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Muriel Bowser Ward 4




John A. Wilson Building

1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20004


Phone: (202) 727-2643
Email: muriel.bowser@dc.gov

Chief of Staff:
John Falcicchio

City Administrator:
Kevin Donahue

Director of the Mayor's Office of Legal Counsel:
Eugene Adams

Senior Advisor:
Beverly Perry

Director of Mayor's Office of Community Affairs:
Jackie Reyes-Yanes

Director of Mayor's Office of Community Relations and Services:
Julia Irving

Scheduling Requests:




















December 3, 2021

Letter from the Mayor

Dear Washingtonians,

When it comes to ending homelessness in DC and protecting the safety and dignity of all residents, Washingtonians want to be a part of the solution. I learned this in my very first campaign for mayor when residents across the city implored me to tear down DC General and replace it with the dignified shelter that our most vulnerable families deserve.

I’m proud that, since then, we have transformed the family homelessness system from top to bottom. We closed DC General, built seven new short-term family housing facilities, revamped our prevention programs, reduced the time families experience homelessness, and through all these efforts, drove down family homelessness by 73%. We know what it looks like to make homelessness rare, brief, and non-recurring. Now, that’s our playbook for transforming the system for single adults too. And it’s our charge going forward to replicate that success systemwide. 

The truth is: with the enormous resources invested into Homeward DC and continued investment in affordable housing tools, behavioral healthcare, and employment programs, we can lead the nation in getting people into permanent housing. But we cannot turn a blind eye to what’s happening at encampment sites. While we have been reforming our system of care that provides homeless services, which has supported more than 6,500 residents in exiting homelessness, we have also experienced a growth in the number of people staying in encampments. Today, we have an emergency that will only worsen if we don’t act. That’s why we are piloting an innovative initiative to streamline access to housing for unsheltered DC residents living in encampments. Through this pilot, we are moving residents into homes or safe shelter and removing encampment sites that are unsafe for the people who live in them and that have a detrimental effect on the surrounding community. 

DC is a Housing First city. That means we recognize that the first step to a safe and stable life is safe and stable housing. Once people are safely housed with the supportive services they need, they are better able address other challenges and thrive. 

The Coordinated Assistance and Resources for Encampments (CARE) Pilot stays true to the ideals of a Housing First model. We know there are a number of reasons why some people choose to live outdoors or in a tent. COVID has exacerbated these issues for many individuals. Still, the dangers and risks of living outside are too great for us to ignore. Especially as we continue through hypothermia season, we must do everything possible to get our residents into safe homes and safe shelter where they have an actual roof over their head.

While we have more work to do, the CARE pilot has been very successful in helping neighbors who had been living in tents move into apartments or into hotel rooms that will serve as bridge housing until they are matched with an apartment. For example, of the 32 residents who had been living at the encampment at New Jersey Avenue and O Street NW, 31 are now in apartment units or bridge housing. Dozens of residents who had been living in tents at dangerous and unsanitary railroad underpasses are now living in safe housing. And we will continue to provide those residents with wraparound services, with the goal of ensuring every person has the level of support they need to remain safely housed. I am grateful for all the teams and outreach workers who have been working around the clock to support residents at the encampment sites – your efforts save and change lives and guide our work to end chronic homelessness in Washington, DC. Residents who want to track the pilot’s progress can follow along on our public dashboard.

This work is challenging and the solutions are complex. But what I know is that when people are in safe, stable housing, the entire community benefits. And if there is any city in the nation that can step up and implement innovative solutions that better support our most vulnerable neighbors, it is Washington, DC. Stick with us and we will live our values through strategic action.


Muriel Bowser

In This Week's Newsletter:

New Opportunities for the Whole Family to Get Vaccinated Together

Layered Mitigation Strategies

The District is making it easier for everyone five and older to get vaccinated and boosted. Starting next week, three additional walk-up vaccination clinics will open that will serve everyone 5 and older: 

  • Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library (901 G Street NW)
  • Petworth Library (4200 Kansas Avenue NW)
  • Woodridge Library (1801 Hamlin Street NE)

Pediatric vaccines will be available at all library walk-up sites and all pop-up sites. (CHEC and Fort Stanton Rec Center, which are operated by Safeway, will continue to be 12+ sites.) Additionally, adults accompanying children at pediatric vaccination clinics will also be able to receive their COVID-19 vaccine, including boosters.

And starting next week, free at-home vaccination appointments will also be available for children. That means anyone 5 and older can get vaccinated at home for free. To schedule an at-home vaccination appointment, call 1-855-363-0333.

Learn more about all the ways to get vaccinated in yesterday's COVID-19 Situational Update

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Mayor Bowser Launches Two New Safety Initiatives Near Schools

School Traffic Safety

This week, Mayor Bowser announced two new safety initiatives near schools: 

On Monday, the Mayor announced that the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) is now conducting a traffic safety campaign targeting safety in school zones. MPD’s Traffic Safety and Specialized Enforcement Section has developed a plan to target traffic enforcement and education in the areas around schools in each police district.

Then, on Friday, the Mayor announced that six community-based organizations will receive $4.3 million from the Office of Out of School Time Grants and Youth Outcomes to support the District’s new Safe Passage Safe Blocks initiative. The investment will provide an additional 215 safe passage personnel in 7 priority areas across 6 wards and 47 schools. Safe Passage Safe Blocks providers will hire and manage trusted, caring adults to be placed on mapped routes to support student safety as students travel to and from school, while building strong relationships with surrounding communities. The initiative also involves an in-school component, including conflict resolution, mediation services, and community relationship-building to keep students safe and improve student attendance. 

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Tomorrow: MPD Youth Summit

MPD Youth Summit

Tomorrow, the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) is hosting a Youth Summit, facilitated by MPD and the George Washington University. The summit will provide an opportunity for young people to share their in-school and out-of-school experiences and engage in open dialogue about the problems they face in the community.

Residents are invited to tune in and watch the summit on MPD's social media pages. 

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