The Downtown Day Services Center (The Center) opened in late February to offer individuals experiencing homelessness a multitude of services within a single point of access.
By the end of its first week of operations, approximately 90 guests per day were frequenting The Center to take a shower, eat lunch or get a snack, do laundry, get computer access, receive case management services and more.
The Center is open from 9am-5pm, Monday-Friday at the New York Avenue Presbyterian Church (1313 New York Avenue) in DowntownDC. The Center is a daytime facility operated by the DowntownDC Business Improvement District (BID) with support from the DC Department of Human Services and services from Pathways to Housing DC and HIPS. The District of Columbia last year awarded the BID a $1.7 million grant to open and operate The Center.
Information regarding The Center’s services, scheduling, volunteer and donation opportunities, contact details and more, visit www.downtowndc.org/thecenter.
Darlyene “Tokyo” Direkston is The Center Program Manager and understands first-hand the challenges moving from homelessness to permanent housing. Direkston formerly lived on the street and now helps others on their own journey.
[Read more about Tokyo here via The Washington Post.]
In addition to coordinating the daily operation of The Center, Tokyo oversees four facility assistants who help staff The Center and provide logistical support.
Four former DowntownDC BID Safety/Hospitality and Maintenance Ambassadors (SAMs)— Michael Bunn, Jeremiah DeSousa, Lorenzo Sanders and Montee “Angel” Saunders—now serve as facility assistants and share a passion to make a difference.
The Center utilizes a Housing First method to move individuals into permanent supportive housing and is supported by partnerships with agencies and organizations such as the District Department of Employment Services, the District Department of Health, the District Department of Motor Vehicles, the Economic Security Administration, Unity Health Care and the Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless.
For more information or to get involved, please contact the Downtown Day Services Center at 202-383-8810.