Thank Mayor Bowser for opening a new hotel to protect people from COVID-19... and urge her to do more!
Over 450 people sent Mayor Bowser an email asking her to use federal money for more hotels rooms to protect all high-risk people who are homeless from dying from COVID-19 and to invest in deeply affordable housing to end homelessness. (Background here.) On March 26, 11 members of the DC Council sent Mayor Bowser a letter asking for the same thing.
On April 2, the Department of Human Services announced that it will open another hotel, serving an additional 200 high-risk people! That's great news!
But this announcement isn't everything we or 11 members of the DC Council asked for. At least 456 high-risk people will be left on the waitlist when the new hotel opens. (While DC has proclaimed it will close the waitlist when the new hotel is ready, hundreds of people will still need a safe placement.) More must be done to make sure DC residents don't contract or die of COVID-19 simply because they are unhoused.
Please take a minute to thank the Mayor for opening another hotel and to remind her that she must continue to expand the hotel program to meet the full need and invest in deeply affordable housing and reimagining a more humane emergency shelter system. (For more information, please see the budget asks of the Way Home Campaign and the Fair Budget Coalition.)