POLL: Do You Support the Mayor’s Plan for a New Shelter at 10th and V?

by Tim Regan February 16, 2016 at 10:25 am 68 Comments

10th and V streets NW

It’s no secret that Mayor Muriel Bowser’s proposal to place up to 29 families in transitional housing at 2105-2107 10th St. NW has prompted some questions from neighbors.

As part of her plan to close DC General, Bowser seeks to build new housing at several sites across the city, including one on a lot about two blocks west of the 9:30 Club at 10th and V streets NW. Bowser is looking to use the land for a “modern building [that] will complement the look and feel of the neighborhood,”  according to a handout from the mayor’s office. In addition to apartment-style housing, the facility is slated to have playground and recreation space, a computer lab for residents, a common dining area and ongoing support services and programming for families.

More than 100 residents gathered at the YMCA Anthony Bowen last Thursday to hear the mayor’s plan and to weigh in on the discussion. Though meeting attendees appeared mostly supportive of the idea at that meeting, some have expressed doubt over Bowser’s plan.

Critics — like the group of residents behind this movement  — say they’re unhappy with the mayor’s plan for variety of reasons, including a lack of community input and transparency. The mayor threw fuel on that fire recently by refusing to specify how or why she picked the locations of the forthcoming shelters, according to The Washington Post.

Still, others say the plan for new housing at 10th and V has so far been executed well.

Because our story on last week’s meeting sparked a lively discussion, we want to hear what you think. Do you support the mayor’s plan to build a new transitional housing facility at 10th and V streets NW? Why or why not? Let us know by voting in the poll below and telling us in the comments

  • max

    Please explain how Mayor Bowser is right to be opaque about this process? The tweet above says “there was no way to do this with real community input.” Why? Community stakeholders can disagree with the Mayor, and she can still go along with her plan, so long as she has a reasonable basis. But without transparency into the process, it becomes harder to find reasonable basis, or to at least give the community the benefit of the doubt of having an informed conversation.

    You might rationally be on either side of the debate of whether this is a useful project for homeless families in need of shelter, but I don’t think anyone likes having something rammed down their throat without at least a dialogue before it becoming a foregone conclusion.

    Right idea – bad way to implement it.

    • Popeye

      Right or wrong the argument for for not asking for community input is that there would be opposition to any proposed location that is near people’s homes (which at least in Ward 1 can’t be avoided if the shelter will also be near mass transit, which is a requirement).

      But it has to go somewhere.

      • anon

        On the one hand, the city justifies a closed door approach because the sites are considered a burden to the immediate property owners and need to go somewhere, but on the other hand, the city now tells those property owners that the sites will be great and not be a burden.

  • Shai Segall

    If you need to violate existing zoning, change the procurement rules, actively seek to minimize public input, bribe Sorg with an outrageous windfall, schedule a one way hearing a day before a 3 day weekend when many have arranged to be out of town, then vote on it before it receives the negative press it is getting based on certain indefensible aspects of the deal is it really that great a deal?

    The homeless can be housed in one of several publicly owned facilities in ward one, why bribe Sorg? Is this part of a prearranged scheme to pay for some of their other citywide projects?

  • Shai Segall

    I do invite the yes voters to explain their reasoning, we’re talking about peoples lives not voting on American Idol.

  • U Neighbor

    DC Gov doesn’t get anything right. Look at the street car, look at DC General itself, look at almost anything the govt touches. The problems lie in the very CONCEPTION of these all plans, all the way back to the planning stages.
    The mayor campaigned on transparency. WHY?? Because we lowly constituents were tired of an arrogant administration spending our money on poorly thought-out, and rushed-through projects like the street car, like this.
    The only way to fix that is for Bowser to fulfill her personal pledge of openness, which she is actively working AGAINST (look at December legislation).

  • dismalist

    Bowser’s main obstacle is that, like many issues in the city, only the people directly impacted by the project are likely to care enough to show up for meetings. So if you ask for input, you end up with “feedback” from a bunch of people who care only that it not wind up next to them. Listening to Kojo Nnamdi’s show on the topic yesterday, this was amply clear: lots of neighbors phoning in to voice their displeasure, none of whom had a viable alternative. People had lots of issues with “the process”, a complaint that really seemed to express the callers’ conviction that if they’d been consulted, the outcome would have been different, and someone else would lose. Likely someone not in Ward 3, for example.

    The homeless have to go somewhere. We should all share this burden. I live in Adams Morgan between two different transitional housing facilities, and honestly, it’s not bad. There are some sad people milling around, it’s true. I sure wish I didn’t encounter them every day. But that is because I wish we could figure out a more dignified solution for them, not because I resent them being in my neighborhood.

    Also, as pertains “violating the existing zoning”, as if these zoning laws were handed down from above, I call bogus. These zoning laws were put into place precisely to keep people out. It’s nonsense to manipulate the zoning system toward exclusion and then act like you can’t do anything about it.

    • U Neighbor

      The lack of viable alternative proposals may have something to do with the fact that Bowser is doing everything she can to expedite this thing, and for one purpose: so that when all of its failures (and better viable alternatives) are finally noticed, she can shrug her shoulders and say it was voted on, there’s nothing she can do.

      • dimsalist

        Alternatively, she could have engaged in a complicated coordination game, in which she had to simultaneously secure viable sites in 8 wards in order to get each to agree to bear their share of the burden. If one ward manages to block their site, the whole deal collapses, because why should the others participate if not all wards are?

        I don’t know why people are looking for the worst motives, when the scale of the coordination problem is clear.

        • U Neighbor

          Ponder this. Why is all 8 wards (or 7, since Ward 2 isn’t participating) a foregone conclusion? There are more data driven ways to approach this problem. I get that it’s politically “fair”, but are arbitrary ward boundaries, which can be changed over time, the definition of “fair? I’d argue it’s one definition, but there are better ones.
          Heck, 4 of the 7 sites are pretty close to the boundaries. What happens to “fair” when the boundaries change?

      • DogMama

        Or just possibly, she’s looking to help homeless people as quickly as possible, in a city where property values and costs are skyrocketing.

        • U Neighbor

          Some would find “Thoughtfully” or “Properly” to be a better alternative to “Quickly”. Street car was built on the philosophy of just starting the process “quickly”

          • DogMama

            But the people who are willing to wait for homeless shelters to be built are likely not the ones who need them. That’s not a slam on you or anyone else, just a discussion point. And who can say how much thought went into this? I’m guessing that the announcement was quick, but the planning and preparation were not.

      • Shai Segall

        Try 918 U St.

    • Shai Segall

      The meetings were very well attended despite efforts to limit public input, and zoning laws are put into place as one of the most basic tenants of urban planning, not some scheme to segregate my income. When I moved into the neighborhood fifteen years ago the zoning laws were the same and did nothing to regulate where the hookers would set up shop or where people would publicly drink.

      C’mon this is a serious issue to many concerned people, I am just as interested in the safety of my family and the use of my tax dollars to pay bribes as I am about the impact on property values.

      • anon

        I think you might be a bit out of touch with local real estate prices if you think the deal amounts to a bribe.

        • Shai Segall

          As a property owner I am very much in touch with real estate prices and would like to know on what planet you think paying 23 Million for leased land before you factor in the cost of building a 29 unit building is a good deal? Sorg is in the market for some gold plated toilets for their offices if this goes through.

  • anon

    The 10th and V NW intersection is an ideal place for partying!!! Lots of drinking and similar, with very little green space nearby. Who would send young (and potentially troubled) families with kids to a place like this?

    • Popeye

      Seriously? That’s your argument?


      • anon

        Yes, SMH. What are ideal criteria for young family shelters? What were the city’s criteria? Cost? Proximity to healthcare? Green space for families? Public transportation? Central to nightlife? Think of someone you love becoming homeless with a couple young kids… Where would you want them to go to increase their chances of getting back on their feet?

  • lolanwdc

    I attended the Ward 1 ANC meeting last Thursday and it was disgraceful how this discussion was handled. If you had any objections to the proposed shelter at 10th and V St, you were labeled as “not a good neighbor” and “unwilling to help the homeless in DC.”. That was not the point of the objections. The soon to be neighbors of the shelter don’t dislike the idea of a shelter in Ward 1. We dislike the location, the lack of transparency about how the site was chosen and the cost. Is it appropriate to house 29 homeless families amongst multiple bars? Is that best for the families to be housed there? Is it appropriate this particular parcel of land is the most expensive of all the proposed shelters in all the wards? Was it appropriate for Mayor Bowser to announce the plan, then have an 8 ward meeting about it 2 days later than propose a vote today (Which was the original timeline for voting. Mysteriously, the vote has now been pushed to March). While the residents of Ward 1 understand DC General needs to close, we didn’t create the horrible situation in DC General. DC Gov created the problem. So no, I don’t agree with aspects of Mayor Bowser’s plan. Another site in Ward 1 would have been better..like the building at 9th and T St, NW. It’s still close to public transportation but it’s not in the middle of multiple bars. Or what about the parcel of land where the abandoned houses sit on Sherman Ave, NW? Per usual, this feels like a DC Gov scheme to help themselves and various developers around the city vs. the people who need the services.

    • Ward1DC

      As someone who bought a house just a block away from the proposed shelter years ago when it was nothing like it is today and actually had homeless people living in vacant lots, “lively” antics from neighbors and drugs and fighting in my alley, I didn’t really appreciate the tired tropes of being a “bad neighbor”/NIMBY (or even fearful of “the blacks”–namely b/c I am a “person of color” and frankly resent that homelessness somehow equals blackness…that’s very insulting, but that’s another topic). I dislike the lack of transparency and bullying approach of the mayor, Nadeau and others.
      I want to see homelessness addressed in a meaningful way in DC. How can we really put people on their feet? I want there to be affordable housing. I may be one of the few people that doesn’t delight in the fact that my house is worth much more than it should be. The city should be creating affordable housing through out DC and really push forward in educating and training citizens to be able to thrive in DC. Transitional housing…then a voucher back to ward 7 and 8? Doesn’t sound like a fix to me at all.

  • Popeye

    I can’t help but feel that a significant number of those objecting who cite “the process” would object this this no matter what process what used.

    But it’s easier than saying they don’t want homeless families near where they live.

    • Shai Segall

      Its just as easy for someone to be an apologist for corruption and hide behind the homeless while millions in above market value bribes are paid to the developers in cahoots with the city. Just pay me one year of the 3/4 million dollars that Sorg will get for this property annually for the next 30 (and never own the land) and you can have my home to permanently house a family.

      • anon

        That works out to $2100/family per month. Sounds like a bargain in that area, even after adding in construction costs. The landowner would be a fool to take less for it, especially with such a long lease.

        • Shai Segall

          You haven’t factored in the cost of building the property, let’s start with $2,100 for having people sleep on dirt and go from there.

          The landowner is anything but a fool, try again.

    • jayde

      Can’t help but feel that you don’t live anywhere near 10th & V, but you are flapping your comments around like it’s of interest to you.

      • Popeye

        Sorry if “flapping” my comments (whatever that means) is bothersome to you. I’ll give that the consideration it deserves.

        I live 4 blocks from 10th & V and have since 2000. I know that doesn’t come with exactly the same type of potential impact as being on the same block but I am certainly vested in this neighborhood, and have been for quite some time. I just think the negative ramifications of the shelter are not nearly as great as what some fear, and I think it’s the right thing to do.

        I will concede that if the city is be ripped off on price that is something that should be looked at closely, but I’m OK with a homeless family shelter in our neighborhood.

        • ANONY

          If I was a NYMBYist and I lived 4 blocks from the site, I’d be pushing hard for the proposed site to go thru, regardless of value to city, taxpayers and homeless people. Otherwise, it might move closer to me…

          Any heat map of resistance will closely shadow a heat map of % decreased property value. You’ll see a spike in support at about the 4 block point emanating out from the proposed site.

          • Popeye

            “Otherwise, it might move closer to me…”

            Most ridiculous comment on here.

            “Heat map of resistance” – I’ll look forward to seeing that when you get the data, create and share it.

  • Ward1DC

    I’m not in favor of a transitional shelter for this spot. I’d have been more impressed if Mayor Bowser and the council made an real effort to create affordable housing in the neighborhood and through out the city. I’ve been a homeowner just a block away from this site for nearly a decade. I remember when homeless people actually slept in a lot right off of U St on 10th. I would just be happier if this was actual long-term housing rather than transitional. Give people a sense of true belonging…yes, through out DC–not just wards 7 and 8.
    That said, I think there are probably nearby locations that would make a little more sense for transitional shelters, be less costly and already have the bones in place for development (a closed school, Howard U property?).
    I think the mayor and Nadeau (and others) missed a great opportunity to involve neighbors in the process (within reason), and gain much more buy-in. This “This is what it is, so deal with it” attitude is unfortunate, especially when in the next breath you are asking us to be neighborly. It should start at the top with openness and better communication.

  • Darius Hartwood

    So many yes votes….they are so thrilled it’s not next door to them!!

    • Ward1DC

      I do get this same impression. It was interesting that many of the “neighbors” speaking in support of the site live in other neighborhoods in Ward 1 or just simply not close enough to really warrant enough concern (although they should care how the city chooses to spend their tax dollars, especially in such a secretive way).

    • DogMama

      Actually, I live a block from a halfway house, and a few blocks from N Street Village, and not many blocks from the proposed women’s shelter in Ward 2. Property values in this area have increased over the last few years. In fact, one of the most significant women’s day shelters, Rachael’s, closed about a year ago, and that has actually meant there are more people in the streets at loose ends, rather than fewer. These shelters may improve the situation, and are meant to replace existing dangerous facilities that are too costly to repair. The fact is that many of the no voters have themselves benefited from government subsidies (in the form of FHA loans, tax breaks, etc.) but now want to keep people out who are struggling and need help, from areas where they could easily access jobs, and transit, and “stuff”. I disagree with that stance; these neighborhoods can sustain the shelters, and we can provide the help to people in need.

    • KatieMac

      I voted yes and I live about 5 blocks away – maybe too far away to be too affected but I do feel less concerned about a shelter providing services to families who ostensibly want those services than I do about the guys who hang out in the neighborhood looking to rob people.

  • AnonShaw

    If not 10th and V than where? I live close-by and selfishly I don’t want to see an influx of homeless residents, but where else can they go? Build the damn thing and give these people some support services and help them get out of the shelter. Better yet, why not spend that money on more government housing and give out a greater number of vouchers? These are families we are talking about.

    • Ward1DC

      I’d much rather see long-term, affordable housing. I feel that the city has no plans to really get more people out of the rut of homelessness.

  • Ward1Resi

    I’m on the fence. I think Ward 1 should be part of the solution, but no one has offered up any economic reason for why it has to be new construction in that area. Based on some quick math, here is what the city is willing to move ahead with:
    A “market rate” 30 unit project would be about 27,000 sf. Of those 30 units, maybe 3 would be designated as low income. Conservatively, it would take about $400/sf to build a building of that size, or about $10.8MM. If you assume sales of $700/sf for the market rate and $300/sf for the affordable, that’s about $17.8MM. The city collects transfer taxes of 1.45% of every sale – so $258k of lost income. The city also loses the tax income from those units – $17.8MM * 0.85% = $151k annually. This doesn’t include the payment to Sorg as part of the ground lease. So overall,
    $10.8MM to build
    Annual lost revenue of $151k (taxes) + Ground lease payment
    $258k lost income from no transfer taxes
    $XX money the city now has to spend on operating expenses.
    That seems really high for the benefit of a small number of families. Couldn’t they find an existing structure to retrofit?

  • Tiger

    I “voted” yes, but consider myself “not opposed”. I live on 10th Street, very close to the proposed site, so I am watching this closely. I attended the meeting at the YMCA and understand my neighbors’ concerns about the timing and transparency of the process. At the same time, of the 3 presenters at the meting (the Housing official, Brianne, and the Mayor) the Mayor made the best macro and micro arguments that resonated with me. 1) I was unaware of the 1984 statutory mandate that the city must provide shelter to anyone who asks, 2) the Mayor has a mandate and campaigned on closing DC General and having smaller shelters in each Ward, and 3) as a practical matter NIMBY issues would arise no matter what process the City used to announce or seek input on sites for the shelters in each Ward. Moving forward, I recommend the City work closely with the local residents on the building plans and how the shelter can be integrated into the community in a positive and meaningful way. I also feel VERY strongly, the City should work closely with residents about the future of the Shaw Garnet Patterson Middle School – a very large dominating structure with an uncertain future, that will have a HUGE impact on the community given the size and location.

  • Darius Hartwood

    Bowser is infatuated with Julio Castro’s rise to fame from being Mayor of San Antonio,
    Tx to a cabinet post and now a potential presidential running mate…..Ding Ding Ding

  • Robert

    This is another example of emotions spending tax payers money instead of logic. Mayor Bowser increased the budget for homelessness by 40%+. She has selected the most expensive option possible in the most expensive area in DC. This is an unbelievable waste of taxpayer money. She increased the homeless budget by 40% and is borrowing $40M just to build these homeless shelters. Is this rational? End this fiscal nightmare today!

    • Popeye

      She committed to building shelters in all 8 wards. Is this not right and fair? Are you suggesting that people in expensive neighborhoods should not have to bear some of the burden?

      What available location in Ward 1 that is near Metro would be better?

      By law the city must provide shelter for people who ask for it. 75% of these are currently being put up in motels/hotels. Surely that is costing the city much more than building proper facilities.

      • Darius Hartwood

        I’m sure the metro is packed when the temperature threshold is met….at the meeting it was stated that no proof of residence is required for a hotel room….let’s go to dc and get a hotel room….those stupid people will pay for anything….

        • Popeye

          You’re just ranting now…

          • Darius Hartwood

            Really? You didn’t hear the head cheerleader for Team Bully Bowser at the meeting say they currently have no requirement for proof of residency to get a hotel room?

  • Robert

    Funny how my comments seem to disappear in this website.

  • Solea Constituent

    I would have to vote no. Not because of the location, but because of the lack of communication and transparency. Why is Nadeau and Bowser refusing to release information as to why this site was chosen? What other sites were considered? Why must we lease property instead of using government owned property?

    I know of a perfectly good location at 14th & Belmont that could be used. But maybe that’s too close to the Nadeau’s home (that’s my only biased comment. I’m still disappointed in the lack of government transparency … Hey, isn’t that Nadeau’s mission statement?)

  • anon

    Transparency demonstrates that you have nothing to hide; lack of transparency indicates that you do. Lack of transparency is a trust buster; without trust, a seemingly quick victory will turn into a political disaster.

  • jayde

    Guaranteed that most of the Yes votes don’t live anywhere near the locations being affected. The Poll should have been: “Yes, and I live nearby. Yes, but I don’t live nearby. No, and I live nearby. No, but I don’t live nearby.” The Yes votes only show that the voices of concerned homeowners being affected are diminished.

    What is Mayor Bowser offering the residents of the immediate area in return for her poorly planned social experiment — NOTHING! What is Brianne Nadeau doing for the people who live nearby — NOTHING! Both of them are being completely useless, heartless, and deaf to the neighborhood, and offering residents in the vicinity NOTHING in return. “Here’s the plan we came up with. We know you won’t like it. We don’t care. So we didn’t need to tell you. And we don’t care what you think about it going forward. So, everybody shut up and take it, and you get NOTHING in return.”

    If Bowser cared about the residents who invested their lives and savings in this neighborhood, then she would give each homeowner a 50% REDUCTION IN PROPERTY VALUE TAX ASSESSMENTS — for 3 blocks in each direction. A simple solution, that won’t cost the city much at all.

    Also, residents should DEMAND THAT HALF OF THE STREET PARKING BE SAVED FOR NEARBY RESIDENTS AROUND THE CLOCK. At best, there is an allowance until 8pm for Zone 1, however, on the south side of U Street they have a MUCH LONGER period of Zone 1 restriction. Why not the north side, too? BOWSER AND NADEAU GIVE YOU NOTHING IN RETURN FOR THE TROUBLE THEY ARE CAUSING.

    Otherwise, WHY ALLOW THE MAYOR & COUNCIL TO ROB YOU of your investment people? Do you pay thousands of dollars each year to be ignored by the Mayor? The City, Mayor and Council have already failed to invest in improved construction where it has been needed: at DC General. They call all of their past efforts “embarrassing” with “deplorable conditions,” “dangerous,” and “overcrowded.” Now, they want to put up another new government boondoggle, to be run by the same city services, the same government employees as the one that already failed miserably. They want to tell the surrounding communities: “Here, deal with it. Too bad for you NIMBYs.” That’s right, neighbors. Deal with their inability to figure out how one failed social experiment will be replaced by an even worse social experiment.

    Are these needy people going to be welcomed by their neighbors — 100+ new residents dropped into a very small plot of land? Dropped into a neighborhood surrounded by 150 liquor licenses, surrounded by restaurants they can’t afford, and new luxury retail establishments? 60-70 low-income children brought into an area that has very few children, and very few child-oriented facilities — because it was established as an adult-oriented “Arts District” comprised of bars, clubs and expensive theaters — established by the city as a center for generating liquor-related tax revenue? Maybe they can all access the new Whole Foods market — because Whole Foods is so affordable for the homeless.

    If you’ve never bothered to go around near DC General — there’s a reason that hundreds of people live around there: Because it’s a huge piece of land at the edge of the city. For all the hundreds of millions that will be spent at disparate spots around the city, all of the services these people need could remain centralized at DC General / RFK.

    Poverty stinks! I earn poverty-level wages now, and have been in and out of poverty many times in my life. But I live in this community now, because I chose long ago to invest in an area that was affordable, and in need of attention as a neighborhood. That was my choice. It has worked out okay in some ways. This government-run homeless shelter is not our choice. How is Muriel Bowser representing our interests, neighbors? What has Brianne Nadeau ever done for Ward 1? Clearly they don’t care what you think — Bowser has said repeatedly that “naysayers” are of no concern. She’s taken choice and discussion out of consideration, and only tells us: “We thought about it already and we made our decision.” Could it be… FreshPAC payback?

  • Laura

    Ridiculous! I have my entire life savings in my house and they can’t play around with my retirement fund like this. I can barely afford to pay my DC income tax and property tax and I was hoping to sell my house for a small profit. Now, I will have to sell my house at a loss. I am broke!!! I cannot live if my house value goes down. This is ruining me and I have health problems!! Someone help us!! This is my life!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Colorless

    Disastrous plan from the fiscal responsibility point of view. Building a shelter in the most expensive neighborhood and offer subsidized rentals for homeless at tax payers expense? Why not demolish DCG and rebuild it to specs? It Will probably cost a lot lower than this illogical plan of taking a big problem (DCG) and disseminating to 8 different wards. Is this how our tax money is being wasted? How will this plan solve homelessness?

    • Eric

      The problem with your reasoning is that there are already too many social assistance programs and locations concentrated in the cheaper areas of DC. The point of locating assistance centers in wealthier areas is to stop the practice of concentrating poverty in areas like MLK Blvd and Good Hope Road in Anacostia. The only way to do this is to actually spread them out. That includes your neighborhood or mine. There are homeless spread throughout the city. They shouldn’t have to travel far to get assistance.

    • Caroline

      Exactly! How will creating (8) 90 day warehousing help in the long run? Build something that can offer services onsite and assist with a plan for these individuals. They shouldn’t have to travel for assistance and may not make the effort (either by choice or are unable)

  • Sheila

    I agree with everyone that a great breach of trust and deceitful behavior was exhibited here in Ward 1. Honestly, I thought our City Government was better than this by making this a secret. It offends me that some bureaucrat makes a decision that affects me/us without first consulting with us. If the City Government were a man, I would say “it is time we see other people”.

    • Darius Hartwood

      Don’t forget to add Polly Donaldson to this mix. She is in thick with Bowser and all the other deceivers. She live in Mt. Pleasant as well. I am sure she and her wife are thrilled it has no chance of being located near them…

  • Stu Kushner

    I own the house DIRECTLY across from this project. I bought it in May, 2001. I took a chance on the neighborhood. People called me crazy. All along I have waited and waited for something to happen to this corner lot and the old church. Now, my reward for investing in the neighborhood is to see my property plummet in value.

    Sorg makes millions and local homeowner’s get screwed. I will likely sell my house. I have NO DESIRE to live across the street from a large homeless shelter. I wonder if one is going across the street from property that Mayor Bowser owns.

  • 10thandVNeighbor

    It just seems like an odd choice for this facility. Is it really cost effective to renovate a 100 year old historic church to make it a homeless shelter? Renovating historic properties is expensive! There must be less expensive alternatives in Ward 1 that aren’t on a VERY quiet street. I also don’t trust any business deals being made with Sorg. They have been horrible neighbors and have barely kept the church from falling down since they’ve owned it. I have no faith the city can manage that special construction within budget.

    • Darius Hartwood

      So true…Sorg wins again! Thank you DC for rewarding one of the most reprehensible businesses in the city!!! They make $25M and we lose 20% of our home value.

  • Urez

    For now, I don’t support it because I live in the area and get sexually harassed by homeless men 4-7 days a week. While I have heard that it might be a women’s shelter, from the arbitrary and opaque way this was decided, who is to say that two years from now they might change their minds. I might look into what neighbors of other women’s shelters have said about whether or not it increases traffic from men. I don’t really care about my property value. I just think this could have been handled way better. Like do some research about what concerns residents are likely to have, X, Y, Z, then look at the neighborhoods that have already had shelters put in and collect the data. Then you can say “actually putting a shelter in does not increase crime.” Bam. If it does increase any negative whatever to the neighborhood, how about any assurances that these will be dealt with? the problem is that this is coming on the heels of citizens feeling pretty impotent around here– you call to complain about people hanging out and dealing drugs and cops say they can’t do anything about it. If someone is getting the crap beat out of them on the metro I can’t intervene because then I’ll get the crap beat out of me and I don’t want to die. While sexual assault is illegal, sexual harassment is not and women are just expected to put up with it. (If you say anything back, this can really escalate things.) New York City has done some clever things with affordable housing (see nytimes article on it) and one of the reasons why it works is community buy-in.

    • Popeye

      First sentence of this article: “29 families”

      Not a men’s shelter. Not a women’s shelter. A family shelter.

      • Darius Hartwood

        Single parent families next to a thug middle school and a wild beer bar….perfect…Bully Bowser is so intelligent!! Nadeau just a yes Madame Mayor cheerleader!

        • Popeye


  • BDinDC

    Is there an official petition? Id like to sign it!

  • Darius Hartwood

    They could locate this shelter on the site of the new development by Somerset Development Company replacing Portner Place on U Street. Where did those displaced residents go while the city is making millions on this sale? While there will be a few Sec.8 units, the market rate wing will make Somerset multi-millions of dollars. It has all been approved, Portner place is all boarded up waiting for demolition, and this would be an ideal spot for the shelter!!!

    • Sharon

      Portner Place is being rebuilt with an affordable building on V Street, and market rate apartments on U. The residents from Portner Place will move back into the reduced rate housing once it is built. The city does not own Portner Place.

      • Darius Hartwood

        Of course they don’t own the land….another of their brilliant leases that pays out millions to the developer and then at the end of the lease everything goes back to the developer and DC has made them mega wealthy with our tax dollars! Disgusting.

  • Matt

    We should put the homeless shelter in the mayors Neighborhood… I would like to see her vote for that one.

    Let’s be real and bring value to the neighborhood and stop holding back its progressive transformation.

  • Concerned

    Mayor Bowser has once again made a political move without consulting with the community that is actually influenced by her decisions. Similar to her and Tanya Royster’s complete disregard for the mentally ill and long-standing community at Saint Elizabeths Hospital. Making moves to get reelected and that’s all that matters.


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