Beacon House was founded in 1991 by Reverend Donald E. Robinson, a Unitarian Universalist (UU) Minister in response to the complete void in services for at-risk children in the Edgewood Terrace community.
Reverend Robinson (affectionately and respectfully called "Rev." by all who know him) worked tirelessly to create a safe after-school haven in what was at that time a drug infested gang environment. For support, Rev. reached out to the area's Unitarian Universalist Churches. He received not only funding, but also much needed volunteer assistance with the fledgling organization.
Over the subsequent years, Beacon House implemented education programs that have been proven to raise the reading and math skill levels for involved youth by at least one grade level in just 20 two-hour sessions. Additionally, an evaluation of the athletic program revealed that youth involved are learning more than athletic skills. That is, youth who participate in athletic programs at Beacon House are learning about sportsmanship, discipline, and leadership principles and gain social and behavioral skills well beyond the football field. At Beacon House, all programs are carefully selected and developed in order to ensure that each program offers opportunities for learning and exploring.
Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton, speaking at Beacon House's Tenth Anniversary Celebration, had the highest praise for Beacon House. She stated:
"I want to encourage your work not only because what you have done here is magnificent, but because I want to encourage other communities around this town to do what Beacon House has done. I can't thank you enough for the way you focus on education. You have found a way to make education come alive in so many ways for your children."
In 2004, Beacon House was selected to be a "21st Century Community Learning Center" by the District's Office of Federal Grants Program/State Education Agency. Additionally, Beacon House was selected two years in a row as one of the top charities in the metropolitan D.C. area by the Catalogue for Philanthropy.