WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

In D.C., Homelessness Is Up, But More Families Are Finding Permanent Housing

Play associated audio

Homelessness is still on the rise in D.C., but so is the number of families leaving homeless shelters. That's according to Laura Zeilinger, director of the D.C. Department of Human Services.

“We've had 16 percent more families exit to permanent housing over the course of 2015 than we did the year before, in 2014,” Zeilinger says.

In another change over last year, D.C. families can now get help outside of hypothermia season.

“Families have access to shelter not only when it's cold outside, but when they need it,” Zeilinger says. “We also launched new prevention initiatives and have provided earlier supports that have kept families from having to come into the shelter system.”

As this unseasonably warm December begins to feel like winter, Zeilinger says there shouldn't be the same seasonal spike that shelters have seen in past years.

Families aren't the only ones getting a boost: In 2015, more than 680 homeless veterans moved into permanent housing, compared to 456 last year. That's a 49 percent increase.

Zeilinger says the results are the product of a coordinated entry system that teams up the VA with groups that provide outreach, meals, case management and shelter.

"We think we'll hopefully, early into 2016, be able to announce that we've ended all homelessness among veterans,” Zeilinger says.

There are still plenty of challenges. At the top of the list: securing more affordable housing.

NPR

Nina McLemore's Clothes Are A 'Weapon' Of Powerful Women

Nina McLemore designs clothes for powerful women: Hillary Clinton, Elizabeth Warren, Janet Yellen, Elena Kagan and others. She talks about how fashion can help women stand out in political office.
NPR

After Italy Quakes, Food World Delivers Support To Home Of Famous Pasta Dish

Amatrice was set to host the 50th celebration of pasta all'Amatriciana famously made there, but this week's earthquake devastated the town. NPR's Scott Simon speaks with food blogger Jeremy Cherfas.
NPR

Why Trump's Minority Outreach May Really Be About White Voters

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has publicly tried to reach out to minority voters. But that outreach may really be aimed at improving his standing with suburban white voters.
WAMU 88.5

Want To Play Video Games Made In D.C.? Here's Your Chance.

An event called District Arcade brings together 23 locally made video games.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.