No Room for Homeless Families in D.C.


This is worrisome:

A month after pledging to do a better job of sheltering the city’s homeless this winter, District leaders haven’t figured out how best to meet that promise. Meanwhile, the Family Emergency Shelter, which can house 135 families, is nearly full. And last week, 67 more families were waiting for emergency housing, with no place else to go…

A city plan to add up to 100 rooms to the D.C. General shelter was abandoned after the idea came under fire last month from advocates for the homeless and D.C. Council member Tommy Wells (D-Ward 6), who said it would worsen conditions at the troubled shelter.

Another plan would have transformed the former Hebrew Home for the Aged on Spring Road NW into a shelter for 75 homeless families, but Council member Muriel Bowser questioned whether it was fair to create a new shelter on a street which already has two.

With no alternatives left on the table, the city will rely on moving families out of D.C. General as quickly as possible and into 185 transitional apartments, said Laura Zeilinger, who oversees homeless programs for the city’s Department of Human Services.