This week’s news brief looks at a group of stories that hit the media this week about homelessness in the Greater Washington region. A special thanks to all Catalogue nonprofits that support those experiencing homelessness in the DC region, especially during the winter months.
Finding homes for the homeless in Fairfax County (Washington Post) “Although building the database is foremost about getting chronically homeless people into housing, the information also will help guide the county and nonprofit groups as they expand and improve their services, says Amanda Andere, the executive director of Facets. Part of the reason they must prioritize people is that the county lacks the resources to house everyone. The aim is to get at least 150 chronically homeless people into permanent housing within three years.”
D.C. Homeless Families Face Difficult Obstacles When Seeking Shelter (HuffPost: DC Impact) “The Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless, which provides legal representation for low- and no-income clients, compiled numerous complaints from clients and other relevant data to present major inefficiencies and inadequacies in the District’s current handling of homeless shelter accessibility. Focusing primarily on homeless families, the report identifies specific errors, including: altering the homeless of upcoming hypothermic conditions too late, failing to place qualifying families in shelters on nights where temperatures did not drop below freezing, wrongfully denying eligible families shelter placement and wrongfully threatening to expel families from shelters.”
D.C.’s main shelter crowded with large families (Washington Post) “A shortage of affordable housing for larger families with four or more children is a big factor behind crowded conditions at the District’s main family homeless shelter in Southeast Washington. The shelter has been filled to capacity this winter, with more than 900 people, including a record 600 children some nights. Rising poverty, unemployment and a lack of housing options among single parents who are heads of households are driving the city’s problem, experts say. The vast majority of parents living in D.C. General are single and female, according to the Department of Human Services.”