Services and Support
Despite the combined efforts of the BID and other governmental and nonprofit agencies, the number of people experiencing homelessness in Washington, DC has not decreased since 2003. One reason for this increase has been the lack of convenient access to services that provide a path to successful placement into housing. The absence of basic human services during the day for people experiencing homelessness further impairs individuals’ ability to navigate the housing process. The new Downtown Day Services Center and the DC Landlord Partnership Fund are two of the ways in which the BID is partnering to help address these challenges.
The DowntownDC Foundation since March 16, 2020, has been supporting the BID daily in its efforts to support individuals experiencing homelessness during COVID-19. Through this unprecedented time, our staff, essential workers and partners have continued daily to serve those in need, serving 36,000 lunches outdoors, finding a way to safely offer access to showers, laundry facilities, clean clothes and restrooms inside our Downtown Day Services Center and adjusting each week to meet changing and growing demands amid a public health crisis. With winter quickly approaching, we are in need of your help to enable us to continue and elevate our work.
Downtown Day Services Center
In February 2019, the DowntownDC BID began operating the Downtown Day Services Center through a grant from the DC Government and in-kind contributions from the BID. The Center operates M-F from 9am-5pm in the lower level of the New York Avenue Presbyterian Church (1313 New York Avenue NW). Within a month of opening, The Center was serving up to 120 guests per day, offering a centrally-located single-access point facility for the public, and providing basic needs such as food, laundry facilities, showers and restrooms, to health care, employment and legal assistance, case management, harm reduction services, vital records and more, all under a Housing First model, to connect individuals to permanent supportive housing to end homelessness. Service providers include Pathways to Housing DC, HIPS, Unity Health Care, the District Department of Employment Services, DC Health, the District Department of Motor Vehicles, the Economic Security Administration and the Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless.
In the short term, additional funding during COVID-19 would allow The Center to rise to meet increasing demands and an increased number of guests and eventually help The Center to expand its hours, offer additional services and enhance staffing, training and programming and achieve greater goals.
DC Landlord Partnership Fund
Mayor Muriel Bowser in Oct. 2017 announced the DC Landlord Partnership Fund to offer incentives to landlords to relax screening criteria for individuals who have recently experienced homelessness. The Fund is modeled after similar programs in other cities around the country designed to increase housing opportunities. The DC Landlord Partnership Fund is a partnership between the city, the Coalition for Nonprofit Housing and Economic Development (CNHED), which manages and administers the Fund, and the DowntownDC BID, which helps to support the Fund by assisting with securing funding through private donations. The DowntownDC Foundation will seek out funding to support this effort and increase housing opportunities in the District.