(Washington, DC) – Mayor Muriel Bowser celebrated the Gonzalez family as they moved into their permanent home as part of the District’s “A Home for the Holidays” campaign. This celebration marks week three of the Mayor’s 2019-2020 A Home for the Holidays campaign, which seeks to successfully transition 400 households experiencing homelessness into long-term housing this holiday season.
“Each holiday season, we affirm our DC values by providing residents who are experiencing homelessness the support and second chance they need to get back into permanent housing,” said Mayor Bowser. “Through strengthened community partnerships and expedited program delivery, we can quickly get families into a home for the holidays.”
The DC Department of Human Services (DHS) launched the two-month campaign on November 15 and is calling on local landlords to avail additional units to house families and individuals experiencing homelessness. Landlords wanting to know more about innovative strategies implemented to reduce the risks in partnering with the District are encouraged to write [email protected]. The community is asked to partner with the District by donating new and gently used houseware to households. The Home for the Holidays campaign was first launched in 2017 and more than 800 total households moved into permanent housing over the course of both campaign years.
“We are connecting District residents experiencing homelessness to intensive services and community supports that help them stabilize and get back on their feet quickly,” said DHS Director Laura Zeilinger. “Each person is unique and has different needs, barriers, and strengths. We continue our work to transform our shelter system and accommodate all those different needs efficiently and effectively, and place residents on pathways to stable, long-term housing.”
The A Home for the Holidays campaign supports Homeward DC – Mayor Bowser’s strategic plan to transforming the shelter system and make homelessness in the District rare, brief, and non-recurring. Since its launch in 2016, more than 5,000 single adults and more than 4,600 families have exited homelessness into permanent housing.
Mayor Bowser continues to build on this progress. Over the last 14 months, Mayor Bowser opened five Short-Term Family Housing sites, including the Kennedy in Ward 4; the Horizon in Ward 7; the Triumph in Ward 8; the WJ Rolark Building in Ward 8; and the Sterling in Ward 5. In Fiscal Year 2020 and Fiscal Year 2021, the Mayor will open the final three Short-Term Family Housing sites in Wards 1, 3, and 6. These programs are the centerpiece of the transformation of Mayor Bowser’s emergency response system for families.
Mayor Bowser’s Fiscal Year 2020 budget invested over $91 million for new and upgraded emergency shelter and permanent supportive housing facilities, including:
- $11 million to complete Short-term Family Housing facilities under construction in Wards 1 and 3;
- $10.7 million to complete the rehabilitation of the NY Avenue Men’s Shelter; and,
- $4.1 million for critical upgrades to other low-barrier shelters.