Showing posts from February, 2015

Fund Homeless Employment Strategies

The following was a testimony I prepared for DC Mayor Muriel Bowser's Budget “hearing” on February 23rd, 2015. It turns out that the event was actually a roundtable discussion with dozens of tables and hundreds of people brainstorming about what the mayor's budget priorities should be. That said, I never read my testimony to government personnel while being televised like I would at an actual hearing. No worries; as, you get to read it here and now.
At the risk of evoking thoughts about my notorious love of women and/or inspiring a lesser charge of infatuation with Muriel Bowser (infatuation usually being associated with females), I'll say that the mayor has made yet another brownie point with me. Let's be clear: I came to DC on July 31st, 2005; experienced the last 17 months of the Tony Williams administration; but, I never met the man. I met Adrian Fenty during the summer of 2006 while he was campaigning for mayor – having served as such from January 2007 to January 2…

I Love DC Mayor Muriel Bowser('s Plan for Ending Homelessness)

Quite frankly, I think that the Bowser administration is doing better than the council (headed by Phil Mendelson) when it comes to addressing homelessness. Muriel Bowser hit the ground running when she took office. She used Miriams's Kitchen as a backdrop when announcing her cabinet appointments for positions that are related to homelessness. (Oddly enough, “Homeless Czar(ina)” Kristy Greenwalt wasn't present.) Since taking office, the mayor has moved Deborah Carroll from being interim director of the Department of Human Services (DHS) to being director of the Department Of Employment Services (DOES). I'm holding out hope that Ms. Carroll, who has already responded well to my request for a meeting about homeless employment, will continue to please me by forcing a continuous and robust public conversation around this topic and will impress me with what she actually “DOES”.
While I won't completely rehash all of the compliments that I gave Mayor Bowser in the previous b…

DC Mayor Muriel Bowser Might Actually End Homelessness!!!

In recent weeks many people have asked my thoughts on DC Mayor Muriel Bowser who took office on January 2nd, 2015. I tell them that, while I believe that she really wants to end homelessness, I worry that she doesn't have the right people informing the process. Like I told Mayor Bowser at the January 28th homeless point-in-time count (one of at least five homeless/affordable housing events that I know she's attended since December 29th, 2014), I like her appointment of Laura Zeilinger as director of the Dept. of Human Services (DHS) and a few other cabinet appointments – kristy Greenwalt as director of the Inter-agency Council on homelessness (ICH), Brenda Donald as deputy mayor of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Polly Donaldson as director of the Dept. of Housing and Community Development (DHCD).
I also told her that, after the results of the 2014 count indicated that there had been a 13% increase in DC homelessness in a single year (going from 6,859 in '13 to 7,748 …