New Shelters to be Unveiled in All 8 Wards
Any day now, Mayor Muriel Bowser will be announcing the locations of sites for the new emergency family shelters that will eventually replace the current shelter at DC General. As an organization that has been deeply involved serving children at the current shelter, we are optimistic about this new development. Families deserve a dignified space to catch their breath and navigate the challenging landscape of homelessness in Washington, DC. And children facing homelessness deserve a loving environment where they can grow and develop, gaining skills and confidence to break the cycle of poverty.
The Bowser administration has promised that the post-DC General shelter system will include new sites in all 8 wards. That’s huge. It means that our whole city will be taking responsibility to lend a helping hand to families in their time of greatest need, and combat the worsening segregation between the wealthiest residents of our city and those who struggle the most. Nevertheless, at community meetings in the coming weeks, we expect NIMBYism (Not in My Backyard) to be in full-force.
We applaud Mayor Bowser’s commitment to forging a city-wide solution to the challenge of homelessness. The Homeless Children’s Playtime Project is committed to supporting this step forward, and doing our part to ensure that every family has the support they need to escape homelessness once and for all. It’s not a perfect plan; families will not have private bathrooms and it remains to be seen whether each site will have adequate program space which we will continue to advocate for. We are committed to being at the table. In the coming months, we will be encouraging our friends, neighbors, and decision-makers to support a solution that involves all 8 wards, giving all of Washington the opportunity to show just how much we care for our children and families.
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Given the record-breaking need for family shelter and the complexities of new construction projects, we do not expect DC General to close for a few years. We will continue to be there for as long as the children are there. We then look forward to partnering with the new shelter sites to ensure that children have safe spaces to play wherever they are. We’ll keep you up to date with how you can help to ensure that every DC family has the support they need to find safe housing. Thank you for your support!