DC Residents Sound Off on Planned Homeless Shelters

A new homeless shelter is planned in each of the District's eight wards, and not everyone is happy about it.

D.C. residents flocked to community meetings Thursday night to weigh in on plans for the family shelters, most of which will have 50 or fewer units for families.

At a heated meeting in Ward 1, many residents said they were worried the 29-unit shelter planned for 10th and V streets NW, northeast of the U Street Metro station, would sink their property values and lead to a spike in crime.

"The folks who live right near there are the ones who are going to be bearing the consequences moving forward for decades," one man said.

Crime already is a concern in the area.

"There are marauders going down that street on both sides," another man said. "They troll on both sides. I watch this all day long. This is not completely a safe place."

The D.C. Council voted in November to close the troubled shelter at D.C. General, which houses about 250 families, including hundreds of children. More than 700 additional families are being housed in hotels in D.C. and Maryland. Mayor Muriel Bowser said the new shelters will provide a safer environment than the old hospital, where 8-year-old Relisha Rudd disappeared in March 2014.

Bowser stopped by the community meetings in all eight wards to hear from residents, some of whom said they support her plan.

"I want to remind folks that there are things more important than property values," one woman said.

"One thing I like about my community is we're welcoming. We're inclusive," a man said.

Bowser dismissed concerns the shelters could cause an increase in crime.

"I don't know that that's warranted, that people should be concerned about that," she told News4.

Asked about property values, she said, "We're going to be making a significant investment in a once-blighted, empty lot."

Here's where each of the new, short-term homeless shelters is planned:

  • Ward 1: 2105-2107 10th St. NW (29 units)
  • Ward 2: 810 5th St. NW (213-bed women's shelter)
  • Ward 3: 2619 Wisconsin Ave. NW (38 units)
  • Ward 4: 5505 5th St. NW (49 units)
  • Ward 5: 2266 25th Place NE (50 units)
  • Ward 6: 700 Delaware Ave. SW (50 units)
  • Ward 7: 5004 D St. SE (35 units)
  • Ward 8: 6th & Chesapeake Sts. SE (50 units)
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