February 17, 2016

Do D.C. Residents Want Homeless Shelters In Their Neighborhoods?

By Michael Martinez

Plans are now on the table to shelter the homeless in every ward of Washington, D.C. The proposal is part of Mayor Muriel Bowser’s effort to close the troubled shelter for homeless families at the site of the old D.C. General hospital.

Residents are still getting their heads around what new shelters will mean for the neighborhoods around them. Kojo chatted with three guests about the subject on Monday’s show, and we heard from even more people over the phones and online.

Brandon Bortner, a Ward 3 resident, told us he feels the shelter site proposed for Wisconsin Ave. NW is “inconsistent with the zoning” surrounding it and that neighbors haven’t been told enough about alternatives.

We also heard from a Ward 1 resident named Alex who lives near the proposed shelter at 10th and V. Streets NW. He said neighbors were “steamrolled” by the plans and that the mayor hasn’t been transparent about what she’s trying to do. He didn’t, however, offer an alternative to where Bowser wants to build the shelter.

Meanwhile, a current D.C. General resident named Jennifer who told that us that the city’s homeless families still don’t know enough about what’s happening.

The voices that made their way to the airwaves were only a small sample of the opinions shared with us over the course of the day.

Some of them took issue with the idea that the Ward 5 residents with reservations about the plan for the shelter there are expressing a “Not In My Backyard” attitude toward the plan.

Another listener said neighbors with objections aren’t doing enough to offer alternatives.

And we heard from those with specific concerns about the shelters proposed for sites East of the Anacostia River.

Do you live near one of the proposed shelter sites? What concerns do you have about how the plan is going serve the cities homeless families, or how it’s going to affect local neighborhoods? We want to hear from you – tweet us, email us or comment here. Let’s keep the conversation we started on the air earlier this week going.

Bowser Unveils Plan To Close D.C. General Homeless Shelter By 2018


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