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Mayor Bowser Announces $1.7 Million Grant for Downtown Day Services Center to Support Individuals Experiencing Homelessness

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Mayor Bowser today announced a $1.7 million grant to build a Downtown Day Services Center that will provide critical services to individuals experiencing homelessness. The program will be housed in the New York Avenue Presbyterian Church and managed by the DowntownDC Business Improvement District (BID), with social services provided by Pathways to Housing DC (Pathways), District agencies, and other key partners.  
“As we continue our work to make homelessness rare, brief, and nonrecurring, the Downtown Day Services Center will enable us to reach more individuals and get more residents connected to the resources and supports they need to stay safe and secure permanent housing,” said Mayor Bowser. “This center is one more way we can provide individuals experiencing homelessness with the respite and resources they need and deserve.”
The center will open prior to the start of 2018-2019 hypothermia season which begins on November 1, 2018 and will serve at least 100 clients per day. Clients will have access to meals, computers, showers, and laundry facilities. Additionally, services will include connections to case management, behavioral health resources, employment support, and housing assessments.  
“We’re proud to be working with these experienced partners to bring robust, wrap-around homeless services back to downtown DC,” said Department of Human Services Director Laura Zeilinger. “This program is a critical component in advancing the progress made to reduce and end homelessness in the District.”
The center, which will work to connect clients to permanent housing, will operate Monday through Friday from 9 am to 5 pm. Programming will promote wellness and harm reduction, and clients will be able to access transportation assistance, legal services, and assistance with securing vital documents.
“A Downtown Day Services Center has for many years been the missing piece in our shared effort to comprehensively address the needs of individuals experiencing homelessness in the District,” said DowntownDC BID President and CEO Neil Albert. “Today, this vision has finally become a reality through the essential and significant public-private partnership between the District of Columbia, the DowntownDC BID, Pathways to Housing DC, and other nonprofit partners.”
Combined, DowntownDC BID, Pathways, and the New York Avenue Presbyterian Church have decades of experience working to support individuals experiencing homelessness in Washington, DC.
“This Downtown Day Services Center is incredibly important in our fight to end homelessness,” said Christy Respress, Executive Director of Pathways to Housing DC. “It will help bridge the gap between the District’s street outreach teams and service providers while providing a safe and welcoming space for people experiencing homelessness."
Mayor Bowser’s plan to end homelessness embraces a housing-first strategy with the underlying goal of permanent housing for all residents. In addition to making unprecedented investments in affordable housing, the Bowser Administration has launched a Homelessness Prevention Program which has prevented a shelter stay for more than 5,700 families; increased investments in permanent housing programs by nearly 60 percent; expanded year-round access to shelter; and connected 3,900 single adults to permanent housing, including 1,700 veterans.