What Will You Miss About Playtime at D.C. General?
“Can I get the glue?” one preteen asked excitedly when told she could take anything she wanted from the playroom at D.C. General Family Shelter. She pointed at the big jug of Elmer’s glue.
This was the last night Playtime would host programming at the District’s largest shelter for families experiencing homelessness. Soon, the building will close completely to make way for new development. In September, Playtime will launch programming at two new partner overflow shelter sites, and we had already moved the reusable toys and furniture to the new locations. The games and toys left were free to anyone who wanted to take them.
The last evening featured a carnival-themed party for the Big Kids and music and painting for the preteens and teens, plus music, games, face painting and pizza. Everyone received a brand-new backpack filled with all the supplies they need to start the new school year.
“I’m going to make slime with it,” the eight-year-old said of the glue. Making slime was one of her favorite things to do at Playtime, but what was she going to miss most? “The games. Just getting to play.”
Though this is the end of an era at D.C. General, we continue to provide play at two transitional housing programs—Turning Point Center for Women & Children and DASH Cornerstone Transitional Living Program—as well as serve children living in the city’s overflow shelter at the Quality Inn on New York Avenue. We are excited to launch Playtime at the Days Inn and the Hotel Arboretum (formerly Holiday Inn Express), also along New York Avenue, and will continue to seek opportunities to support children and youth through play at other shelters in the Washington-metro area.
Feel free to share in the comments below your memories or something you’ll miss about D.C. General.