Homeless Services


Homeless Services

For more than 25 years, the DowntownDC BID has been committed to serving our unhoused neighbors. In 2019, opening the Downtown Day Services Center provided many life-sustaining tools and housing resources critical to individuals experiencing homelessness. Hands-on homeless outreach throughout DowntownDC by experienced BID staff ensure unhoused individuals receive priority survival assistance. Interested in reading more about the BID’s homeless services department? Click on each link below to learn more about the homeless services operation and how you can join us in our efforts.

Downtown Day
Services Center
Homeless Services
Support for
Homeless Youth
Homeless Counts
Get Involved

Downtown Day Services Center

Since February 2019, the BID has proudly operated the Downtown Day Services Center. The purpose of the Center is to measurably reduce the number of homeless individuals on the street, providing daytime support and services for individual adults (aged 21 years and older) experiencing homelessness in order to promote self-sufficiency, wellness, recovery, and employment, with the end goal being permanent housing and stability.

The Center operates under three core actions:

  • Ongoing outreach to connect with individuals living outdoors.
  • Case management for individuals throughout the process required to secure permanent housing.
  • Meeting individuals’ basic, daily needs to support their progress toward becoming housed.

When unhoused guests register for services at the Center, they meet with a case manager to assess their eligibility for housing, employment, medical, and other needs as identified during the visit. Unhoused guests who seek respite are allowed access to the Center’s garden area to enjoy a safe space for food and beverages.

Walk-In Services Hours:
9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday
10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., Saturday

Adults experiencing homelessness can benefit from the following services:

  • Amenities:
    • Restrooms
    • Showers
    • Laundry
    • Phone
    • Computers
    • Mail
  • Lunch meals, 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
  • Connection to housing services
  • Mentoring
  • Vital record applications
  • Non-driver identification
  • Medicaid application
  • Healthcare, including harm-reduction assistance
  • Mental health treatment
  • Legal guidance
  • Emergency clothing
  • Arts and craft activities
Downtown Day Services Center numbers since opening.
  • 70,000+ homeless individuals served
  • 600,000+ lunches served
  • 48,000+ clothing items distributed
  • 10,000+ showers
  • 6,000+ homeless individuals advised for housing
  • 7,000+ loads of laundry
  • 2,000+ counseled for employment
  • 3,500+ computer sessions

The center is located in the New York Avenue Presbyterian Church, 1313 New York Avenue NW, on the basement level. For more information on center services, call 202-383-8810 or email center@downtowndc.org.

MORE: View the Downtown Day Services Center flier

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Homeless Services Outreach

The BID along with its external contracted Outreach Team, H3 Project, regularly visits unhoused neighbors throughout DowntownDC to conduct wellness checks and assessments to identify any needs. Professional outreach workers conduct these checks to deliver essential resources such as toothpaste, clothing, first-aid kits, and more. In addition to checking an individual’s health and wellness, the outreach service process is a constant opportunity to offer housing resources, with the goal that the individual will agree to become housed. Additionally, the BID has a weekend homeless services program that serves as a space for community organizations, faith-based institutions, and individuals to continue to provide food, clothing, health, and wellness services. Saturday services are from 10:00 to 3:00 p.m. at the Downtown Day Services Center (1313 New York Avenue NW), and Sunday services are 9:00 to 11:00 a.m. at Asbury United Methodist Church (926 11th Street NW).

MORE: View the Downtown Weekend Services flier

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Support for Youth Experiencing Homelessness

The BID partners with the First Congregational United Church of Christ and Sasha Bruce Youthwork to offer the Downtown Drop-In Center for youth and young adults ages 11 to 20 who are unhoused or at risk of being unhoused. The Drop-In Center, with the help of an annual $30,0000 grant from the BID, works to provide essential resources for individuals through Sasha Bruce Youthwork’s counseling and case management services. The drop-in center is strategically located at the First Congregational Church (945 G Street NW), offering relationship and community building with initiatives such as “Sunday supper,” when meals are eaten communally. This is one example of efforts around building trust between youth and staff members to provide resources and housing more quickly. This collaboration and space offer youth a safe place to rest, shower, and receive educational, mental health, and employment services. For more information and hours of operation, visit the Sasha Bruce Youthwork website.

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Monthly Homeless Counts

On the third Thursday of every month, the BID records the number of unhoused individuals in DowntownDC. Starting at 4:00 a.m., eight or more hired workers and volunteers walk throughout the BID with clipboards, maps, and pens to collect data, taking a count of individuals sleeping in the open, their specific locations, follow-up resources that may be needed, and any visible signs of health issues. The team also records encampments by noting the number of tents. These monthly counts are conducted regardless of weather conditions. To volunteer with the monthly homeless count, contact the BID outreach team at outreach@downtowndc.org.

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Support Homeless Neighbors

An effective way to make an immediate impact on the BID’s homeless population is through a monetary donation to the DowntownDC Foundation. In addition, in-kind donated items can be dropped off at the Center, located at 1313 New York Avenue NW. Here is a list of most-needed items:

  • Clothing: pants, T-shirts, button-up shirts, etc.
  • Shoes: athletic and boots
  • Knit caps, gloves, thick socks, and thermal underwear
  • Winter coats, jackets, hoodies, and sweatshirts
  • Fiction books and games

Please note: The Center is prohibited from accepting sleeping bags and tents. The Center does not accept children’s clothing, furniture, mattresses, or electronics. Note that due to COVID-19, donated clothing must be new or professionally laundered. 

The Center offers a variety of volunteer opportunities for both individuals and groups. Volunteer positions include:

  • Food service: Assist with the distribution of lunch meals during lunchtime, 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.
  • Saturday and Sunday volunteer opportunities are available from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
  • Laundry: Volunteers assist guests with operating washing machines and dryers.
  • Clothing: Volunteers assist guests in choosing clothing from the closet and help sort items.

Volunteers must be ages 18 or older. All volunteers must be vaccinated against COVID-19.

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It is our daily commitment to create healthy, balanced communities for all DowntownDC residents — those who are housed and unhoused. Thank you in advance for your interest in helping the BID work to ensure that individuals experiencing homelessness reach the goal of housing.”

Debra Kilpatrick Byrd
Director of Homeless Services


Debra Kilpatrick Byrd, Director of Homeless Services: debra@downtowndc.org
Michael Bunn, Lead Facilities Assistant
Montee “Angel” Saunders, Facilities Assistant
Famela Wolf, Facilities Assistant
Mark Smith, Facilities Assistant
Cheven Gaston, Facilities Assistant