Today's report recommends a one-to-one replacement of all D.C. General units with new ones before the existing shelter is closed. "Ideally," the report states, "these facilities should be ready for occupancy before the start of the FY 16 hypothermia season, i.e. before November 1, 2015." The city is required by law to shelter all homeless residents in need when temperatures with windchill drop below freezing, and so shelter placements spike each winter.
The plan lays out two options for replacing D.C. General. One would create six small shelters, each with 40 to 50 units. The second would create a mix of small (40 to 50 units) and medium (60 to 100 units) shelters. These shelters would be much smaller than the 288-unit D.C. General—whose unwieldy size has been blamed for some of its problems—but larger than the community-based shelters in the city that house 121 homeless households in buildings of 20 to 45 units.
The city issued a solicitation for offers from private property owners on Sept. 26. It comes with a rolling deadline, allowing the city to evaluate responses continually. According to the plan, the city hopes to have any construction on private sites completed in early 2016.