From: Eric Sheptock
Subject: A Dangerous, Illegal Mode of Transportation To and From the 801 East Shelter.....

To: "Adrian Fenty" , "Adrian Fenty" , "Adrian Fenty" , "Adrian Fenty" mayor@dc.gov

3 of his e-mails disappear when I publish the post. Use the 1 that remains to contact him about the following situations.

Also read the post below this one if you haven't already. It explains "Sheptock vs. Fenty", the court case around re-opening Franklin Shelter. I feel honored to have my name on a court case against a lying, insidious "mayor that doesn't care".

Date: Saturday, October 4, 2008, 12:17 PM

The men who reside at the 801 East shelter on the grounds of St. Elizabeth's Hospital are being transported in a manner that is both dangerous and illegal. I plan to contact the police about it if nothing is done and I mean like yesterday, Mayor Fenty.


You are free to forward, post and publish the following information. Notice that I have sent this to the mayor. He can't claim ignorance. I've sent it to 4 e-mails of his. I'm sure that he'll see it at least once. (If I stop in the middle of a thought, it means that my time ran out on the library computer.)



I have been staying at the 801 East (MLK, Jr.) Shelter since Friday, September 26th, 2008. The Park and rec. buses have taken us to and from the shelter each day that I've been there. However, I've done some investigating and found that that hasn't always been the case. The men have only been driven back into town in the mornings for about a week now. Until then, they had to walk 4 miles and cross over a bridge that has no sidewalks or side lanes, which is quite dangerous if not illegal. I have also witnessed gross over-crowding of the bus, which I know is illegal.

The story began about 6 months ago. Around March of this year, the same Park and Rec. bus which transported men to and from the shelter was being used to transport children when it rolled over on its side. Needless to say, that bus is out of commission. The driver who was driving that bus at the time was the same man who drove the shelter residents into town in the morning. The city supposedly couldn't afford to pay the evening driver overtime. They therefore eliminated the morning bus coming from the shelter Monday through Friday. The men had to walk back downtown 5 days a week. The bus continued to operate 7 nights per week bringing men to the shelter, but only brought them back downtown on Saturday and Sunday.

Then the Franklin shelter was closed. Many of those who opposed the Franklin closure touted the unreliable transportation between 801 East and Downtown as one of their reasons. The city realized that they would need to improve the transportation in order to pacify the Pro-Franklinists. Those who've been at 801 East longer than me have told me that, as of today (October 4th), the 7-day morning bus service has only been functional for about a week. They claim that it was only restarted as a result of the Franklin closure. (Franklin was closed on the morning of September 26th.)

With the full-sized bus having turned over, a mini-bus is being used to transport the men. It seats 16 passengers legally. This morning I counted 12 people, myself included, who were standing in the aisle or sitting on the floor in the rear cargo area for a total of 28 men. The bus does not have ceiling rails or handles for standing passengers. We were holding the backs of seats that have no handles of any kind on them. As the driver sped through curves, those of us who were standing began to sway with the centrifugal force. I see the ingredients for another roll-over accident. I feel unsafe. Even if I were guaranteed a seat, someone might fall on me and even the seated passengers get hurt during a roll-over.

In addition to the unsafe driving conditions, the bus only makes 3 trips in the morning and 3 trips in the evening for a shelter that houses over 400 men. With its grossly illegal capacity, it still doesn't serve a quarter of the residents. The men bum rush the bus in an effort to get a ride and not have to wait 30 to 45 minutes for the next bus. In the morning, the first bus arrives around 6:30. The second arrives anywhere between 7 and 7:20. If there even is a 3rd, which is not always the case, it arrives at the shelter around 8 AM. In any case, it takes about 15 minutes to get Downtown. Now you can see why the men don't like going to 801 East.

Several men stopped me in the park this morning as I made my rounds. They told me their concerns pertaining to transportation to and from both 801 East and the NY Ave. Shelter, with me having already discussed the 801 East situation with other residents earlier.

I've been told that a UPO van used to bring men to NY Ave. A man told me this morning that Pat Handy stated on or about September 26th that there would be no more UPO bus service to NY Ave. In essence, they only provided bus service long enough to justify closing Franklin Shelter. This man was concerned with the elderly men who need to walk up to 4 miles to get to the shelter, some of them being on canes. All of them suggested that the UPO bus service to and from NY Ave. be resumed. Let's not do a bait and switch. Some of the homeless accepted going to other shelters due to there being suitable transportation. To remove that suitable transportation now that they've moved would amount to a bait and switch. Don't tempt them to commandeer a bus.


Paul J. Amara, the senior program manager at 801 East, circulated a notice pertaining to the storage policy for all former Franklin residents on the evening of October 3rd. It gave us permission to use our foot lockers from Franklin until October 15th. (Franklin had foot lockers that were transported to 801 East after the Franklin closure. 801 East has wall lockers.) We are expected to use the wall lockers come the 15th. In the notice, he has given permission to use the foot lockers after the 15th if we have not been issued a wall locker. You should be made aware that beds were recently added to 801 East. It now has more beds than lockers. The beds are less than 2 feet apart. Ordering more wall lockers would make us feel a little more like sardines as they would take up even more floor space. Let's keep the foot lockers indefinitely.

Please contact Mr. Amara with your concerns and ask for a paper copy of his notice.
HIS NUMBER IS: (202) 409-9329.

All roads lead back to Franklin, not Rome.

It behooves DC Gov. to house me so that I get less first-hand experience and second-hand information pertaining to the homeless issue.

I will post this on my blog.

Eric Jonathan Sheptock
925 13th St., NW
Washington, D.C. 20005-4005


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