Fenty and the Emery Shelter

I got nothing but love for that yummy bald headed cup of hot cocoa called Adrian Fenty but I was taken aback by what is being reported about him and the Emery Shelter on Lincoln Road NE on the members only Eckington listserv.
Here’s a quick review of the situation: The Emery shelter is a homeless men’s shelter about a block away from North Capitol Street in the Northeast section of the city. It is next to a school and the Harry Thomas Rec Center. Residents of the area have been trying for years to get the shelter closed or transformed because of its proximity to children. The shelter is on its way to being transformed into a shelter that houses a smaller working population (ie homeless men with jobs).
At a March 9th hearing Fenty seemed to have challenge the change the residents have worked hard to make. What? The beloved Fenty challenging residential efforts? Say it ain’t so! You can see for yourself by following the link to the recorded hearing here and go down to “3/9/2006 Part 1 PUBLIC HEARING COMMITTEE ON HUMAN SERVICES, Adrian Fenty, Chairman”. Skip over to the first hour and 18 minutes and then skip to 1hr55min. In listening to the testimony, Mr. Fenty is concerned about the closing of shelters and where the homeless are to go. But what I find annoying is he’s referring to it as a downtown shelter. It is not downtown. It is in the Eckington residential neighborhood or on the border depending on how you define residential, but it sure as heck not downtown as I understand what is downtown. If it were downtown…. there would be a Starbucks and better sidewalks.
However to be fair it doesn’t seem that at the meeting he seemed aware of residents efforts and their will. Nor does he seem aware of its proximity to child-focused centers like the rec center and the school.

4 thoughts on “Fenty and the Emery Shelter”

  1. i was surprised by the fenty move too.
    it should be noted that the shelter and the elementary school are one free standing structure. how that isnt an OUTRAGE i do not know. you can’t have a restaurant with a booze license within 400 feet of a school, but you can have all the drug and alcohol problems of this shelter attached to a school.

    (and if anyone says i’m stereotyping frequenters of shelters, then they dont know this shelter!)

    and oh yeah.. its also next door to the rec center.

  2. I have mixed feelings about it. If they close it, I’m afraid they’ll put the junkies someplace closer to me, which would suck. If they close it and move the junkies accross the river to anacostia (or shipped them to Crawford, TX), then I would be okay with it.

  3. Not close, but transform. Homeless men would still live there, but the men would have jobs. The problem is that the population at Emery is a mix with some working homeless and unemployed homeless (including homeless with serious problems and not in a program). So the shelter wouldn’t close, it would just pair down it’s population from 160? to about a hundred, with 40 men already at Emery and attracting other working homeless men from other shelters, as well as homeless who are avoiding shelters because of the problem population.

Comments are closed.