850 Delaware Ave. SWCouncilmember Charles Allen of Ward 6 is set to host a community meeting tonight to discuss the future of the proposed homeless shelter in Southwest.

The D.C. Council voted in May to build the facility at 850 Delaware Ave. SW as part of Mayor Muriel Bowser’s plan to shut down the aging D.C. General shelter. Allen is planning to talk about the next steps for the project and how locals can get engaged, according to his website.

The mayor’s Homeward D.C. team, which includes the departments of Human Services and General Services, also is slated to answer questions at the meeting.

The gathering is scheduled for 6:30 to 8:30 p.m at the Friendship Baptist Church (900 Delaware Ave. SW).


850 Delaware Ave SW (Photo via Google Maps)The District Council today approved a new location for the homeless family shelter planned for Southwest.

The move was part of a revision to Mayor Muriel Bowser’s Homeward DC plan to replace the aging D.C. General shelter with smaller, safer shelters in all eight Wards. As part of the council’s revised plan, the Ward 6 shelter was moved from its initial planned location at 700 Delaware Ave. SW to 850 Delaware Ave. SW.

Today the council voted unanimously to approve the revised plan.

The Ward 6 shelter, which will offer transitional housing to up to 50 homeless families, was originally slated to be built next to Blind Whino, an art and event space in Southwest. However, neighbors expressed concerns about the chosen site which was not on land owned by the District.

Neighbors identified District-owned property at 850 Delaware Ave. SW as a possible alternative. After considering another alternative location at 200 K St. NW, Ward 6 Councilman Charles Allen recommended that the council choose 850 Delaware Ave. SW for the future shelter.

Currently, 850 Delaware Ave. SW houses a Unity Health Care clinic in need of repairs. Allen said in a statement that the city has committed to rebuilding the clinic as part of the shelter construction.

“I believe today’s vote represents a better deal for D.C. taxpayers, a better deal for the Southwest community, and most important, a better deal for those families experiencing homelessness,” Allen said in a statement on the change of location.

Photo via Google Maps


Police are on the lookout for two men connected a burglary that occurred very near the D.C. General campus last month.

During the burglary, which police say occurred on the 1900 block of Massachusetts Ave. SE on March 6, two suspects “pried open [a] kiosk machine and took an unknown amount of currency.”

In a video released today by police, two men can be seen rummaging through what appears to be a waiting room before making off with a large machine. It wasn’t immediately clear what the machine was, however.

Police are also on the lookout a person connected to a Capitol Hill robbery that happened inside a residence the 100 block of North Carolina Ave. SE. Authorities say someone  “entered the residence and stole credit cards. The stolen credit cards were used to make purchases at several convenience stores.”

In the above video, a man who police say is connected to the crime can be seen using a credit card to make a purchase at a 7-Eleven.

Crime Solvers of Washington, DC currently offers a reward of up to $1,000 to anyone who provides information that leads to the arrest and indictment of the person or persons responsible for a crime committed in the District of Columbia. Your assistance is appreciated by your community.

Anyone who can identify these individuals or who has knowledge of this incident should take no action but call police at (202) 727-9099 or text your tip to the Department’s TEXT TIP LINE to 50411.

Screenshots via MPD Videos


Crime tape (Photo via Flickr/nullvalue)

Police are combing through National Arboretum’s water areas as part of a new investigation into the disappearance of a girl from the  D.C. General homeless shelter in 2014, local news outlets reported today.

Authorities have been searching for Relisha Rudd since her family last saw her at the homeless shelter on March 1, 2014. She was eight years old at the time of her disappearance.

Her mother has told police the child had been under the care of Kahil Tatum, a janitor at the shelter who had previous felony convictions. Tatum shot his wife, police said, and then was found dead in a park on March 31.

Photo via Flickr/nullvalue


L St. and New Jersey Ave. NWThough the District is moving forward with plans to build its new Ward 6 transitional housing facility next to the site of the Blind Whino art space at 700 Delaware Ave. SW, that wasn’t the only site it considered.

According to information released by Mayor Bowser’s office yesterday, the city also considered building its new shelter at the intersection of L St. and New Jersey Ave. NW.

The city says the site was not chosen because it wasn’t large enough for a new shelter.

“We were looking for roughly 30,000 square feet per site, preferably close to public transportation and other services and amenities, and sites that are economically feasible – and able to be developed within a 24-30 month timeline,” Bowser’s office said in a press release. “Once we had exhausted that inventory, we looked for properties to purchase or lease. . . . In total, we reviewed 28 responses from all eight wards.”

Click here to view a map of every location the city considered, courtesy of the Washington City Paper.

Photo via Google Street View


Morning Rundown

Yards Park Mosaic

New Non-Profit Seeks to Support Young Women in Need of Mentorship and Support — HER Resiliency Center, a new non-profit started by a Congressional staffer who was once an addict and sex worker, will hold a fundraiser on Feb. 24 to raise funds for the new center, which seeks to help women age 18-25. [Hill Rag]

Plan to Close D.C. General, Build Shelter in Southwest Puts Two Ward 6 Neighborhoods at Odds — When Mayor Muriel Bowser announced her plan to replace D.C. General with smaller shelters in each Ward, many expected Ward 6, which includes D.C. General, to be fully on board. However, concerns of some Southwest residents show that support is not even across the Ward. [Washington City Paper]

Arena Stage’s ‘City of Conversation’ Shows That Little Changes in Politics — “City of Conversation,” a play currently showing at Arena Stage, is a political drama set in the 1980s with a plot that is nonetheless very relevant to today’s political climate. [Washington City Paper]


(Updated at 1:50 p.m.) Ward 6 residents can learn more about the proposed transitional housing shelter in Southwest and give their input at a community meeting tonight.

Mayor Muriel Bowser’s office will hold meetings in all eight Wards this evening to discuss the plan announced on Tuesday to replace the D.C. General homeless shelter with eight smaller shelters across the city. Bowser is scheduled to attend the Ward 6 meeting tonight.

The Ward 6 community meeting will be held from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at Friendship Baptist Church at 900 Delaware Ave. SW, a block away from the proposed site of the new shelter at 700 Delaware Ave. SW.

Bowser’s plan calls for a seven-story building to be built next to the Blind Whino arts club and museum. The shelter is intended to hold up to 50 families at a time and will include parking. The plan also calls for playground and recreation space, a computer lab for residents and on-site support services for families in the shelter.

An employee at Blind Whino said over the phone that the arts organization has no official comment on the plans and doesn’t expect the planned shelter to interfere with its programming.

Ward 6 Councilmember Charles Allen said he believes residents will ultimately support the plan, which will allow the city to close the shelter at D.C. General in Hill East. He also said he would work with Southwest residents to make sure that their concerns are addressed in the planning process.

Allen will also host community office hours in Southwest on Friday from 8-9:30 a.m. at the Waterfront Starbucks at 1100 4th St. SW.

Photos via dc.gov

2 Comment

Mayor-Bowser-at-presser-Feb-9Mayor Muriel Bowser this morning announced plans to close the homeless shelter at D.C. General by 2018 and replace it with smaller neighborhood shelters in all eight Wards.

Closing the shelter inside the former D.C. General hospital at 1900 Massachusetts Ave. SE was a goal of Bowser and her predecessor Vincent Gray. This morning, Bowser announced the locations of smaller shelters that will replace D.C. General.

In a press conference before the District Council earlier today, Bowser said that D.C. General is “too big, too old and too far removed from the services that get families back on their feet.”

The last of the smaller shelters are set to complete construction by September 2018, at which point families still in D.C. General will be relocated and the aging shelter will be closed.

In Ward 6, a new shelter will be established at the site of the Blind Whino art space at 700 Delaware Ave. SW. The shelter is slated to house up to 50 families at a time and will include a playground and recreation space, computer lab and ongoing support services for families.

The District Department of General Services plans to build a new, seven-story building beside the existing Blind Whino building. Construction is set to begin next February and is expected to be completed in May 2018. According to architect’s renderings, the colorful church building that currently houses Blind Whino will remain an art space with the shelter next to it.

Ward 6 Councilman Charles Allen supported the Mayor’s plan at the District Council meeting this morning, calling on Ward 6 residents to support the plan as well.

The other planned shelters will be located in the following locations:

  • 2105-2107 10th St. NW (Ward 1)
  • 810 5th St. NW (Ward 2)
  • 2619 Wisconsin Ave. NW (Ward 3)
  • 5505 Fifth St. NW (Ward 4)
  • 2266 25th Place NE (Ward 5)
  • 5004 D St. SE (Ward 7)
  • 6th Street and Chesapeake streets SE (Ward 8)

Morning Rundown

Fall on the Anacostia

Man Who Landed Gyrocopter at Capitol Wants to Run For Congress — Douglas Hughes, a man charged with landing a gyrocopter on the U.S. Capitol grounds is considering running for congress in his home state of Florida. [DCist]

Condos Coming to Former Capitol Hill Church — The former Way of the Cross Church of Christ church at 9th and D streets NE is being converted into condos. [PoPville]

Playtime Project for Children at D.C. General Needs Donations to Reach 2016 Goal — The Playtime Project, a group that works with children at D.C. General homeless shelter is collecting donations to buy school supplies and toys for children at the shelter. [Hill Rag]


Morning Rundown

Union Station

Police Conduct Five-Hour Search for Relisha Rudd at Construction Site, Find No Evidence — Police searched a construction site in Northeast for five hours yesterday looking for evidence related to the disappearance of Relisha Rudd, who was kidnapped from D.C. General homeless shelter in 2014. [Washington Post]

Video Shows Danger of Crossing North Capitol Street in NoMa — Steven Glazerman, a writer for Greater Greater Washington, filmed his daily commute across North Capitol Street at the intersection with Pierce Street NE, showing that most cars don’t stop even as he makes his way across the crosswalk. [Greater Greater Washington]

Developers Plan to Break Ground on Condos at The Yards in Early 2016 — PN Hoffman, the developer behind condo projects at The Yards development in Navy Yard, is set to begin construction on a 10-story, 138-unit building in the first quarter of 2016. [Washington Business Journal]

Plans Revealed for Two Apartment Buildings North of Nationals Park — Developer JBG released plans for the intersection of Half and N streets SE that would add 225 condos, 200 apartments and retail space. [Washington Business Journal]

Capitol Hill Bar Makes List of Best New Bars in the District  — Capitol Hill bar Stanton & Greene, which opened in February at 319 Pennsylvania Ave. SE, made DCist’s list of the best bars that opened this year in D.C. [DCist]


Morning Rundown

Rowhouses on E Street NE

District Government Moves Closer to Closing D.C. General — The District took another step toward closing the homeless shelter at the former D.C. General hospital when Mayor Muriel Bowser announced plans for between six and eight new shelters across the city. [WAMU]

Owner of Taxi Involved in Crash With Police Questions Police Speed — Rock Creek Cab Company owner Mo Rahim is questioning how fast a police car was traveling when it collided with a cab on H Street NE Friday. [WUSA 9]

Building Intended as Site of H Street NE Bar Back On the Market — The building at 1336 H St. NE is back on the market after plans for a sports bar, Sin Bin Sports Bar and Restaurant, fell through. [District Cuisine]

Developers Submit Revised Designs for Apartments Near Potomac Avenue Metro Station — Developers have submitted new designs for an apartment building at 1401 Pennsylvania Ave. SE after city planners suggested that they make the building appear shorter. [Washington Business Journal]

Eastern High School Wins Second Straight Gravy Bowl — The Eastern High School football team won the Gravy Bowl championship last night with a 45-8 win over Bell High School. [Eastern HS Football]


Morning Rundown


J.O. Wilson Elementary Receives $175,000 Grant for Extra Services — Mayor Muriel Bowser announced at a press conference at J.O. Wilson Elementary School on Capitol Hill that the school will receive a $175,000 community schools grant to provide health care, extra learning, mental-health services and counseling for families of students. [Washington Post]

Center for Teens, Preteens Opens at D.C. General — A youth center inside D.C. General homeless shelter designed by the Homeless Children’s Playtime Project for teens and preteens opened yesterday. [NBC Washington]

Ten 01 Restaurant and Bar Opens Above Ben’s Chili Bowl on H Street NE — Ten 01, the bar and restaurant on the second floor of Ben’s Chili Bowl at 1001 H St. NE opened yesterday with a refined menu that includes a half-smoke-infused Manhattan and a prickly pear margarita. [Washington City Paper]

NoMa Parks Foundation Buys Its First Property — The NoMa Parks Foundation, a group responsible for bringing more parks to NoMa purchased their first property last week. The lot at 3rd and L streets NE is just over 5,000 square feet and cost the foundation $3.2 million. [Washington Business Journal]


Morning Rundown

NoMa water tower

Suspicious Package in NoMa Not Hazardous — An envelope with a white substance and note found in the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission at 131 M St. NE yesterday wasn’t hazardous, hazmat crews determined after an investigation that temporarily closed the 100 block of M Street NE. [WUSA9]

Department of Justice Plans to Move Offices to NoMa — The U.S. Department of Justice has signed a 15-year lease to relocate its offices to the Constitution Square office development near the NoMa-Gallaudet University Metro station. [Washington Business Journal]

Post Food Critic: Sally’s Middle Name Shines on Seasonal Dishes, Not Service Washington Post restaurant reviewer Tom Sietsema gave H Street NE eatery Sally’s Middle Name rave reviews on its seasonal dishes. But he said the service left something to be desired. [Washington Post]

Families Relocated from D.C. General Complain About New Housing — Several of the nearly 1,000 families who have been moved from D.C. General homeless shelter to permanent housing complain of mold, rats and roaches in their new apartments. [NBC Washington]


(Updated at 9:25 Friday) Teens and preteens at the D.C. General homeless shelter soon will have their own space to do homework and receive tutoring.

The Homeless Children’s Playtime Project, an organization that creates spaces for homeless children to play and learn, is planning next month to convert unused space at D.C. General into a room designed specifically for shelter residents who are eight to 19 years old.

“A sense of space really directly impacts one’s self esteem,” said Jamila Larson, the executive director and co-founder of the Playtime Project. “I think being in a safe, predictable, beautiful and supportive environment makes a huge difference in inspiring and motivating people to get back on their feet.”

The group plans to open the space Oct. 21 on the first floor of the shelter in an area once used as a patient waiting room when D.C. General was a hospital. The space has remained empty since the building became a homeless shelter in 2012.

Before the opening, the Playtime Project is looking for volunteers to help set up the space on Oct. 10 and 17.

Larson said the group has wanted to build a space specifically for teens and preteens for several years. The program works with 10 t0 15 teens and 15 to 20 preteens on any given night, she said.

D.C. General has designated rooms for infants and elementary school-aged children. But older children have to meet with mentors and tutors from the organization in shared spaces, often resulting in disruptions and scheduling conflicts.

“We’ve had to share space with the shelter which means being displaced when the shelter needs a meeting space,” Larson said. “That kind of disruption is especially stressful for people experiencing homelessness because so much of their life is in flux and is disrupted already.”

Larson said children can use the room to do homework, read, go on computers and, for the younger children, play freely. Movable box furniture will split the room into teen and preteen sections. Larson added that the space was designed so that it could be easily relocated to another facility in the future.

“The shelter is not going to be around forever; it may be closed in four to five years,” she said. “But the hundreds of children that are going to come here in the meantime deserve a safe, bright, beautiful program space starting now. It can’t wait; there’s homework due every day.”

Larson credited Mayor Muriel Bowser’s administration with helping clear some of the red tape that has prevented Playtime Project from building a designated teen and preteen space in past years.

The project is funded largely by a $30,000 grant from Lowe’s and several local businesses have volunteered their time to help build the space.

Photos via Homeless Children’s Playtime Project


Morning Rundown

Teenage Victim of Southwest Shooting Recovering — Taije Chambliss, a 13-year-old girl who was injured Sunday in a drive-by shooting in Southwest, is awake and alert, according to her family. [WUSA 9]

‘House Detectives’ Track History of Capitol Hill Houses — Capitol Hill residents Michelle Pilliod Carroll and Nina Tristani founded N&M House Detectives to help area residents research and document the history of their homes. [Hill Rag]

Memorial Service Held for American University Alumnus Killed in NoMa July 4 — American University students, faculty and community members gathered at a memorial service for Kevin Sutherland, an American University graduate who was stabbed to death on a Metro train at the NoMa-Gallaudet University Metro station July 4. [Roll Call]

D.C. Quietly Expands Homelessness Services — Mayor Muriel Bowser’s administration has begun placing homeless families in motel rooms during the summer in a shift from previous policy, which only offered shelter to families on freezing nights. The D.C. General homeless shelter, which houses families, was at capacity as of last week. [Washington Post]


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