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.

Our Vision

Our vision is to thrive together in equitable, resilient, connected communities here in DC and beyond.

Our Mission

Our mission is to enrich neighborhood vitality by bridging community engagement and economic development opportunities so individuals, businesses, and organizations can thrive together.

Our Values


The most central core of who we are, comes from the relationships we have forged. Our board members, partners, and volunteers are more than “just volunteers” they’re family. The people who get involved with our organization volunteer their time because they know and love the people in their community. District Bridges is the family you get to choose.

Action Oriented

Our organization was founded because people saw a need in the community and took action.


That value continues today. Our board is a working board and we have named our committees Action Teams because they are focused on real deliverables.


We can’t know who we are unless we know where we’ve come from. We value story at District Bridges.


Whether it’s the story of a business or a resident it’s valuable to us. Stories help us stay true to who we are and connect with new people and their stories!


The neighborhoods in Northwest DC are some of the most diverse and densely populated neighborhoods in Washington, DC.


That diversity reaches across socioeconomic, racial, cultural, and generational divides. As an organization, we strive to represent this diversity in our leadership and programming.


You have a day job and life responsibilities. Don’t you want your free time to be fun? Us too!


We believe that people invest in community when they can laugh and have fun together. Laughter heals, we’re bringing more of that into community development.


We believe we all work better when we work together.


We are fortunate to have a myriad of organizations and businesses that serve our community. We don’t need to recreate the wheel, we simply need to better connect our community with the resources already available to them. District Bridges seeks to be a connector and collaborator.


Washington, DC has a diverse population. It is that diversity that makes our city vibrant.


At District Bridges, everyone no matter their background or circumstance has a place at our table. We work intentionally to ensure our programming is inclusive of everyone.


Someone once said the seven dying words of an organization are, “ We’ve never done it that way before”...


We want to empower people to try new ideas. Sometimes that means we might fail. THAT’S OK! We believe innovation is essential to healthy development.