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Ending Homelessness in the District of Columbia

Ending Homelessness
Replacing DC General with Short-Term Family Housing

The District of Columbia has a plan to end homelessness.  As part of that plan, we will close DC General - a former hospital that has served as the District’s largest family shelter for seven years. DC General is too big, too old and geographically removed from the services that individuals experiencing homelessness need to exit shelter and get back on their feet.  We will replace DC General by developing several short-term family housing facilities across the city.

Click here for a fact sheet with more information on the District’s plan.

Ward by Ward Information

Following is a list of locations for the short-term family housing facilities, along with the scheduled delivery dates.

Ward Site Construction Start Completion BZA Hearing Date
1 2105-2107 10th Street, NW Summer 2017
April 2018
Fall 2018
July 2019
2* 810 Fifth Street, NW March 2015 January 2016 N/A
3 2619 Wisconsin Avenue, NW
3320 Idaho Avenue, NW
February 2017
June 2017
May 2018
December 2019
June 2016 (application withdrawn)
TBD (new BZA application needed)
4 5505 Fifth Street, NW November 2016
June 2017
January 2018
November 2018
June 2016
5 2265 25th Place, NE
1700 Rhode Island Avenue, NE
February 2017
June 2017
January 2018
December 2019
June 2016 (application withdrawn)
TBD (new BZA application needed)
6 700 Delaware Avenue, SW
850 Delaware Avenue, SW
February 2017
June 2017
May 2018
December 2019

TBD (new BZA application needed)
7 5004 D Street, SE February 2017 September 2018 June 2016
8 6th St & Chesapeake Street, SE February 2017 September 2018 June 2016
All sites open and operating to close DC General October 2018
January 2020

Red lettering represents changes made by Council

* The Ward 2 site is a program for unaccompanied, adult women; all other sites are programs for families with minor children.

What is the plan to Close DC General, and how has the plan changed?

  • Mayor Bowser unveiled a bold plan:  On February 11, 2016, after more than a year of careful work and planning, Mayor Muriel Bowser unveiled an all 8 Ward strategy to close and replace DC General before the end 2018.  She then immediately presented legislation to the Council to approve the sites that were selected through a Request for Proposals process. The Bowser Administration then hosted several community meetings, prepared, shared and received feedback on site designs, and submitted the necessary applications to the Board of Zoning Adjustments.
  • Council made changes to the plan: The Council held a public hearing on the Mayor’s legislation on March 17, 2016, and on May 16, 2016, announced and voted on several revisions to the original plan, including changing 3 of the 8 sites. Council finalized the plan, which included their revisions, by unanimous vote on May 31, 2016. Mayor Bowser repeated her commitment to closing DC General as soon as possible.
  • Council’s changes extends the timeline to close DC General, but Mayor Bowser pledges to move forward as fast as possible.  The final plan achieves the Mayor’s goal of closing DC General by opening up smaller, more dignified and modern facilities in every ward of the city. However, the changes that Council made to the original plan—including changing the location of 3 sites (Wards 3, 5, and 6), and restructuring the property arrangements at 2 other sites (Wards 1 and 4)—extend the timeline for closing DC General by more than a year, to January 2020. Factors that contribute to the extended timeline include now needed to start over on architectural designs for the new sites and preparing and submitting new BZA applications.

What is the difference between the Mayor’s plan and the changes that Council made?

  • Leased sites (which were proposed by the Mayor for Wards 3, 4, 5 and 6) allowed for developers to procure all designs and construction, delivering turn-key facilities to the District on a fast timeline. With the Mayor’s original plan, all needed solicitations had been completed, and the entire project was ready to move forward.
  • Owned sites (now required by Council) require the government to procure for the design and construction of the 3 new sites, as well as negotiate purchases for the sites in Wards 1 and 4. Council’s changes mean that the government now must solicit for the design of 3 new sites, which is a 60 day process. Then bring those designs to the community for input, finalize the designs, complete the BZA process, and then put out another solicitation for the construction of all sites.

What are the next steps?

  • The Bowser Administration, with Council, will continue to engage community members on the plan at every step of the process.  The Department of General Services will finalize property deals, hire architects to design facilities for the new sites, submit new BZA applications, procure firms to construct the sites, and manage the construction of each site. The Department of Human Services will continue its work to improve homeless services, and will contract for service providers at each of the new Short-term Family Housing sites through a competitive process.

Questions and Answers

Click here to see some frequently asked questions and answers.

Please click here to see the presentation Mayor Bowser presented to the Council of the District of Columbia.

Sign the pledge to end homelessness in DC.

Additional Resources