WASHINGTON - D.C. officials opened the District's first shelter for adults in the LGBTQ+ community who are experiencing homelessness this week.
On Thursday, Mayor Bowser was joined by community members to cut the ribbon on the District’s first low-barrier shelter that is specifically dedicated to providing shelter and services to District residents who are experiencing homelessness and identify as LGBTQ+.
The shelter is located at 400 50th Street, Southeast.
The 40-bed shelter will provide trauma-informed case management services including mental health, substance abuse treatment, medical, and victims’ services. In addition, the shelter will also provide key services, like help with job placement, education, or housing.
"We are proud to cut the ribbon on a shelter that embodies our DC values as well as our commitment to making homelessness rare, brief, and nonrecurring," said Mayor Bowser. "With this new facility, we’re breaking down barriers to shelter, building community, connecting residents with the trauma-informed services they need to live healthy, happy lives, and getting Washingtonians back on a path to permanent housing."
Mayor Bowser allocated American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding to make the shelter a reality.
"We are committed to providing safe, welcoming shelter to District residents and this program is an important milestone in the reform of our single adult shelter programs," said Laura Green Zeilinger, Director of the Department of Human Services. "We’ve put a tremendous amount of thought and intention into providing trauma-informed programs and low-barrier apartment-style shelter to LGBTQ+ adults that affirms dignity, acceptance, and belonging. I’m grateful to the LGBTQ+ community for making their voices and needs heard and I’m grateful to the Mayor for her continued investment in our homeless services continuum."
The new shelter builds on Mayor Bowser's ongoing efforts to tackle homelessness in D.C. and get people back on the path to permanent housing.
According to the Mayor's Office, since launching the Homeward D.C. initiative in 2016, homelessness has decreased in the District by 47 percent, including a 13.7 percent drop in the past year.