Our city has 600 kids and their parents living in a dilapidated old hospital building that was not designed as shelter. Last year we spent millions housing homeless families in the motels along New York Avenue. Both cost a lot of money and neither leads toward stability or a better future for these families. We need to do better because if we don't, the money we spend on public education and job training won't pay off.
As your at-large councilmember, I will work hard to do these things:
- Ask hard questions of the Department of Human Services and the Gray administration about their winter and summer plans for homeless families. I will ask about projections and how we put these kids and their parents into permanent supportive housing.
- Carry out oversight of our budget for homeless services and work with advocates like the Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless to show my colleagues exactly how dollars are being spent.
- Push for strategic investments in programs like the Local Rent Supplement Program and the Housing Production Trust Fund. We need to work on both short term and long term solutions. Local Rent Supplement helps families in the short term get into permanent supportive housing. But long term we need to build more affordable housing. The trust fund is our best tool to do that.