(Washington, DC) – Tonight, Mayor Bowser joined volunteers at the Point in Time (PIT) Count, the annual census of persons experiencing homelessness. Each winter, the PIT Count is conducted by The Community Partnership for the Prevention of Homelessness. In May, a final report will be released by the Council of Governments, alongside numbers for other jurisdictions in the region.
“We’ve made progress in making homelessness rare, brief, and nonrecurring, but we have more work to do,” said Mayor Bowser. “This annual census helps ensure we have the information we need to continue building on our progress and getting more Washingtonians connected to safe and affordable housing.”
In 2018, Mayor Bowser kept her promise to close the DC General Family Shelter and replace it with smaller, more dignified programs. In the fall, the Mayor cut the ribbon on three new short-term family housing programs in Wards 4, 7, and 8. Along with the the Patricia Handy Place for Women, a low-barrier shelter for women in Ward 2, these new service-enriched programs are part of the Mayor’s all eight wards solution to ending homelessness. In 2019, the Bowser Administration will open three additional short-term family housing programs in Wards 3, 5, and 6. Additionally, early next month, the Mayor will open a Downtown Day Services Center in the New York Avenue Presbyterian Church which will provide wrap-around social services to District residents experiencing homelessness.
“As a community, we share the vision to end homelessness,” said DC Department of Human Services Director Laura Zeilinger. “Every District resident deserves a dignified, safe and affordable space to call home, and I’m proud to be a part of this administration, which is working tirelessly to assist our neighbors achieve stable housing.”
According to last year’s PIT results, between 2017 and 2018, Washington, DC saw a 7.6 percent decrease in overall homelessness and a 21 percent decrease in family homelessness. Since 2016, overall homelessness has decreased 17 percent and family homelessness has decreased by nearly 40 percent. Additionally, between 2017 and 2018, 449 veterans were housed; and, in the last four years, homelessness among veterans has decreased by 25 percent.
The Mayor’s Fiscal Year 2019 budget included $29 million in new and recurring investments in Homeward DC, the Bowser Administration’s five-year strategic plan to reform the District’s homeless services system and make homelessness rare, brief, and nonrecurring. Anticipating the need for greater resources for individuals, the Mayor’s FY19 budget also included $40 million for the construction of a new 801 East emergency and temporary housing program for men and $9.5 million to provide permanent supportive housing and other services to single adults 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 6,000 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.