Tuesday, February 8, Mayor Muriel Bowser announced a plan to open a family homeless shelter on the lot at the northeast corner of 10th and V Streets NW.
For this plan to be successful, it should be open to criticisms at all steps.
Supporters of the plan point to the end goal, which we all agree on: Support your brother and sister in need.
Many people are not recognizing the risks involved, especially when a dysfunctional government takes on a project of such a large magnitude, produces the plans behind closed doors, works to convince us that it is the only way forward, and is closed off to any criticism.
We get assurances like: “…the best current industry practice shall be followed…”.
Oops, that’s from the DC Streetcar design criteria.
It is reasonable to expect the government to make mistakes. But our leaders should engage the community to help mitigate these mistakes in the planning stages. That was why Mayor Bowser herself ran on a platform of transparency.
But so far, Mayor Bowser has rejected the notion of even considering feedback on what our representatives admit is the most important part of moving this plan forward: site selection.
We’re off to a very discouraging start, for such a profoundly impactful project. And that impact will persist for decades on both the communities surrounding these shelters and the families that will live within them.
This site is a platform for voicing those reasonable criticisms, in hopes of influencing this project and moving it in the direction of success.
Mayor Bowser, you may think that you can end homelessness on your own, but we encourage you to please, please accept our help.