiative (CHI). CHI started as a group of neighbors who shared a vision for preserving the cultural diversity that made Columbia Heights vibrant while also celebrating local businesses and building a more inclusive and connected community! In 2005, these founding members organized the first Columbia Heights Day Festival. After ten years, the CHI board set out to develop an organization that could serve the community year-round, laying the foundation for what District Bridges has become today. Since then, District Bridges became the first multi-Main Street model in the country, now managing seven of DC’s 26 Main Street programs. Through these programs, we support community-based economic development serving over 1,000 small businesses across Wards 1, 2, 3, and 4 in Washington, DC.
Our multi-Main Street model enables the rapid launch of new Main Street programs through a streamlined operational setup, increased staff capacity to serve local businesses, and a holistic approach to community development that works to address the critical needs of each community. We are now using our on the ground experience and knowledge to support other organizations, neighborhoods, and cities build their own capacity and small business support ecosystems.