Showing posts from January, 2009

Downtown Homeless Shelter Struggle Continues: Franklin Shelter Hearing Friday, January 30th at 9:00am in DC Superior Court

For more information:
Pete Tucker 202-365-6118
Jane Zara 202-390-2449

Former inhabitants of Franklin Shelter have sued Mayor Adrian Fenty over the abrupt closing of the only city downtown shelter this past fall. They will have a hearing on Friday, January 30th at 9:00 am in DC Superior Court, Room 517, 500 Indiana Ave., NW.

Plaintiffs are trying to get the city to provide shelter for those in need in the downtown DC area. Since Franklin Shelter was closed, former inhabitants of Franklin Shelter have been sent to the poorest parts of the city, lacking access to much needed medical and mental health services, with few, if any job opportunities. In addition to the loss of mental health and healthcare services, and loss of access to food and day labor opportunities, some former Franklin Shelter inhabitants also lost their possessions when the shelter was abruptly closed at 7:00am on September 26, 2008.

The closing of Franklin Shelter has forced homeless who remain …

Court Case To Improve Homeless Services and Create Housing -- also -- Reversing The budget Cuts

As you know, the mayor has begun a Housing First program called Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH). Though it has its flaws, it is a step in the right direction. However, it is important for homeless advocates to continue to prod him to improve his program. Unfortunately, many people have stopped fighting for improvements to homeless services, most likely because they feel that the creation of Permanent Supportive Housing was enough to prove that the mayor has a genuine desire to help the homeless and that the homeless are being helped sufficiently, neither of which is true.

Let me remind you that it was Councilman Fenty who promised to keep Franklin School open as a shelter while he was running for mayor, only to close it shortly after becoming mayor. After becoming mayor, he also promised to create a downtown shelter that was half the size of Franklin Shelter while at a WIN (Washington Inter-faith Network) meeting on April 7th, 2008. In addition to breaking these and other p…

HOMELESSNESS: A Political Issue

We are just days away from inaugurating President Barack Hussein Obama. President Obama claims to be progressive, offers hope and promises to bring change (which I already have plenty of in my pocket). Fortunately for the residents of Washington, DC, he also pays attention to local issues. He has made mention of DC Public Schools in a debate with John McCain. (It stands to reason that he'd be interested in how the educational system functions, being that he has 2 school-age daughters.) While senator, President Obama also voted to give DC full voting rights. (DC is often called "the last colony" due to its representative in Congress not having full voting rights and to the inordinate amount of congressional oversight of local affairs.) Furthermore, he has sent 2 men from his senatorial office to learn about the issue of homelessness, as indicated in the previous blog post. All of this just leaves you to wonder whether he'll retain his interest in the local issues of D…