DHS Releases Homeless Services Plan for MLK Library Closure

Thursday, March 2, 2017

By DowntownDC

The District Department of Human Services (DHS) this week released a Downtown Transportation and Services Plan for individuals experiencing homelessness in advance of the March 4 closure of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library in DowntownDC.

The library, which is closing today at 901 G Street for three years to undergo a major renovation, serves as a daily drop off point for approximately 100 men traveling from the 801 East Men's Shelter in the morning and 200 men traveling to that shelter in the evening and serves additional individuals experiencing homelessness as a safe, indoor, free location with restrooms, water, access to employment services and a case manager.

In the absence of a downtown daytime drop-in center, which the DowntownDC Business Improvement District (BID) continues to work with the District to identify, DHS developed a plan for downtown's homeless population, effective March 6.

The plan includes:

  • Transportation provided on a loop from the 801 East Men's Shelter (2700 Martin Luther King Avenue, SE) to the following service locations: Minnesota Avenue & Benning Road, NE; the Adams Place Day Center in Northeast; and the Church of the Ephiphany in DowntownDC at 1317 G Street NW.
  • Expanded operating hours and capacity for the Adams Place Day Center in Northeast
  • Confirmed continued support from DowntownDC churches

[For complete information, visit DHS' Downtown Transportation and Services Plan webpage here.]

In addition to continued work with the city to open a daytime drop in center, the BID provides services and support for DowntownDC's homeless population through partner Pathways to Housing DC, which advocates for a Housing First model utilizing permanent, supportive housing.

In fiscal year 2016, 22 individuals in DowntownDC obtained permanent supportive housing through the BID's partnership with Pathways. 

The BID's Hospitality SAM ambassadors also conduct homeless outreach and support. Last year, all Hospitality SAMs received homeless outreach training to broaden the BID's impact.