The District is poised to offset the number of families and individuals who face homelessness this winter. /Photo courtesy dcinno.streetwise.com
The District is poised to offset the number of families and individuals who face homelessness this winter. /Photo courtesy dcinno.streetwise.com

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser has beefed up her administration’s efforts to curb homelessness this winter by encouraging residents to help pass the “Year Round Access to Shelter Policy Amendment Act.”

Bower states in her Oct. 28 newsletter that while far too many men, women and families with children experience homelessness, their situations could be much better.

“We know what it takes to end homelessness, and we have a plan to get it done,” Bowser said, adding that a main priority revolves around closing the old DC General Hospital, the District’s largest family shelter.

“If you’ve ever heard anything about DC General, you know it’s not a place for families. And it doesn’t have the kind of environment that helps people get back on their feet,” said Bowser. “That is why, when I became Mayor, I pledged to close DC General.”

To the end, Bowser said that next week, the DC Council will vote on legislation that paves the way for the development of small, dignified, emergency family housing across the city.

“The new emergency family housing will be safe and clean,” she said. “There will be spaces for children to play and do homework, and services like housing assistance and job placement – the very things that are proven to help families exit out of shelter. Once we have these neighborhood facilities in place, we can close DC General once and for all.”

According to Bowser, if the new legislation meets the Council’s approval, it will provide safety to families whose eligibility for shelter or other homeless services cannot be quickly determined, and enable the District to create clean, safe, and dignified emergency family housing with private rooms, so families don’t have to go to DC General.

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