PRESS RELEASE: Mayor Gray’s Budget Proposal would Shut Down DC’s Homeless Shelter System, Discovers Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless

Posted on Apr 13, 2011 in DC Policies and Plans | 2 comments

**Update: According to DHS’ recently released Homeless Services Budget Analysis for FY12, the funding gap for Homeless Services is actually $20.5 million. The analysis also reveals that the Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) is fully funded at 7.4 million for FY12. Read more about it here: DHSBudgetBriefing2012 _________________________________ FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE April 13, 2011 Contact: Andy Silver, Staff Attorney (202) 328-5500...

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DC Government to Close 50% of Shelter Units for Homeless Families Due to Budget Shortfall

Posted on Mar 31, 2011 in DC Budget, DC Policies and Plans, Housing, Shelter | 5 comments

By Marta Beresin, Staff Attorney Officials at the DC Department of Human Services (“DHS”) recently announced they plan to reduce the number of units of emergency shelter for families from the present 300 down to 150 by November 1st.  They will do so by letting the 150 units at DC General Family Shelter remain vacant as families move out over the next 7 months. You may ask why?  Is homelessness among families on the decline?  Has the demand for...

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“Where Do We Go When the Shelter Closes?”

Posted on Mar 7, 2011 in Clients, Homelessness, Housing, Hypothermia, Law, People | 0 comments

By Julie Broas, Staff Attorney Every weekday at 10 a.m., Ana Portillo, a Case Manager with Catholic Charities, meets with a group of Latino men in a small conference room at the Sacred Heart Church in Columbia Heights. During the winter months, the conversation invariably focuses on survival strategies – how the men, most of whom are homeless, can secure a bed in the hypothermia shelter that opens at Sacred Heart when it’s freezing or, if they...

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Homeless Mom Given Tough Choice: Leave DC or Place Children in Foster Care

Posted on Feb 15, 2011 in DC Budget, Homelessness, Housing, Hypothermia, Law, Shelter | 3 comments

By Marta Beresin, Staff Attorney Last week a mother of three was given an ultimatum by the DC Child and Family Services Administration:  get on a Greyhound bus for a shelter placement in another state or we’ll place your children in foster care.  The alleged neglect or abuse?  Being financially unable to afford to provide a home for her children.   As a matter of law, the District had no basis for making such a threat.  It is firmly established...

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