Shelter for homeless families continues to dwindle

As the weather continues to bring low temperatures and precipitation, the District faces near-capacity placements at D.C General and area motels used as shelter for homeless families this winter. (WCP, 1/9)

To deal with an anticipated 16 percent increase in the number of families seeking shelter compared to last winter, the city secured contracts with two motels for 260 units, with a search for a third motel underway. The contract for the second motel allows for an additional 50 units to be secured on top of the original 90, bringing the total to 310. Unlike last winter, the motels are being run as shelters, with staff on site 24 hours per day.

Most concerning to advocates at this point in the winter is the low number of placements out of shelter. Between Nov. 1, 2014 and Jan. 2, 2015, 79 families exited shelter, according to a report from the Community Partnership for the Prevention of Homelessness, which runs the shelters for the D.C. government. In order to keep up with demand for shelter, DHS aims to exit around 65 families per month.

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