Ward 7

DC Neighborhood Plans to Challenge New Halfway House

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Plans for a new halfway house in D.C. are meeting growing resistance.

The federal Bureau of Prisons said it made a deal with a contractor to make the site of the longtime DC Eagle nightclub in Ward 7 the District’s new transition home for released federal prisoners. It would house 300 men.

But some community leaders here say it creates another problem.

“In terms of the community, it’s not the right fit,” Greg Herring said.

Herring, who served time in jail, said there aren’t enough services in the area.

“This is not helpful to the men that are going to be housed in this program,” he said.

ANC Commissioner Tyrell Holcomb said neighborhood leaders plan to challenge the placement of the halfway house, possibly in court.

“Ward 7 has not seen its fair share of economic development,” Holcomb said. “We want to see true economic renaissance that has our community in mind. Bringing a halfway house is not that opportunity.”

Ron Moten, a community leader in Ward 8, site of the former Hope Village halfway house that closed last month, said halfway houses have historically pitted some wards of D.C. against each other and against returning citizens.

“No matter what community this goes into, you are going to have a few people say not in my backyard,” Moten said. “But in this day of saying Black lives matters, not in my backyard syndrome has to leave.”

Ward 7 Councilman Vincent Gray declined an interview but in a statement, he indicated he might challenge the site, saying returning citizens should return to a setting that’ll make their transition as successful as possible.

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