Posted tagged ‘homelessness’

Where DC’s Homeless Children Learn

May 6, 2014

The following interactive map appeared on DCist yesterday, and I found it fascinating.  According to DCist, the map was created by D.C. public and charter school students and shows where D.C.’s homeless children go to school.

The map appeared earlier on Sandra Moscoso’s Middle Child in DC blog . Moscoso explained the process students used to create the map in these terms:

A team of students from Capitol Hill Montessori at Logan EC (DCPS) and BASIS DC (PCS) were invited to share their DC Food Deserts project at the Tech Embassy as part of DC’s inaugural Funk Parade. While preparing for the Tech Embassy, they decided they wanted to address current issues in DC schools. Saddened by Relisha Rudd’s disappearance, they were surprised learn how many students in Relisha’s school are homeless. Wondering whether there were homeless students in all DC schools, they reached out to the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) to request data about number of DC students enrolled in schools.

OSSE shared the data (along with encouraging words e from State Superintendent himself, Jesus Aguirre, saying, “Thanks for focusing on such an important issue. We can’t wait to see what you build!”), and the students were able to create a map that shows homeless student enrollment by school (for DCPS and PCS).

While the map certainly doesn’t solve homelessness, I do think it helps bring a better awareness and understanding to the issue — particularly with regards to children and eduction — which ultimately could assist in overcoming some of the obstacles and challenges that homeless students face.

Homeless student map(Click on map for interactive version)

Newton & Georgia Property Still on Track for Park Morton Development

December 16, 2010

Newton Variety Market, photo by flickr user rockcreek

Earlier this week, I reported that ANC 1A05 Commissioner William Jordan shared that the Central Union Mission had hit a snag in relation to its property at 3512 Georgia Avenue. In response to this news, concerned residents have reached out to ANC 1A08 Commissioner Cliff Valenti expressing concern that a homeless shelter will be back in the works for the location.

In response to several queries along these lines, Valenti issued the following statement:

I have been asked a similar question by a few different people so I am going to copy multiple people on this email. First of all, nothing indicates that Central Union Mission is going to proceed with building a homeless shelter on Georgia Avenue. The plan the BZA approved was for apartments and any modification to that plan would require a new set of public hearings and approvals. Additionally, the executive director has publicly stated that the mission does not even want to be on Georgia Avenue. We need to put this rumor to rest immediately so if anyone tells you differently please correct them.

That being said there is a small complication and we owe it to Central Union Mission to help them out. As far as I know the Gale[s] School deal is still on. Before city council voted to support Central Union Missions move to the Gale[s] School (which the city has promised for years would open as a homeless shelter again) it was widely reported in the Washington Post, at Council hearings, etc. that the Georgia Avenue property had a $200,000 tax lean on it. Central Union Mission would need this lean waived if it were to transfer the land to a developer for a different purpose than the mission intended. Due to time delays, that amount is not $500,000 and for some unknown reason City Council has voted to not support the mission for this tax relief. This tax relief was a known problem all along so I do not know what our officials are thinking. Why did they support the missions move to Gale[s] school if they did not support the tax lean waiver? Keep in mind this is not even real money, its a tax bill for vacant property that would not exist if the mission had built a homeless shelter on it years ago. Councilman Graham offered an emergency bill to approve the debt relief but the rest of Council voted it down. (more…)

Spring Road Shelter Option Off the Table

October 13, 2010

According to an article the October 13th Washington Post, the push to use the property at 1125 Spring Road as a temporary homeless shelter is no longer under consideration.

The article includes the following:

At a hearing last week, DHS Director Clarence H. Carter said that the agency searched for an alternative location to shelter families and that the best facility was at 1125 Spring Rd. NW, a former Hebrew home for the aged and more recently a mental health center.

It would have cost an estimated $800,000 to renovate the building for 75 families, roughly what it would have cost to add on to the D.C. General shelter.

But the Spring Road building has since been removed from consideration, Carter said during the hearing.

Council member Muriel Bowser (D-Ward 4) said her community already contains an “inordinate amount of group homes,” and Spring Road already has two homeless shelters on it: a men’s transitional shelter and an 88-room family shelter.

“How could a government agency ask people in a two-block radius to support three homeless shelters?” Bowser said.

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Temporary Homeless Shelter Proposed for 1125 Spring Road

October 11, 2010

1125 Spring Road was sold to the District of Columbia in 1969

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.

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