Posts Tagged ‘Department of Human Services’

Where Are D.C.’s Homeless Families Living Now That D.C. Doesn’t Have to House Them?

After two months living with her mother, Sarah Drawn would much rather be back in the homeless shelter.
It’s not so much that living in Capitol Heights, Md., sometimes means a three-hour commute to her job on H Street NE, including a pit stop to drop her 1-year-old son off at daycare in Deanwood. Or that [...]

Human Services Director Steps Down as Administration Exodus Continues

The exodus of senior officials from the lame-duck administration of Mayor Vince Gray continues, this time claiming the man who presided over one of the administration's most difficult policy challenge, the huge spike in homeless families seeking shelter. David Berns, the director of the Department of Human Services, will depart on June 28, according to an announcement from [...]

Overextended Stay

On Sept. 3, Sharde Wright came home to her room at the Days Inn on New York Avenue NE to find a letter on her door. Wright, 28, and her three children—she’s seven months pregnant with her fourth—have been living at the hotel since July. They’re one of 51 homeless families the city is putting [...]

Advocates, City Officials Spar Over Homeless Amendments

There are too many homeless families crowding into the city's inadequate shelters. On that, all parties agree. But when it comes to what should be done about it, tempers start to flare.
Earlier today, a group of homeless families from the D.C. General shelter headed to the Wilson Building to protest the amendments to the Homeless [...]

Meet the New Boss: Department of Human Services Director David Berns

David Berns has one of the harder jobs in District government: Trying to keep people off the streets in a housing market that doesn't leave much room for the poor. As part of a Housing Complex Q&A series with Mayor Vince Gray's cabinet, I sat Berns down with family services administrator Fred Swan to ask [...]

Where Will Homeless Families Go After the Comfort Inn?

This week, I wrote about the 200-ish families the city is putting up at hotels on New York Avenue NE, in the broader context of an affordable housing supply that's just totally dried out. Obviously, there's much more to the story.
At the end of hypothermia season on March 31, the city is no longer legally [...]


February is usually the worst month for the District's hotel business—a flat lull before cherry blossom season comes along March.
But the Comfort Inn, a stuccoed yellow outpost on New York Avenue NE, is having a great winter. Of course, it's a strange kind of success. One portion of the clientele is just what you'd expect: [...]

With Shelters Over Capacity, City Housing 200 Families in Motels

During hypothermia season, which runs from November through March, the city is required by law to find shelter for homeless people. Last winter, that meant housing some of them in hotels, since family shelters didn't have enough room—as former City Paper staffer Jason Cherkis reported, around 70 were staying at the Comfort Inn on New York [...]

La Casa Shelter is Funded, Will Likely Begin Construction in 2012

Tucked away in D.C.'s section of the Senate's draft budget is something homeless advocates have been waiting on for a long time: Enough money to finally replace the recently-closed La Casa shelter in Columbia Heights with a single room occupancy facility to house homeless men. Department of Human Services official Laura Zeilinger confirms that part [...]

How Many Homeless Shelters Is Too Many?

This winter may not be as bad as last winter, but it probably won't be gentle, either–especially those without rooves over their heads. The Department of Human Services is projecting ten percent greater need for shelter services, which means scouring the District for appropriate places to put something that few neighborhood residents want on their [...]