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DC COUNCIL UNANIMOUSLY PASSES HOMELESS SHELTER PLAN

The approved legislation saves taxpayers $165 million

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D.C. Council Unanimously Passes Revised Homeless Shelter Plan – Saves $165 Million by Using Public Land

Two years and three months after Relisha Rudd disappeared, sparking a fierce discussion about the safety of the D.C. General homeless shelter, District lawmakers on Tuesday approved a revised plan to close the facility for good. The biggest change to the overhauled package, passed initially by the D.C. Council a couple weeks ago, is the Ward 6 shelter site. Now, after a proposed location that currently features a parking deck at...
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Locations of New Homeless Shelters in DC

The D.C. Council unanimously voted in favor of a revised homeless shelter plan approved by Mayor Muriel Bowser. This plan calls for seven new shelters located in seven separate wards. Ward 1: 2105-2107 10th Street NW (29 units) Ward 3: 3320 Idaho Avenue NW (50 units) Ward 4: 5505 5th Street NW (49 units) Ward 5: 1700 Rhode Island Avenue NE (50 units) Ward 6: 850 Delaware Avenue SW (50...
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Revised Shelter Bill Could Save $10 million by Using Public Land for Ward 1

The theme of the new bill was transparency and fiscal responsibility. The majority of the sites were converted to public owned properties.  In Ward 1 and Ward 4, the Council determined that the city should purchase the sites. Based on valuations used for the leases and potential eminent domain costs, the prices for these two properties could exceed $15 million. Since this has become a land purchase transaction, several sites...
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D.C. Council poised to overhaul mayor’s plan for homeless shelters

A supermajority of the D.C. Council on Monday said it will overhaul Mayor Muriel E. Bowser’s plan to lease private property for homeless shelters, calling it a waste of tax dollars that would not permanently solve a growing epidemic of homeless families. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson (D) released legislation backed by nine of the council’s 13 members that would jettison about half of the sites the mayor wants to lease...
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Mayor Bowser hires Holland & Knight to Fight Zoning in 1, 3, 4, 5, 7 & 8.

Mayor Bowser has retained Holland & Knight, the 23rd largest law-firm in the United States to fight multiple zoning cases on behalf of her plan to to rent multiple shelters across Washington. The plan’s fiscal concerns along with serious health concerns goes against recommendations by members of the DC City Council, local ANC’s, 60 major DC nonprofits and residents who have proposed numerous alternatives. The zoning cases were filed on...
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There are now more homeless kids and parents in D.C. than homeless single adults

The number of homeless families in the District has soared by more than 30 percent compared with a year ago, according to a federal estimate released Wednesday. For the first time since the annual census began in 2001, homeless children and their parents in the District outnumbered homeless single adults, a population beset by mental illness and disabilities that historically has loomed as the larger and more in­trac­table problem in...
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Concrete Details: Examining the Initial Designs of D.C.’s Proposed Family Homeless Shelters

Since February, when Mayor Muriel Bowser announced her plan to close D.C. General and replace it with seven neighborhood shelters for homeless families, criticism of the proposal has risen to a steady drumbeat. Opponents have launched websites attacking the administration for a lack of transparency and, in Ward 3, staged a walkout of a public meeting. Their main objections are the project’s $660 million price tag; an accelerated decision-making process...
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Homeward DC has the potential to increase the value of properties owned by mayoral donors by up to 10 times

In light of an influx of families seeking shelter during a record-breaking winter storm this year, homelessness in Washington, D.C., became an increasingly prominent issue, with Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) recently announcing plans to close the city’s dilapidated D.C. General Family Shelter. According to the District’s Interagency Council on Homelessness, there are an estimated 7,298 homeless individuals in the District on any given night. This includes 544 unsheltered persons, 5,085...
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Coalition Asks Mayor To Make Big Changes To D.C. Homeless Shelter Plan

A coalition of close to five-dozen social justice organizations is calling on D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser to make a number of significant changes to her plan to replace the troubled homeless shelter at D.C. General with seven smaller, neighborhood-based shelters — but Bowser says she’s not budging. In a letter directed to Bowser, the D.C. Fair Budget Coalition asks Bowser to find an alternate site for the proposed shelter in...
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District’s First Gun Range Could Be Built Near Family Homeless Shelter

The neighborhood around the 2000 block of Queens Chapel Road NE keeps getting more interesting. It’s already home to a concert venue, a marijuana farm, a strip club, and potentially a new Muriel Bowser-backed shelter for homeless families. Now the area could also host the District’s first gun range. Concealed carry firearm trainer Leon Spears plans to bring the combination gun store and range to 2128 Queens Chapel Road NE...
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Bowser’s safety net for the homeless has gaping holes

Mayor Muriel E. Bowser’s far-reaching initiative to close the family homeless shelter at D.C. General and open seven smaller, short-term ones across the city is drawing heavy fire. Some neighborhood groups are up in arms because the administration, they say, chose locations without community input. Other residents simply don’t want a shelter in their neighborhoods. The Bowser plan, however, is also not going down well with residents and city lawmakers...
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Many of DC’s poor children struggle with asthma, and officials might make it worse for some

Washington is a city that wheezes. It has one of the highest rates of asthma in the country. Those who suffer from the disease cluster in the city’s poorest communities, where asthmatic children are 10 times more likely to visit the emergency room than in wealthy neighborhoods. Some of the most dangerous air for these kids to breath, studies say, is laced with exhaust. So advocates were alarmed when officials...
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DC mayor’s ambitious plan for homeless families at risk of collapse

D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser’s ambitious plan to replace the notorious homeless shelter at D.C. General with a network of smaller, “dignified” shelters for families risks collapse under hurried assumptions about real estate costs and required approvals. Persistent questions about Bowser’s plan threaten to undermine support from a city council and public that initially shared her drive to improve services for the city’s growing homeless population. To quickly close the...
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Have we become hapless on helping the DC homeless?

D.C.’s once trail-blazing requirement that the city provide emergency overnight shelter during cold weather nights to those needing and requesting it might now be more an obstacle to helping the homeless from a bigger-picture perspective. You would have to turn over a lot of rocks to find anyone underneath who thinks that the social service disaster known as the city government’s family shelter at the old D.C. General Hospital was...
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Bowser Unveils More Details About Shelter Plan, But Critics Say Questions Remain

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser has unveiled additional details about her plan to replace the troubled homeless shelter at D.C. General with seven smaller, neighborhood-based shelters — but some of the plan’s fiercest critics still say that many questions remain unanswered. The details are included in a 19-page letter sent this week by City Administrator Rashad Young to D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson, who in late March submitted close to three-dozen questions...
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