Temporary Homeless Shelter Proposed for 1125 Spring Road
The issue of homeless shelters has long been an issue important to residents of Columbia Heights, Petworth, and Park View. A recent proposal by Tommy Wells, Ward 6 Councilmember, who is pushing to have a temporary homeless Shelter opened at 1125 Spring Road, NW, is sure to be no exception. Residents familiar with the property may recall that it is the large structure once used as the Hebrew Home for the Aged. The property is on the north (Ward 4) side of Spring Road, which is the boundary between Wards 1 and 4.
Residents that are aware of this initiative are resisting the proposal. While advocates for the homeless are attempting to accuse residents as NIMBYs, community resistance is based on the area already supporting an inordinate amount of group homes and other services. Additionally, there are two facilities on Spring Road within two blocks of 1125 that currently support the homeless. One is a Men’s transitional shelter and the other is a Family Shelter. Together, both provide 88 units of shelter.
Due to the proximity of the Spring Road site to the Georgia Avenue-Petworth Metro, its impact on the Georgia Avenue community could be similar to that of the Central Union Mission shelter once proposed for Newton and Georgia Avenue. The Central Union Mission proposal meet with community opposition that ultimately led to the mission finding an alternative site.
To date, its been reported that there has been no outreach to the community. To remedy this, Ward 4 Councilmember Muriel Bowser is working to set up a meeting with the Interagency Council on Homelessness to examine this proposal. Several community leaders are of the opinion that DC General is a campus better suited to serve the needs of the homeless.
At the heart of the issue is the future use of the 1125 Spring Road site. The city had previously promised to put out an RFP to transform the building into affordable housing, preferably for seniors. With Ward 4 having one of the largest senior populations in the District of Columbia the community wants the city to live up to that promise.
The Hebrew Home for the Aged moved out of the city in 1969, selling the property to the District of Columbia. It’s currently assigned to the DC Department of Mental Health.Homeless shelters comment below, or link to this permanent URL from your own site.