The center will be replaced by short-term family housing facilities across all eight wards, Bowser said in a press conference before the D.C. Council earlier this morning.
Operating DC General — a center that Bowser’s office calls, “too big, too old and geographically removed from the services that individuals experiencing homelessness need,” — costs $17 million per year, said Laura Zeilinger, who heads up the D.C. Department of Human Services.
In Ward 1, a new facility near the U Street corridor (2105-2107 10th St. NW) will house approximately 30 families and will include playground and recreation space, a computer lab for residents, a common dining area and ongoing support services and programming for families. The shelter is estimated to be fully constructed by 2018.
In Ward 2, a new shelter for women will be constructed at 810 Fifth St. NW. The facility will house up to 213 women at a time, according to the mayor’s office, and will also include transitional housing suites for up to 13 women, dining rooms on each floor, a clinic and onngoing support services and programming. The women’s shelter will officially open tomorrow.
The other new housing facilities will be constructed in the following locations:
- 2619 Wisconsin Ave. NW (Ward 3)
- 5505 Fifth St. NW (Ward 4)
- 2266 25th Place NE (Ward 5)
- 700 Delaware Ave. SW (Ward 6)
- 5004 D St. SE (Ward 7)
- 6th Street and Chesapeake streets SE (Ward 8)
Ward 1 Councilmember Brianne Nadeau praised Mayor Bowser’s plan in a statement released this morning.
“Anyone who’s been to D.C. General knows it’s a terrible place for families experiencing homelessness, which is why I voted in support of the plan to shut it down,” Nadeau said in the statement. “The new building in Ward 1 will be a safe and secure place where parents and children can live in dignified conditions while they work to find permanent housing. This housing is a critical piece of the plan to end homelessness in the District and shut down D.C. General once and for all.”
I thank @DCCouncil for supporting DC's plan to replace DC General w/ short-term family housing, and now I ask them to take the final step.
— Mayor Muriel Bowser (@MayorBowser) February 9, 2016
The mayor’s office will hold a series of meetings about the new shelters across all eight wards later this week.