For Immediate Release
February 10, 2016
Keenan Austin
(202) 724-8105

Grosso Supports New Neighborhood Shelters and Closing of D.C. General

WASHINGTON, D.C— Yesterday, February 9, 2016,  Mayor Muriel Bowser and Department of Human Services (DHS) Director Laura Zeilinger announced the plans to close D.C.’s long-standing family homeless shelter, D.C. General, and plans to replace it with 8 small, neighborhood shelters spread across the city.  

Councilmember David Grosso made the following statement in response to this announcement: 

Like many of you I have seen the dysfunction of so many parts of our response to these vulnerable residents. I see the Homeward DC plan as critical to our effort to transform how we handle homelessness. Homeward DC is a carefully crafted five year strategic plan to address our city’s homelessness issue, planned by our government and in extensive consultation with the community. Director Zeilinger's track record over the past year speaks volumes as she has made significant structural changes within DHS and implemented smart policy reforms like year-round access to shelter for families.

The Council stepped up to the plate last year and made an unprecedented investment in homeless services, including the replacement of D.C. General as the main shelter for housing our homeless families. As the transitioning of residents from D.C. General goes forward, we must meticulously track the effort and ensure that these new shelters provide positive and healthy environments and feature extensive wrap around services. To me, these are critical human rights issues--I am glad to see us as a city take the human rights of these most marginalized residents more seriously. I hope that everyone will all be supportive of the Mayor’s approach and see to it that we get these shelters up and running quickly.