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
Questions Remain After District Council Votes to Move Ward 6 Homeless Shelter to Mount Vernon Triangle — Mount Vernon Triangle residents are questioning the process of selecting sites for homeless shelters after the District Council voted to move the proposed Ward 6 shelter location from Southwest to 2nd and K streets NW. [Washington City Paper]
Jefferson Middle School, Capitol Hill Montessori to Receive Improvement Funds — As part of the proposed 2017 education budget, Jefferson Middle School at 801 7th St. SW could receive $1 million to upgrade its science labs while Capitol Hill Montessori at 215 G St. NE is slated to receive $4 million to pay for a new heating and cooling system. [Hill Rag]
Interviewing the Owner Behind Capitol Hill’s Most Unique Bookstore — Jim Toole, the owner of Capitol Hill Books, spoke to Washingtonian magazine about his unorthodox organization and his handwritten rules posted throughout the store. [Washingtonian]
Navy Yard Eatery Due South Eyeing Satellite Location on Yards Park Boardwalk — Navy Yard restaurant Due South is in the early stages of planning “Due South Dockside,” along the Yards Park boardwalk to serve drinks and a limited food menu. [JDLand]
What I hope is not lost today, as we debate & approve Homeward DC plan, is that we finally have more than just a desire to close DC General.
— Charles Allen (@CharlesAllenW6) May 17, 2016
The D.C. Council voted yesterday to alter Mayor Muriel Bowser’s plan to close the DC General homeless shelter and open seven smaller shelters across the District.
In the revised plan approved by the council, the city would build the new shelters on city-owned land as opposed to private land, meaning a change of location for three of the five proposed shelters.
“The initial site proposed for Ward 6 — 700 Delaware Ave. SW — cannot be opened quickly,” wrote D.C. Councilmember Charles Allen in a statement. “Those delays would ensure that this site could not meet the goal to open in 2018. The new site at 200 K St. NW is District-owned land and is already zoned for the appropriate height and density of a proposed building. This new site should allow the District to move forward more quickly.”
But there is some concern that the proposed site on K Street might not open by 2018. If that happens, as reported by WAMU, the city wouldn’t have enough housing for families as it closes DC General.
Now, we want to know: Do you support the city’s decision to move the site of the Ward 6 homeless shelter from 700 Delaware Ave. SW to 200 K St. NW? Take our poll below to weigh in and be sure to let us know how you feel in the comments.
Neighbors Raise Concerns About Homeless Shelter Planned in Southwest — Documents obtained by the Washington Post raise questions about Mayor Muriel Bowser’s plan to build a homeless shelter next to the Blind Whino event space. [Washington Post]
Man Accused of Killing American University Alumnus on Metro Train in NoMa Offered Plea Bargain — Jasper Spires, the 19-year-old man who is charged with killing American University alumnus Kevin Sutherland in July 2015 was offered a 30-year sentence in exchange for a guilty plea. [FOX 5]
How a Man With a History of Crime Slipped Through the Cracks of the D.C. Justice System — Antwon Durrell Pitt, a man accused of raping a woman in her Hill East home in October, had an extensive criminal record and violated the terms of his release from prison, but the District justice system failed to prevent him from striking again. [Washington Post]
Plans for Summer Camp Themed Bar Near Union Market Cancelled — Sloppy Joes, sugary cereals and booze will no longer come together after plans for a summer camp-themed bar near Union Market were cancelled by the property owner. [Washington City Paper]
Peruvian Restaurant in NoMa Reopened After Closing Due to Vermin Infestation — Chicken Rico Peruvian restaurant in NoMa reopened on Thursday after briefly closing after a District food safety and hygiene inspector reported a significant pest problem. [Hill Now]
Though 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
(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.
We will ask tough questions to ensure success, but do not underestimate the capacity of our residents to care about all of their neighbors.
— Charles Allen (@CharlesAllenW6) February 9, 2016
I will work w/ residents in Southwest to answer Q's, ensure a smart plan & make this proposal a success for neighborhood & neighbors in need
— Charles Allen (@CharlesAllenW6) February 9, 2016
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
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)
This is normally where we would tell you about events going on in the Capitol Hill area this weekend and warn you about Metro delays. However, the blizzard currently blowing into the area will shut down the Metro for the entire weekend and force most planned events to reschedule.
Mayor Muriel Bowser is urging residents to shelter at home for the duration of the storm. Here’s everything you need to know to weather the storm in the Capitol Hill area:
The Washington Post’s Capital Weather Gang is expecting snow to continue falling for about 36 hours with an average snowfall of an inch per hour. The storm is expected to be worst late this evening and into Saturday.
Pepco has warned District residents to expect some extended power outages in the area as heavy snow and high winds batter wires. Bowser also pleaded for patience after the storm as cleanup is expected to take several days.
Snow Emergency Plan
Bowser declared a snow emergency for the entire District this morning. Information on closures, emergencies and more is available at snow.dc.gov:
- Metrobus service will stop completely at 5 p.m.
- Metro Rail service will stop completely at 11 p.m.
- The District Department of Transportation has been towing cars off of Snow Emergency Routes and urges drivers to stay off the road if possible
The District government has designated public buildings in each Ward as warming areas, including the following buildings in the Capitol Hill area. Separate shelters are designated for people experiencing homelessness during the storm and those whose power might go out during the course of the storm:
Capitol Hill area warming shelters for those experiencing homelessness are:
- Trinidad Recreation Center (1310 Childress St. NE)
- King Greenleaf Recreation Center (201 N St. SW)
- Sherwood Recreation Center (640 10th St. NE)
If you see someone who may be experiencing homelessness or need shelter, call the shelter hotline at 1-800-535-7252 or 311 to request transportation to a shelter.
If power goes out in the Capitol Hill area, the Rosedale Recreation Center at 500 19th St. NE will be open as a warming center for those lacking power.
If you see an animal in need of assistance, contact the Washington Humane Society at 202-576-6664.
Phone Numbers to Know
- Pepco – 1-877-737-2662
- DC Water – 202-787-2000 or report a water main break using this online form
- Washington Gas – 703-750-1400 or 800-752-7520
Due to a new law signed by Bowser last year, the District is authorized to fine residents and businesses that don’t clear snow from sidewalks adjacent to their property within the first eight hours of daylight after snow stops falling. However, Bowser said on Thursday that the District will not be issuing tickets for unshoveled sidewalks during this storm. Still, city officials urge residents to shovel sidewalks in front of their property for neighbors’ safety.
What Do We Call This Storm
While it’s much more important to be prepared for the storm than to know what to call it, we do need something to call it. The official name of the storm is Winter Storm Jonas. However, that doesn’t have the ring of 2010’s Snowmageddon, and media outlets throughout the area have proposed their own names for the mega-storm:
- The Washington Times and NBC Washington are keeping it simple, using #Blizzard2016
- The Washington Post’s Capital Weather Gang dubbed the storm “Snowzilla”
- Hill Now sister site Borderstan got more creative with their naming, voting in a reader poll to call the storm “Gorf”
Photo via Flickr/58067032@N06
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]
We’ve made it through Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday, but the post-Thanksgiving holidays aren’t over yet. Today is Giving Tuesday, a day started in 2012 to give those who spent the past four days shopping a chance to give some of the money they saved to causes and charities they care about. And this year is shaping up to be the biggest Giving Tuesday ever, with NPR declaring this year that the quasi-holiday has officially become ‘a thing.’
For those looking to support causes in their own neighborhoods, there are plenty of options in the Capitol Hill area. The Greater Washington Catalogue for Philanthropy has a full, vetted list of area charities raising money this month on their website. Here are some local charities and organizations raising money today:
The Anacostia Watershed Society organizes cleanup and conservation efforts with the goal of making the Anacostia River swimmable and fishable. Funds raised go toward supplies to remove trash and tours of the river given to local students.
Reach for College! helps disadvantaged high school students across the district apply and prepare for higher education. In the Capitol Hill area, Reach for College! works with students at Eastern High School and Cesar Chavez PCS.
The Shaw-based STRIVE DC works with hard-to-employ adults in Wards 5, 6, 7 and 8 to give them the education, skills and confidence they need to find a job. Funds raised will go toward three-week job-training programs for adults and two-year follow-up services for those who have secured a job.
Open Arms Housing operates a home in NoMa where formerly homeless women live together in apartments where they can feel a sense of security and community. The organization also offers voluntary mental health and substance abuse services to its residents.
The Homeless Children’s Playtime Project makes sure that homeless children still have a chance to be kids by offering safe places where they can play, interact and work on homework. The project works within D.C. General Homeless shelter and other shelters across the city.
Based in Navy Yard, the Family and Youth Initiative pairs teens in foster care with caring adult role models and mentors. Donations provide anything from birthday cards for teens in foster care who otherwise would not receive anything to events where teens can meet families considering adoption.
Free Minds runs the literary journal The Untold Story of the Real Me: Young Voices from Prison. The group works with incarcerated youth, including those at the DC Jail in Hill East, to help them express themselves and connect with others through writing. The group also provides copies of inmates’ writing to local schools.
Everybody Wins! operates literacy and mentoring programs in low-income public elementary schools throughout the District including Amidon-Bowen, Ludlow-Taylor, Tyler, J.O. Wilson, Maury and Miner elementary schools in the Capitol Hill area.
CHAW offers arts education and opportunities for children and adults around the Capitol Hill area. Donations will be used to cover art class tuition for those who otherwise would not be able to afford it and supplies for arts classes.
BEST Kids offers mentorship and peer bonding events for foster children in the District. Mentors are helped by experts in psychiatry, education, legal advocacy and behavior management and help children set and reach goals for themselves.
Barracks Row Main Street is a nonprofit organization that supports businesses along 8th Street SE and hosts events in the area. The money raised during Giving Tuesday will go toward planting spring flowers, other seasonal decorations and other public space improvements along the street.
Photo via givingtuesday.org
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]
Nonprofit Dedicated to Helping Sex Workers Opens New H Street NE Facility — HIPS, a local nonprofit that offers counseling, needle-exchange and other services for sex workers, will have a grand opening for their new location at 906 H St. NE Thursday. [Washington City Paper]
Local CSA Hopes to Open Store Near Eastern Market — Farm to Family Community Supported Agriculture, a CSA that delivers food to about 300 people in the summer and 150 in the winter, is hoping to open a brick-and-mortar distribution store in the former site of Morton’s Pharmacy at the corner of East Capitol Street and 8th Street NE. [Hill Rag]
City Reportedly Considering Homeless Shelter at Half and L Streets SE — Though no plans have been finalized, the District is reportedly considering renovating the old GSA warehouse at Half and L Streets SE into a homeless shelter. [JDLand]
Pineapple and Pearls Teases January Opening — Pineapple and Pearls, the sister restaurant of Aaron Silverman’s long-lined Barracks Row eatery Rose’s Luxury, hinted at a January opening on Instagram yesterday. [Hill Now]
Police Release Transcript of 911 Call That Led to the Eastern Market Arrest That Sparked Protests — The District government has released a transcript of the 911 call that police were responding to when they arrested 18-year-old Jason Goolsby near Eastern Market last weekend. Goolsby’s arrest, which was caught on video, led some to accuse the officers of brutality. [Fox 5]
Development in NoMa to Replace Storage Facility Where Some Find Refuge from Homelessness — For some, Capital Self Storage on 3rd and N streets NE is the closest thing to a home, but the facility is set to be torn down to make way for a boutique hotel. [Washington Post]
Southwest Library Partners with National Museum of African American History and Culture for Home Movie Day Saturday — Southwest residents can bring their home movies to the Southwest library at 900 Wesley Place SW on Saturday for preservation tips and to emphasize the importance of home footage in underrepresented communities. [Washington Post]
Looking Back at the National Capital Planning Commission’s 2006 Recommendations for the RFK Stadium Site — Greater Greater Washington takes a closer look at the National Capital Planning Commission’s recommendations from 2006 for museums and mixed-use development at the RFK Stadium site, which is owned by the federal government. [Greater Greater Washington]
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]
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]