Severe Beating At A Permanent Supportive Housing Unit

The following is a message that I received from a formerly homeless man about a comrade who might've been murdered shortly after moving into a Permanent supportive Housing unit. (I've done some slight editing.) The PSH program is the program that Mayor Fenty used to justify closing Franklin Shelter. Many people who've been offered housing through this program have turned it down due to, among other reasons, being placed in unsafe, drug-ridden neighborhoods. Now we have a possible murder of a formerly homeless man. As if murder isn't appalling enough in and of itself, this man lived more than 10 years on the street and less than 1 week in his apartment after being. It seems to be safer to live on the streets than in an apartment. That's sad.

Mr. Barry, Ms. Alexander,

Good Morning. I am e-mailing you both this morning in the fear that a man that I was homeless in the streets of downtown D.C. with (who himself had been homeless for about 10-15 years) was beaten to death over the weekend in the hallway of the Permanent Supportive Housing unit assigned him on about the 4th of last month.

He is/was one of mine ("mine" meaning that since being delivered from my drug addiction and homelessness I've continually interacted and monitored the activities of my homeless friends in the areas downtown that I called home while homeless).

Not only is this a Heads up, I'm asking for your help. This is what I know: On Friday night, at 3333 10th Pl. S.E.( your Ward 8, Mr. Barry ) another one of my people who had been assigned a unit at that address three-four weeks earlier and knew the said victim was awaken by what he described as a bunch of noise. Being new to an area that he didn't feel safe in he chose to ignore the incident. After about 5 minutes or so as he got up, he recognized the screams to be those of the homeless guy and friend he had known for years on the streets. He then grabbed a hammer and opened his door to see two guys and a girl badly beating a man that we know by the name of, " Quick ". (His real name is/was, Tommy Overton. He was assigned apartment # 204 of the previously stated address.)

After chasing the three out of the building with the hammer and helping the badly beaten " Quick ", to his door he returned to his apartment and went back to sleep. He had been drinking and when I asked whether or not he called 911 he said no. He doesn't have a house phone and he was sure that with all the noise and the screams in the hallway that someone in the building surely had called 911.

On Saturday, after about 1:00 pm he went up to #204 to check on, " Quick ", and his door was opened slightly enough for him to see that, " Quick " was collapsed just inside the door blocking farther entrance, laying in a pool of blood with blood all over the walls. By this time having someone with him that had a cell phone, they called 911 and left the building, citing a rule of the streets -- to mind your own business.

Out of the entire building, someone had to have heard the screams of a neighbor being beaten and nobody ever opened their door or called 911. After calling 911 and leaving, they called me. They returned home to a Crime Scene taped building and were interviewed a couple of times by Homicide Detectives, which leads to be believe that Tommy died.

I called the police on Sunday from the scene and had a cruiser come by so as to learn of his status and after running my name for warrants they imformed me that no info could be given to me and that any info that I got would have to come from the victims mother, father, sister or brother. News in the Homeless community gets around fast. I've had over 15 calls as to whether he's dead or not. I do know that his mother and father are deceased.

On Friday while testifing, I was cut off by Mr. Wells. He said that I was to provide him proof of any statements that I made. In my previous testimonies and also during the broadcast of Housing First -- The Sequel, I've said over and over and over again that the placement of people with drug addiction issues would not be well-served being placed in an area of high drug traffic. This incident did not have to happen.

It's also not by chance that it happen in one of your two wards since the vast majority of the placements are in your wards. This could have been avoided. We, the formerly homeless and homeless, citing our unique qualifications in homelesssness could of helped to avoid this.

Mr. Well agreed to meet with us at STREATS along with the two of you to see if we can work something out. I'm asking for your Help, now more so than later. I need to know whether or not, Tommy Overton died as a result of the beating he took at the hands these two men and one woman. Tommy survived some 10-15 years on the streets of D.C. and it seems that after 3-4 days in a PSH program housing unit, he's beaten to death in the hallway. Please let me know if he did die. Contact me via e-mail or phone at 202/422-7729. What a shame that there had to be a, " sacrificial lamb ".


Government officials should never stop on helping homeless people nationwide. Hundreds and maybe thousands of these homeless people are into drug addiction because they don't have any livelihood. That is why a full support of the government is needed.

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