Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Déjà vu? Another church brings more "transitional" housing to Anacostia.

This just hit my inbox this morning. According to a mass email sent out by several Ward 8 ANC Commissioners,  Becoming Church (AKA Church of Christ Right Now) purchased a house at 1410 S Street SE  in Anacostia on December 16, 2011 with plans to open a halfway house for ex-offenders returning from incarceration. An open house was held on January 21, 2012.  Like the case with Calvary's plans to open a homeless shelter at 1217 & 1219 Good Hope Rd SE, ANC 8A claims to not have been informed of plans to bring another halfway house to Anacostia. However, according to the Becoming Church's Facebook page they had met with Councilmember Barry in February 2011 and had received his blessing (posting both Facebook updates below).

1410 S Street SE

December 16, 2011 Facebook Post:
It's official! We closed on a house today in Anacostia which will be home to ex-offenders as they return to the community after incarceration. The house will accommodate up to 9 people, but first it needs LOTS of work. We are definitely counting on our friends for sweat equity and contributions of all sorts!! Feels like a very good way to be saying "yes" to good tidings of great joy. :-) Merry Christmas!

Febuary 28, 2011 Facebook Post:
Becoming Church
Met today with DC Councilmember Marion Barry and our partner ministry, Jubilee Housing, about collaborative initiatives for ex-offenders in Ward 8. Barry was clearly interested that we're doing the work as an expression of church, and in raising up the leadership of the dispossessed. We are encouraged, and he was too. Good meeting.

This is so new I haven't had time to do any research but one thing is crystal clear, Anacostia and Ward 8 residents are not happy with the idea of more "transitional" housing coming into a community already crowded with halfway houses, group homes, homeless shelters, drug treatment centers, and a methadone clinic. In the words of one Ward 8 resident, "this is just too much."

"Oversaturation" of social services in Ward 8 is shaping up to be a major issue for voters in the Ward 8 Council race. Including a video clip from last month's "rally against oversaturation" in Anacostia coordinated by Ward 8 Council candidate Natalie Williams.

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