Mentoring Program

Seeks Suggestions The Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency, which is celebrating the first year of a program matching newly released prisoners with individuals from faith-based institutions, is inviting suggestions for improvements. The Re-entry Mentoring Program is asking mentors, offenders and their families to discuss ways to improve the program for next year at a meeting at 6:30 p.m. tonight at St. Luke's Center, 4923 East Capitol St. SE.

Diversity Program

Wins Fannie Mae Funding The H Street Community Development Corporation (HSCDC) recently received a $60,000 Fannie Mae Foundation grant to help people of different ethnic and cultural backgrounds live together amicably.

According to the corporation, the grant was awarded due to mounting tensions between black customers and Asian American business owners.

"We recognized that we needed to deal with this situation up front and at an early stage, to prevent festering wounds that threatened the unity of our community-building efforts," said the corporation's executive director, William J. Barrow III.

The HSCDC is a nonprofit working in the H Street NE corridor, surrounding communities and other areas.

Upon the formation of the HSCDC Diversity Program, meetings have been held regularly where neighborhood residents can discuss community relations with groups such as the U.S. Justice Department's Community Relations Service and the Metropolitan Police Department's Asia Liaison Unit.

In addition, last November the HSCDC received a $25,000 grant from the Community Foundation of the National Capital Region to help fund the diversity program. The grant was split equally with the Washington chapter of the Korean American Coalition.

Recorder of Deeds

Celebrates Black History The D.C. Recorder of Deeds building at 515 D St. NW will observe Black History Month by offering a free guided tour of its facility from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday and from 6 to 8 p.m. Feb. 20.

For many years the position of Recorder of Deeds was the highest D.C. Government office that a black resident could hold. The Recorder of Deeds is the person responsible for all land records for the District, as well as making these and other records available for public access.

Several murals featuring famous black figures will highlight the tour, including paintings of Benjamin Banneker and Frederick Douglass.

For more information call the D.C. Preservation League at 202-955-5616.

Hearing on Closing

Of Washington Gas Office The Office of the People's Counsel has scheduled a 10 a.m. public hearing Saturday at Washington Highlands Library, 115 Atlantic St. SW, to give residents a chance to voice their opinions on Washington Gas's recent proposal to close its Anacostia office.

Washington Gas has recommended that it no longer accept cash payments for gas bills and that its Anacostia office at 3101 Martin Luther King Ave. SE close permanently. If the Southeast payment office were to close, the only other official Washington Gas payment center would be at 1100 H St. NW.

Ward 8 residents are invited to attend Saturday's hearing. To sign up to speak, call Sanford Speight at 202-626-5100.

For more information, call 202-727-3071.

-- Compiled by Bruce C.T. Wright