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VOL. 15 ISSUE 1 8


JULY 11 - 24, 2018

Real Stories

Real People

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Real Change





JULY 11 - 2 4 , 2018


© STREET SENSE MEDIA 2003 - 2018 1317 G Street NW, Washington, DC 20005 (202) 347–2006

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The Cover

The Street Sense Story, #MoreThanANewspaper

Our city. our country and our hemisphere have been experiencing record heat waves. What resources are available for someone without a home to cool down in?

Originally founded as a street newspaper in 2003, Street Sense Media has evolved into a multimedia center using a range of creative platforms to spotlight solutions to homelessness and empower people in need. The men and women who work with us do much more than sell this paper — they use film, photography, theatre, illustration and more to share their stories with our community. Our media channels elevate voices, our newspaper vendor and digital marketing programs provide economic independence, and our in-house casemanagement services move people forward along the path toward permanent supportive housing. At Street Sense Media, we define ourselves through our work, talents and character, not through our housing situation.


VENDORS Shuhratjon Ahamadjonov, Dele Akerejah, Gerald Anderson, Charles Armstrong, Lawrence Autry, Charlton Battle, Phillip Black, Reginald Black, Melanie Black, Phillip Black Jr., Debora Brantley, Laticia Brock, Kanon Brown, Donald Brown, James Brown, Elizabeth Bryant, Brianna Butler, Dwayne Butler, Melody Byrd, Antoinette Calloway, Anthony Carney, Alice Carter, Alice Carter, Conrad Cheek, Aaron Colbert, Anthony Crawford, Kwayera Dakari, Michael Daniels, Michael Daniels, Louise Davenport, James Davis, Charles Davis, David Denny, Reginald Denny, Ricardo Dickerson, Dennis Diggs, Alvin Dixon-El, Ron Dudley, Patty Feris, Jet Flegette, Jemel Fleming, Johnnie Ford, Duane Foster, James Gatrell, Chon Gotti, Latishia Graham, Marcus Green, Levester Green, Barron Hall, Mildred Hall, Dwight Harris, Lorrie Hayes, Patricia Henry, Derian Hickman, Ray Hicks, Vennie Hill, Phillip Howard, James Hughes, Leonard Hyater, Gedion Iyasu, Chad Jackson, David James, Fredrick Jewell, Morgan Jones, Linda Jones, Darlesha Joyner, Lori Judge, Larry Kelley, Jewel Lewis, John Littlejohn, Scott Lovell, Michael Lyons, William Mack, Ken Martin, Kina Mathis, Jermale McKnight, Jennifer McLaughlin, Jeffery McNeil, Ricardo Meriedy, Amy Modica, Richard Mooney, L. Morrow, Collins Mukasa, Evelyn Nnam, Moyo Onibuje, Earl Parker, Aida Peery, Marcellus Phillips, Jacquelyn Portee, Angela Pounds, Henrieese Roberts, Rita Sauls, Chris Shaw, Gwynette Smith, Patty Smith, David Snyder, Franklin Sterling, Warren Stevens, Beverly Sutton, Sybil Taylor, Archie Thomas, Shernell Thomas, Eric Thompson-Bey, Harold Tisdale, Carl Turner, Jacqueline Turner, Joseph Walker, Martin Walker, Michael Warner, Robert Warren, Vincent Watts, Sheila White, Sasha Williams, Robert Williams, Wendell Williams, Ivory Wilson, Christine Wong


CASE MANAGER Colleen Cosgriff


OPINION EDITORS (VOLUNTEER) Rachel Brody, Arthur Delaney



Tatiana Brown, Olivia Zhang, Christian Zapata, Meredith Roaten


Ryan Bacic, Jason Lee Bakke, Grace Doherty, Miriam Egu, Roberta Haber, Hunter Lionetti, Laura Osuri, Thomas Ratliff, Mark Rose, Andrew Siddons, Sarah Tascone, Jackie Thompson, KJ Ward, Howard Weiss, Marian Wiseman


Miya Abdul, Bill Butz, Jane Cave, Emma Cronenwethe, Pete Clark, Orion Donovan-Smith, Maria Esposito, Roberta Haber, Ann Herzog, Bill Magrath, Alec Merkle, Nick Nowlan, Sarah O’Connell, Leonie Peterkin, Eugene Versluysen, Natalia Warburton



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NEWS IN BRIEF Murder near 2nd & D

Double feature: Elizabeth’s Legacy July 19 @ 7:00 pm // Church of Epiphany, 1317 G ST NW, Washington, DC 20005 July 20 @ 7:00 pm // HB Woodlawn High School, 4100 Vacation LN, Arlington, VA 22207 Join Street Sense Media artists and local H-B Woodlawn high school students in Washington, DC as they perform a series of scenes and monologues that touch on some of the most integral aspects of the human experience: family, love, negative misconceptions, reaching one’s dreams, and the definition of ‘home’. This 75-minute staged reading is the product of theatre exercises and conversations shared between students and persons experiencing homelessness.




Courtyard Gallery Pop-Up! (Rain delay from July 6)

D.C. Interagency Council on Homelessness Meetings


1-4 p.m. // Church of the Epiphany 1317 G Street NW

Housing Solutions Committee July 11, 1 pm // 1800 MLK Ave SE

This free art show is the first in a recurring series. It will feature the work of Street Sense Media vendor-artists.

Strategic Planning Committee July 24, 2:30 pm // TBD (most likely 441 4th St NW)

Enter a raffle to win tickets to our annual artistic celebration held September 25th!

*For more information on issue-focused working groups, contact

12 p.m. - 8 p.m. Meridian Hill/Malcolm X Park CivicFest combines music, dance, public art, workshops and volunteer opportunities to inspire people to work together to build a better world. Get up, get inspired, and get involved! More info:

More info:

Submit your event for publication by e-mailing

AUDIENCE EXCHANGE The Community Foundation @communityfndn

Stuart Heiser @heisers

Nearly 7,000 people in DC are homeless at any given point in time. To understand the scope of the #DCHomelessCrisis, there are several must read articles from important sources like @streetsensedc and 7 other outlets who are lending their voices to highlight this issue

Great to see local news sites focusing today on the #DCHomelessCrisis, especially when a heat wave is about to start and hyperthermia is a serious concern. Props to @DCist, @WCP, @StreetSenseDC, @WAMU885, and the brand new @DCLineNews.

2:29 PM - 28 JUN 2018

12:29 PM - 28 JUN 2018

On Monday, July 2, a man was shot with a handgun and killed near the entrance to the Community for Creative Nonviolence shelter located at 2nd and D Streets NW. William Mayo, a 34-year-old resident of Southeast D.C., was transported to a local area hospital and pronounced dead at 6:03 p.m., according to a police report. Two sources in the homeless community independently contacted Street Sense Media to report the incident. Both alleged that the shooter is a resident at the shelter and requested anonymity for their own safety while he remains at-large. “This happened a block away from MPD headquarters,” said one. “Eight shots were fired around the same location two weeks before it happened. Then the week before, I heard semi-automatic gunfire there behind the One Judiciary Square building. No one seemed to take interest then.” The same source reported fear among shelter residents, some for personal safety in case of more violence, others for “snitches.” The Metropolitan Police Department offers a reward of up to $25,000 to anyone that provides information which leads to the arrest and conviction of persons responsible for any homicide committed in the District of Columbia, according to a press release about the incident. Anyone with information may call the police at 202-727-9099 or send anonymous information via text message to 50411. —

Proposed law wants street performers to quiet down The music that fills the summertime air in the District may be a little quieter in the coming months. At least that’s the hope of Councilmembers Anita Bonds, Jack Evans and Mary Cheh, who last month co-introduced legislation that would ban amplified noise. The legislation, which was removed from the agenda of the council’s July 10 meeting, called for limits on amplified noise such as microphones and electric guitars when played on the streets of D.C. Musicians would be allowed to play instruments that are amplified if the amplification is not audible from 100 feet away, according to the language of the bill. Violators would face a $300 fine after a revision to last week’s legislation called for a punishment of up to 10 days in jail. Chairman Phil Mendelson said the bill was pulled from the agenda because councilmembers were concerned about how misunderstood it was by the public. He said the bill would not ban or criminalize music. “It’s a very difficult issue because you’re trying to balance the first amendment right of people to express themselves while at the same time respecting the right to peace and quiet,” Mendelson said. The council will need more time to refine the language of the bill, but he said he has heard from many residents and business owners, including representatives of George Washington University Hospital, that noise has increasingly become a problem. Mendelson’s remarks came after public backlash over the introduction of the legislation, citing concerns about how the bill might disproportionately affect people of color. Opponents of the legislation gathered near the Chinatown Metro station on the day before the meeting to protest the bill’s “gentrification” by using speakers and other amplification to make their voices heard, according to DCist. A video shared on Twitter by musician Malik Stewart on Monday calls for D.C. residents to email the council to speak out against the law and protect D.C.’s music culture. The video has more than 120,000 views, 1,000 likes and almost 1,500 retweets. —

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Council votes to protect property of evicted tenants BY MEREDITH ROATEN

Evicted tenants have a new chance to avoid the typical scene of belongings strewn on the sidewalk and left to be taken or damaged, according to the lawmakers behind new emergency legislation. The D.C. Council passed a bill to grant those tenants an extra seven days to figure out what to do with their property. The vote was 11 to 2. Councilmember Anita Bonds said the new U.S. Marshall policy that spurred the emergency legislation required that landlords change the locks to the living space instead of throwing out the property of former tenants. This raised questions the council had to answer: would tenants have access to the now-stored belongings? What were landlords supposed to do with items that were not immediately discarded? The emergency legislation demands that landlords keep former tenants’ belongings for up to seven days before tossing them to the curb, a more “balanced” answer to an early version, she said. “It will give a tenant some time to organize and recover their possessions,” Bonds said. She said small landlords in particular found an earlier version of the bill, which forced the property owner to keep former tenants’ belongings for 30 days at the landlord’s expense, to be burdensome. Councilmember Charles Allen, who co-introduced the bill, said he would be voting against the emergency legislation because it doesn’t do enough. The previous 30 day allotment was a start for giving tenants a second chance, he said. “There is a role for government to play in safe, clean, accessible storage of their belongings,” Allen said. “This responsibility shouldn’t be borne by housing providers but rather by government.” Earlier versions of the legislation gave tenants 24 hours to opt in to the seven-day hold but David Grosso, at-large councilmember, proposed an amendment to get rid of the opt-in, automatically enrolling evicted tenants in the program. Grosso agreed the new bill was not all the District owed its most impoverished residents and the council should consider the possibility of governmentfunded storage for evicted tenants’ property. Councilmember Elissa Silverman, who voted for the legislation, quoted Matthew Desmond’s book “Evicted” by saying evictions cause families to lose more than just their property. Evictions are bad for everyone, she said, tenants and property owners. “We want to strike a balance between not only residents, who not always but often are living in poverty when they’re evicted, and property providers, who are losing money everyday because they can’t lease their unit,” Silverman said. She said she looks forward to nailing down a more permanent “good” solution with the working group that will craft long-lasting legislation to be put in place after the emergency legislation expires in 90 days. Solving D.C.’s affordable housing crisis will also help provide solutions to the eviction problem, Silverman said.


This is one of the few places homeless youth are welcome regardless of sexual orientation or gender pronoun BY OLIVIA ZHANG

Inside Casa Ruby’s department of non-medical services, people living with HIV can meet one on one with a case manager and seek referrals for health care. The wall is decorated with colorful posters and flyers with information on hotlines for victims of abuse and words such as “safer sex for trans bodies” written in English and Spanish. “People need information and education,” said Carlos Corena, a case manager at the department of non-medical services. “It’s not easy for everybody to access to services.” Casa Ruby is a bilingual, nonprofit resource center dedicated to providing social services and programs to help some of the most vulnerable people in the city, including lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender, genderqueer, and gender non-conforming individuals. Besides offering services and resources to the LGBTQ community, Casa Ruby cooperates with other nonprofit organizations in the city to provide shelters for homeless people and advice for immigrants, regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity. Founded by Ruby Corado in June 2012, Casa Ruby aims to provide safe space for everyone, and to create a world where people coming from different backgrounds, no matter what their status and sexual orientation, can succeed without facing discrimination. Each year Casa Ruby serves more than 6,000 people, according to the organization’s website. One of Casa Ruby’s housing case managers, Makiko Toge-Fuentus, said Casa Ruby provides housing and medical resource referral to homeless people. Casa Ruby both houses homeless people in its own shelter on 7530 Georgia Ave NW, and refers people to other organizations in this area for housing, according to Fuentus. Originally from Japan, Fuentes

obtained an advanced degree at Howard University’s Sociology Department. Casa Ruby helps people obtain Medicaid and works closely with Whitman Walker, a nonprofit community health center whre staff has expertise in HIV and LGBT healthcare. “A lot of trans females and males tend to seek hormonal treatment, or gender reassignment surgery, then that would be Whitman Walker,” Fuentus said. Fuentus spends a quarter of her time with people who drop in to visit Casa Ruby. As a housing case manager, Fuentus guides people through administrative procedures to get District of Columbia IDs, social security cards, food stamps, or housing applications. “I’ve created a personal network of people that I can refer to,” Fuentus said, “and that’s very useful in assisting all these people who need different kinds of social services.” In addition, Casa Ruby refers people who have experienced domestic violence trauma and assaults to D.C. Access Health Line and Mary’s Center. “Hate crimes are everywhere,” said Gladys Zapata, another housing case manager at Casa Ruby. “Hate crimes have a lot to do with discrimination. If you don’t like something or someone, you do something to make it worse, or just get rid of it.” Zapata believed there should be more police involved in dealing with hate crimes against minorities, even LGBTQ officers. She said it is better when police officers can understand the situations and hate crimes facing the LGBTQ community. She added Corado thinks it is more important to eliminate hate in the community rather than using force to punish people who committed a crime. “Casa Ruby is actually an organization that helps homeless kids to stay out of the street,” Zapata said. “We try to provide them a safe place where they can be themselves.”


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Pilot project will bring high-tech health service to homeless patients BY OLIVIA ZHANG


or the past seven years, an Annapolis-based pharmacy has been using patented technology to make it easier for people who take medication for behavioral health issues to never miss a dose. A local homeless services provider now aims to bring those benefits to some of the District’s most vulnerable residents. In 2007,Terrapin Pharmacy invented a robotic system that puts together custom strips of labeled, single-dose packets containing all of the prescription pills a patient is prescribed to take at a given time, ordered chronologically to allow for different regimens for different days or times of day. Since 2012, the pharmacy has been piloting a wall-mounted, dispensing device called Medherent that notifies clients when they should take medication. It also provides clients access to a live video chat with a case manager or a nurse practitioner. “Ultimately, it’s to make sure they have the right medication in the right dose at the right time,” said Joel Feldman, the president of Terrapin Pharmacy. “We manage the medication administration from many agencies, whose primary mission is to provide care for people with severe and persistent mental illness.” Tools to help with medication management have proven essential for patients with prolonged and severe mental illness, according to Feldman. He emphasized that although Medherent targets people who struggle with mental health, it addresses any individual who needs frequent medication, for physical or mental health conditions. Feldman noted that some people with mental health problems might also have other physical health-related diseases such as diabetes. More than 100 clients have registered for the Medherent service by installing mobile software. This technology is proven helpful to increase medication adherence rates, improve patients’ well-being, and reduce overall medical costs. Each year, medication non-adherence and adverse drug effects result in 1.3 million emergency room visits. Nearly $200 billion is spent every year on avoidable hospitalization because of medical non-compliance, which is roughly 10 percent of total healthcare expenditure.

But this service remains exclusive to people with stable housing. So Others Might Eat — a nonprofit that provides daily meals, housing programs, job training and more — is partnering with Terrapin Pharmacy to make these technology-based healthcare services accessible to D.C.’s homeless population. Richard Bebout, the project director for Together4Health at So Others Might Eat, said his team plans to look into data from the city’s Homeless Management Information System database to identify clients who struggle with adhering to medication and want help, primarily people who live with chronic physical health issues, behavioral health issues and/or substance abuse. They will also reach out to shelters, day centers, and meal programs. According to Bebout, the pilot project is designed to have 25 clients for high-intensity case management, and up to 40 people for the lower-intensity “maintenance” phase. Bebout said the client selection process prioritizes people based on how vulnerable they are, similar to how the city triages housing placements. Bebout told Street Sense Media that there are already ten people enrolled for treatment with the application on their cell phones installed. He has personally focused on reaching out to 801 East Men’s Shelter and D.C. General Family Shelter. This project targets people who are high-utilizers of healthcare. Bebout added that the people he serves are all members of AmeriHealth, which is one of the highest-spending insurers in the District and is also funding the project. A crucial element in this project will be pharmacy support, according to Bebout. Terrapin Pharmacy is responsible for staying in touch with health care providers to keep the packaging process in operation. Bebout said his team is sensitive to the potential for errors that might occur in the absence of constant communication between the pharmacy and health providers. As a psychologist, Bebout has seen firsthand that taking the wrong medication or having an incorrect treatment regimen for psychiatric diseases can result in serious side effects for patients. His team will be paid based on the quality of their outcomes, rather than the number of people served. The project aims to lower medical costs in other areas, such as emergency room visits, symptom deterioration, and hospital readmission. Bebout said his team initially encountered a lot of skepticism from potential clients, but the community are now more eager

to support the work. Outside of the So Others Might Eat pilot project, The University of Maryland School of Social Work has been conducting a study to assessing the Medherent program and has interviewed several users of this technology. The initial feedback shows Medherent was widely embraced by users. “One thing that’s effective is people have my cell phone number,” Bebout said of the close connections he has made with clients in this very hands on, or “high-touch,” project. “They called me and we maintained contact. I found this really unusual.” Medherent can enable caregivers and the pharmacy to keep track of medication delivery and the time people are taking their medicine through both a private app on the patient’s cell phone and a tablet on the wall. However, Feldman is concerned that the instability that goes with homelessness may undermine adherence to treatment. He worries that when patients do not have stable housing, it will be harder to track the delivery and the time the patients take the medication. This may lead to medical non-adherence, which has many unexpected drawbacks for the individual and their caregivers. Homeless people are likely to incur costs for healthcare due to the complexity of managing physical conditions such as diabetes and hypertension, or mental health conditions such as substance abuse. Bebout acknowledged the challenges facing the homeless community and said having more housing is an important step to resolve the homeless crisis. He also confirmed that participants in the SOME program will only be using the mobile application and the custom-sorted dosage packs, not the wall-mounted distribution machine. Feldman believes Medherent may prevent people at-risk for medical non-adherence from becoming homeless and may help others stay in housing once they get off the streets Feldman. He is confident that Medherent ensures that people who live with mental illness take the right medication on time to prevent deterioration. The way he sees it, Medherent could help alleviate the affordable housing crisis in D.C. “If you can greatly improve medication adherence and reduce the overall cost of caring for people with mental health issues on a per capita basis, then you have more funding left to expand the services,” Feldman said.

Less pharmacies, less convenience for residents in Wards 7 and 8 BY ANNIE ALBRIGHT // Editorial Intern

Pharmacies have long been in short supply in Wards 7 and 8. In late 2016, there were 18 pharmacies split between those two wards, according to D.C. Department of Health (DOH) data. That is the same number as in Ward 1, which at the time the data were collected was about half as populous as Wards 7 and 8. (There are approximately 75,000 residents in Ward 1 compared to 145,000 in Wards 7 and 8). Ward 2 had around 76,000 residents, and yet was home to 41 pharmacies. The main function of a pharmacy is to dispense prescription medications. In this capacity, they play an important role in medication compliance. When it is harder for individuals to access their medications, they

are not as good at taking them as prescribed. A 2011 study from University of California showed that women who receive one-year supplies of oral contraceptives are less likely to become pregnant than those that receive oneor three-month supplies at a time. The authors attribute the lower pregnancy rate in the cohort of patients receiving a long-lasting supply of medication to ease of access in obtaining the medication; they did not need to remember to make a trip to the pharmacy every month. Many pharmacies provide services additional to dispensing prescription medication, including vaccination. Commercial chain pharmacies such as Walgreens and CVS offer the flu shot, and often at a reduced cost compared to that in

a doctor’s office. Almost all of the pharmacies in Wards 1-6 offer flu vaccination, according to the D.C. Department of Health, while less than half of those in Ward 8 do. The D.C. Council and several nonprofits have stepped in to address this resource desert with a variety of innovative solutions that, at their core, make access to existing preventative health resources in Wards 7 and 8 more efficient. In June of 2017, Unity Health Care, which operates community health care centers across D.C., opened two new pharmacies, one at their Parkside location and the other at their Upper Cardozo location. The pharmacies allow patients to pick up prescriptions at the same place

where they see a doctor. They also offer several innovative new services, such as a home delivery service for patients with recurring prescriptions and a Unity Health Pharmacy smartphone app that can be used to request refills. These policies will reduce the number of trips patients have to make for their health care. So too will a law passed by the D.C. Council in January, which will allow some patients seeking hormonal contraceptives (birth control pills) to obtain a prescription and 12-month supply directly from their pharmacist, The law, which was passed unanimously by the Council and is so far uncontested by congress, will go into effect in early 2019.

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A slavery era to present-day timeline featured in Undesigning the Redline. PHOTO BY CHRISTIAN ZAPATA


Traveling exhibit visualizes redlining and systemic inequality BY CHRISTIAN ZAPATA


t the June meeting of the Housing Association of Nonprofit Developers office in downtown D.C., a 1930s street map of Baltimore hung across a timeline of structural racism in America. “Undesign the Redline,” is a touring exhibition that showcases the causes and effects of structural racism and classism in communities across America. Originally unveiled in New York City, the exhibit analyzes discrimination in the 20th-century housing market and its effect on shaping low-income communities today. The practice of redlining, when credit agencies restrict investment in neighborhoods classified as “high risk” or “hazardous,” began in the early 1930s; the practice was outlawed in 1968 under the Fair Housing Act, according to interactive historical maps by Prologue D.C. The now defunct Home Owners’ Loan Corporation (HOLC) compiled maps of 239 U.S. cities paired with their assessment of real estate development risk for individual neighborhoods within each city. These maps color-code the safest neighborhoods in green and the second safest in blue; yellow is for the inbetweeners leaning towards risky, and red is for the highest-risk areas. Red neighborhoods were considered unfavorable by investors and as such were starved of the resources and developments made available to green and blue neighborhoods. One of the main factors in determining whether a community was at risk of being redlined was its concentration of African American residents, who were considered a detriment to property values. Developers in D.C. also commonly sought to implement covenants that restricted certain properties from being sold to Jews and African Americans, according to Prologue D.C. With enough people on board, this could translate into entire blocks of unavailable housing. “While overt redlining is illegal today … its enduring effect is still evident in the structure of U.S. cities. Part of

the evidence of this enduring structure can be seen in the Home Owners’ Loan Corporation (HOLC) maps created 80 years ago, and the neighborhood economic and racial/ethnic composition today. The maps were created by HOLC as part of its City Survey Program in the late 1930s. HOLC deployed examiners across the country to classify neighborhoods by their perceived level of lending risk,” according to research from the National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC), an organization focused on increasing the flow of private capital into traditionally underserved communities. The interactive exhibit was created by Designing the WE, a “for-benefit” studio that generates earned income but focuses on mission-driven operations, like a nonprofit. Designer and co-founder Rachel De Simone sees redlining as the product of a society that assigns wealth to those who look the part and, by doing so, reinforces inequity. “Whether we call housing ‘low-income’ or ‘homeless shelter’ or ‘homeless housing’ or ‘supportive housing,’ it’s just housing. We’re all human beings, we need housing,” De Simone said. “How do we begin to educate ourselves that the very vernacular we’re using is predicated on a paradigm of these systems that predate redlining?” A NCRC report found that redlining effectively set the foundation of segregation in American cities, where most of the neighborhoods that were once considered “hazardous” are now low-to-moderate income (LMI) with mostly minority populations. Gentrification has resulted in some communication between Black and White people in “hazardous” areas, reported NCRC. But this was found to cause greater income inequality and suggests that “Gentrification probably occurred in the HOLC ‘hazardous’ graded areas because of decades of depressed home values,” according to the report. “The associated belief that (mainly) African Americans and whites could not live together has persisted. In recent years I’ve heard older African Americans say things like, ‘when you all move in, why do we have to move away?’ In part, that’s based on the fact that when a black family moved onto a block,

all the white families moved away,” said Mara Cherkasky, a historian at Prologue D.C. NCRC noted areas that weren’t racially diverse tended to have a stronger concentration of wealth and resulted in cities with greater income inequality. While this was more commonly seen in cities with strong minority populations, it could indicate less racially and ethnically integrated cities have greater income inequality. Cherkasky added that Prologue D.C.’s project focuses on historic segregation and discrimination, but has also drawn conclusions about how those forces have shaped the present. “By painting African American neighborhoods as undesirable/unsuitable for investment, the federal government, as well as the real estate and banking industries, stigmatized African Americans themselves, leading to the belief that their presence in a neighborhood would naturally lead to a decrease in property values,” Cherkasky said. The Housing Association of Nonprofit Developers hosted the exhibit at its office during the month of June in order to feature the content as the centerpiece of its annual meeting and housing expo, which draws in more than 1,400 housing and community development professionals. This year’s theme was “Deconstruct Our Past, Redesign Our Future.” Heather Raspberry, executive director of HAND, said that even though redlining is no longer legal, communities once subjected to it are still in need of repair. In order for industry leaders to understand what is needed to help revitalize these communities, Raspberry thought it was critical for HAND to ensure that it integrated takeaways from the exhibition into its conference. The organization wanted to present a convincing demonstration to local developers of how the aftermath of systematic racism persists today. “We know that housing itself connects to so many other issues that very much are tied to redlining — access to healthcare, having strong schools and the communities where we are working to ensure there aren’t any food deserts.”


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Excessive heat is dangerous for everyone, especially people experiencing homelessness On June 18 temperatures soared above 90 degrees, the heat index was above 100 degrees and the D.C. government issued the first heat alert of the year. More than 15 buildings were opened to the public and a shuttle van service was available to transport people to these and other cooling centers. Temperatures exceeded 90 degrees for four more days in June and on July 3 the national weather service issued an extreme heat warning from D.C. to Baltimore. That day, at a quarterly meeting where homeless residents and officials from the D.C. Interagency Council on Homelessness expected to begin planning for the city’s next “Winter Plan,” the topic of how to deal with and better plan for the heat ended up dominating the conversation. All of the homeless attendees agreed more work was needed to raise awareness of city resources for keeping cool. The Wilson Building, where the meeting was held, is an official cooling center where anyone can come in and take advantage of the air conditioning, water fountains, and other facilities. This was news to at least one person at the meeting. While the ICH writes the city’s annual plan to shelter everyone who may experience homelessness during the winter, the District’s Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency coordinates the “Heat Emergency Plan” for the summer, which more broadly provides for all District residents. The mantra of the meeting ended up being “more coordination is needed” between homeless services and HSEMA. Homeless attendees identified potential breaks in communication such as a person staying at a shelter who might not learn the shelter will remain open all day due to a heat alert before they leave the shelter thinking they need to find somewhere else to keep cool. The officials in attendance were eager to help. When Street Sense went to press on July 10, temperatures had already gone above 90 degrees on five July days and heat alerts have been activated. Very hot temperatures are predicted for the rest of the month. During the first alert in June, Street Sense Media contacted representatives of more than 30 buildings listed as cooling centers in the city’s heat emergency plan. Most said no more people than usual had stopped by to get out of the weather. Several D.C. residents seeking shelter and meals said they did not utilize the District’s designated cooling centers but found other buildings more convenient to escape the sun’s rays. The Adam’s Place Day Center, which normally operates Monday through Friday, was opened on a weekend because of the heat alerts. Some representatives of cooling center said they did not know their locations had been designated as official cooling centers; they said people were welcome to come in to get out of the weather. Facilities like libraries, pools and government office buildings were already open for regular hours. Other buildings, such as city-run shelters, opened early to accommodate people trying to cool off. “We get people in here every day [to get out of the elements].

Today is no different,” one cooling center representative said. One library staff member said this was the case at their location as well, usually, anyone is welcome, but warned that the staff had been dealing with a broken air conditioner all day. The Patricia Handy Place for Women, located in Chinatown, opened early to offer a cooling space in the common area. By the afternoon, the shelter had hosted roughly 50 people, according to Low-Barrier Program Manager Michelle Durhan. Four representatives at cooling centers said they were not open for that purpose when Street Sense Media called on June 19, while representatives at four other buildings listed as cooling centers did not immediately return requests for comment. Dwight, a D.C. resident who did not wish to give his last name, said in an interview outside Miriam’s Kitchen that he tends to stay away from shelters because they become crowded. He said the shelters he visited during winter hypothermia alerts had a lot of people and were uncomfortable. He expected similar conditions in the cooling centers. “They’ve got 50 bunk beds and big rooms. No security,” he said. “I wouldn’t go near that place.” Dwight said it is easier to stay cool in places like the park behind the White House and at Union Station, which he said he reached using the Circulator bus. He knew about the shuttle buses that take people to a cooling center for free but said he felt like he had other options. Two other people waiting in the line for meals at Miriam’s Kitchen said they were able to go to a Starbucks and to the Cloyd Heck Marvin Student Center at George Washington University, a building that is open to the public during the day. One man who requested anonymity said people living on the streets would be safer if they were educated about staying hydrated and safe. Most people don’t know how dangerous it is to be in the sun all day, he said. Dr. Catherine Crosland of Unity Health Care said the most important steps on a hot day are to drink water, eat salty food and stay inside as much as possible. Extreme heat can exacerbate existing medical conditions. Heat stroke and heat exhaustion are two big medical concerns for people experiencing homelessness, especially for those who have nowhere to store their belongings and must wear layers or carry heavy bags with them. People who have heart disease or diabetes are more at risk from complications, according to Crosland. Pedestrians can take measures to help. “For passersby that are concerned about folks, offering water or Gatorade can certainly be invaluable,” Crosland said. “So can encouraging folks to get in the shade or get inside.” Olivia Zhang, Colleen Cosgriff, Eric Falquero contributed to this report.

RESOURCE: During a heat alert in D.C., call the shelter hotline for transportation to a cooling center.

(202) 399-7093

Leonard Hyater holds the real estate certificate he earned for operating in the state of Maryland. PHOTO BY ERIC FALQUERO

“I take the D.C. test in August. After I pass that, I take the national test to get my license.” Leonard Hyater // Artist/Vendor




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8 // ST REET SENSE ME DI A / / JULY 11 - 2 4 , 2 0 18

Are you a veteran who is literally homeless or “at-risk” of

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PRIMARY ELIGILITY CRITERIA A member of a “veteran family”: Either a veteran or a family member in which the veteran is the head of household.

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The Poor People’s Campaign took over the Mall

// 9



Is like Flash I’m fast when I kick the ball through the goal The Superhero in Me Is like Wonder Woman strong, respectful, and responsible The Superhero in Me Is like The Hulk a leader on and off the field The Superhero in Me Is like Supergirl helping those in need The Superhero in Me Is like Batgirl powerful and brave The Superhero in Me Is like Spiderman kind and caring The Superhero in Me shows teamwork, leadership and commitment! PHOTO BY ANGIE WHITEHURST

I attended the Poor People’s Campaign June 23 mass rally on the National Mall and sung with the D.C. labor chorus, directed by Elise Bryant, the ONE DC Black workers chorus, directed by Luci Murphy and chorus members from across the country. Roy Barber of the Street Sense Media theater program was also working and hanging out behind the scenes. Many faith leaders and community organizers spoke at the rally. Rev

Barber, architect of the national campaign, emphasized that all people of every religion, non-religion and -ism are included. Jesse Jackson, a civil rights activist and politician was there, as was Danny Glover, an actor and political activist. Our local pastor, Reverend Hagler of Plymouth church, was also on the scene. You should have seen the young people who surrounded him to take selfies. He was so kind and embracing of them all.

Through this partnership, Street Sense Media aims to bring you a poetic perspective of our city from the future generation being shaped by it. D.C. SCORES creates neighborhood teams for kids in need by giving them the skills and confidence to succeed on the playing field, in the classroom and in life. It accomplishes this for 2,500 kids at 59 D.C. elementary and middle schools by combining poetry and spoken word, soccer, and service-learning in an innovative after-school program. To learn more or support:

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Residential Essential Service (RES) Program 1336 G St. NW: built in the 1950s, last occupied by the Armenian Holocaust Commemoration Group. PHOTO BY FREDERIC JOHN

Sauteed Haiku for a Friend BY FREDERIC JOHN // Artist/Vendor

Death is grim Suicide sucks We have to go on As if we wore the tux Anthony led me through deep times of doubt But I always lit the burner and brought the good flavor out A lot of my friends knew Anthony Bourdain. I admire people like him, who was a friend to all. He often wasn’t just talking about food, but rather talking about human moods and loss.

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For more info call 311 or visit

To apply for the telephone Lifeline Service (Economy II), call 800-253-0846. These programs are for DC residents only.

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The tragedy of the Capital Gazette shooting BY HENRIEESE ROBERTS Wearing shirts that said “Journalism Matters,” Capital Gazette staff and their families marched in the Annapolis Fourth of July parade. PHOTOS BY HENRIEESE ROBERTS

Five people were killed Thursday, June 28 at the Capital Gazette newspaper in my hometown, Annapolis, Maryland. I was at the Board of Education, working with our team to complete the canvassing duties for our primary election, just held on June 26. Having heard a bullet once zing through my living room window, I wondered what the scene looked like now at the paper. "Carnage" is what President Barack Obama, would have called it, as he did when kids were massacred in Newtown, Connecticut. I uttered a word to summarize the causal factor of the shooting. Several weeks ago, I had looked at the Journalists Memorial at the Newseum: a two-story glass memorial bears the names of 2,323 reporters, photographers and broadcasters who lost their lives reporting the news. Words can kill, and reporters die.

I have had many utterances, big drag-out pure cusses with some folks about what I write, what I wear, what I say. I have had a bullet come through my living room window. Freedom is not free. Words cannot be freely expressed with expectations of zero outcomes. There are quite a few words that I say that incur wrath from others. I always go back to the 2005 killing of Judge Joan Lefkow’s family members in Chicago. I Google her, and read her story over and over again. Perhaps you can glean knowledge from her family losses, look to see what causes these tragedies. How can we grow from these moments of senseless shootings? What can we do to circumvent tragedies like these? Henrieese Roberts is a artist/vendor for Street Sense Media.

Children carry a banner in support of the Capital Gazette journalists. PHOTO BY HENRIEESE ROBERTS

Perception or Reality: Why Can't We Help? BY ROBERT WILLIAMS, USMC

Some people assume, when they hear “help me” or “help the homeless,” that we are in what to do. But all I could do was all I could do, which I felt was insufficient. What asking for money. However, from my observation of the pain-stricken faces of the if that had been me? homeless people around me, I would say that some are literally begging for help. Had she not made it, what would I have done, how would I have felt, in her place? Watching those around me struggling with housing instability and other stressors, It's depressing to speak with someone with uncontrollable issues that are only from day to day and night to night, troubles my heart and saddens me almost to tears. heightened by systemic neglect and ever-present danger on the street. These situations In just a couple months, I encountered three women in dire need of help on our streets. can cause the people caught up in them to want to commit suicide. They didn’t need money. A lack of economic stability had ground them down to this That is not the answer. But what is? point over many years. One person that attempted suicide told me they were running from their life. Many They needed compassion. They needed other people to take the time to care. in the community passively attempt this everyday by abusing alcohol and other drugs. First, there was a young lady I had met several years ago. When I saw her recently, But that can only lead to jail, institutionalization or death. her mental and physical decline was heart-wrenching. Our society leaves a margin of people to suffer like this. It’s by design. If there are When homeless people struggling with mental illness act out, the system’s main “haves,” there must be “have-nots.” response is to jail them. I stretch the term to include institutions where they are isolated, I want so badly to help others. To find out you don't have the resources to do so is alone and managed — which might as well be a jail. draining. But that just means more help, more of us reaching out, is needed. That is not a solution, early-on or down the line. When our policymakers can’t justify If you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem. locking someone up, they resort to pumping them full of medication that will take a Robert Williams is a Street Sense Media artist and vendor. couple days to wear off. This is not treatment. It stops the bleeding without treating the wound. And it turns the person who is struggling into an unthinking mummy, wondering about. Next, I re-met a lady I’ve known on and off through the years. She is in her late 30s or early 40s and has spent half her life on the street. This has been a largely self-destructive experience for the past six years. The reasons that launched her into this state are irrelevant. No human being should be forced - Have an opinion about how homelessness is being addressed in our community? to live on a street. Not here in Washington, D.C., our nation's capital, nor on - Want to share firsthand experience? any other street in this great nation. - Interested in responding to what someone else has written? Lastly, I chose a specific route to the Street Sense Media office to walk by a bus shelter that an elderly woman I know calls home. She’s a dialysis patient in her 60s Street Sense Media has maintained an open submission policy since our founding. We aim and I try to check on her when I can. Good thing I did. I found her unconscious. to elevate voices from across the housing spectrum and foster healthy debate. And when I called an ambulance to take her to a hospital for the treatment she needed to stay alive, it took at least 20 minutes to arrive. And if I hadn’t checked Please send submissions to on her at the hospital several times, she would have been discharged too early. What would I have done if she didn't make it? To God be the glory for guidance

Join the conversation, share your views


/ / 11




I was in the neighborhood, so I thought I would drop in at the grand opening of the new Cleveland Park Library last month. With its clean white interior, new fixtures, bright conference and reading rooms and high ceilings, the place looked great and inviting! Even inclusive. As a former Friends of the Library group president and onetime librarian's spouse, I have a fondness for the D.C. Public Library. I also think it's great that the new library system has designated staff to inform, assist and advocate on behalf of its non-domiciled patrons. There are indeed some good improvements to the libraries, but upon leaving Cleveland Park, much to my surprise (and chagrin), what should I see? Benches with armrests! Not the kind of benches with armrests at either end that act as a barrier to falling and injuring oneself. Oh no, they were the kind of armrests that act as a barrier to a person needing a place to rest or to lie down. Think a moment about that: A person headed to their home nearly falls out from heat exhaustion or dehydration, and needs to lie down. Wouldn't it be a shame if they can't lie still on a bench to regain their composure until help arrives? Of course, if you're sleep-deprived because you have no home or bed, or if you are dehydrated because water consumption is a luxury for you, as you're unwelcome at most rest facilities, then well, tough luck! I doubt that metal armrests are installed for comfort. They're too cold for winter, too hot for summer and not exactly cozy for couples in spring or fall. The tragedy in this is that we claim to care about the plight of the homeless, and it's a lie. Small, white or oversight (my eye), it's still a lie! Whoever designed the benches asked for opinions, received input and submitted documents and designs for approval. Then others granted funding and cut the check. Still others were contracted, and the benches were built. Yet no one notices that big cold hunk of metal in the middle!? This is another hurtful, harmful decision by insensitive bureaucrats, unfolding during an election year. So much for forethought. We know what we're doing, what we are still doing: sitting on our apathy and building barriers. Ken Martin is an artist and vendor with Street Sense Media.

A man and his dog sit against the wall of the newly renovated Cleveland Park D.C. Public Library branch. Balloons from the ribbon cutting ceremony are tied to a divider on a bench in front of the library and the man. PHOTO BY KEN MARTIN

Everybody has a story to tell when it comes to the way they think concerning a situation or circumstance when they were faced with resolving something that involves outside forces. As a young adolescent in junior high school, I was ostracized by some of my peers (mainly girls). They would always razz me about my big, huge lips and teeth. They did it so many times that I began to keep a low profile so I would not be readily noticed. Fortunately, I didn’t have a problem with those parts of my body God gave me to utilize while in this life. But, for whatever reason I allowed these folks to define who I was based on how I looked. This infuriated me. I became angry with myself. I would go along to get along, to the point I became inured to the insults and assaults concerning my features and character. I took the “fit-in-where-I-could-getin” approach, just to be part of the “in” crowd and not be left out. In the recesses of my mind, though, I was becoming disoriented about my true self. This became somewhat of a detriment to me and my character at a very early age. So, psychologically I was very tied up, trying to be a people-pleaser.

For a long time, in my mind’s eye, I’ve believed if someone were to love you, (s)he would not hurt you. However, that has not been the case in my experience. Even when I was not treated so well, I still would discount my feelings and make that person’s feelings more important than my own. In my quiet time, I still would find ways to justify that person’s BS, even though I knew they were wrong and I wasn’t. Emotionally, I was tangled up, not knowing in what direction to go. Now, just to be frank (who I’m not), I’ve had bouts with trying to meet the status quo. Always trying to be and live up to the Joneses, I have often found myself all out of sorts, baffled and confused while trying to be someone else. To mine own self, I could not be true. I was living a lie and starting to believe it. The plot thickens… Conclusively, the end result to being a gitwit, nit-wit is demeaning, and one will be brought down real low. For I’ve heard it said, pride goes before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall. Socially, I am caught up. Everybody has a story to tell about how they think concerning their situations, their circumstances, and their experiences. Oh, what a tangled web I wove. Title illustration by Reginald Denny

How to make a homemade emergency candle BY JACQUELYN PORTEE // Artist/Vendor

INGREDIENTS AND SUPPLIES FOR ONE CANDLE • 1 glass jar, 4 to 6 inches high; make sure the jar is clean and dry • Enough shortening, such as Crisco, to nearly fill your jar • A tablespoon or ladle (to stir the shortening while it is melting in the pot) • A small cooking pot • 1 piece of 100% cotton string, approximately 6 inches long; this is for the wick INSTRUCTIONS 1. Fill the empty jar with the shortening, up to the neck of the jar. 2. When the jar is full, scoop out the shortening with the spoon or ladle and put it into the small pan. Heat the pan until the shortening melts. Be sure to let it cool before touching it. 3. Tie a knot on one end of the wick and place the knot in the bottom of the jar, in the center if possible. (Maybe have someone else hold it, preferably with a pair of tongs.) 4. Pour the melted shortening into the jar (the wick should be inside of the jar), being careful not to spill it. 5. When you see the shortening turning white and hard inside the glass jar, be sure the wick is in the center of the jar. Let the jar cool until you see the shortening is totally white and hard. I’ve also used the following web links for this project: www.howtomakeyourowncandles // //


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Give It Away

Many charities that help people with various needs depend on donation of unwanted clothing and household items from those who have more than enough. And it's good to give away unused things so they can benefit others. But we are often more reluctant to part with things of value that we use every day. First of all, God loves a cheerful giver! That's what the Bible says in 2 Corinthians. It also says, "every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity." Once again, God loveth a cheerful giver. When we give, we must give from the heart and with love, peace, caring, sharing and togetherness. We must not give with reluctance or with evil deeds in our mind, body, soul and strength. Amen! Also, it's better to give than to receive. The Bible speaks of giving once again, in the Book of Luke, 6:38. It says, "Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom." Give and you shall receive, it shall be measurably returned to you. The Bible speaks about giving yet again in the Book of John 3:16. "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." In the New Testament Paul “gives away” his closest comrades to help the followers of Jesus in Phillippi. It is not easy for him. When he was imprisoned in Rome, Paul relied on their continued encouragement. “I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you soon...I have no one else like him, who will show genuine concern for your welfare. And I think it is necessary to send back to you Epaphroditus, my brother and co-worker and fellow soldier who is also your messenger, whom you sent to take care of my needs.” Paul freely gave to others what he most needed himself. Giving whatever we feel is most valuable in our lives today could be of great benefit to someone we know who is in need. It may be our time, our friendship, our encouragement, a listening ear or a helping hand. The list goes on and on. If we want to touch the heart, we give stuff like this. When we give away what the Lord has given to us, He is honored, others are helped, and we are blessed. Lord, show me what I am clinging to. If someone needs it, open my heart and mind and my hands and mouth to help me give it away today. Amen! Most books inform us, but the "good book" transforms us. What goes up must come down, even in the divine. When our praise goes up to Heaven, blessings must come down upon us all. But when evil goes up, evil will come right back down. Integrity is the key to outlive anxiety. Sending love to all the saints and believing in my brothers and sisters in Christ. Yours truly,




The Lighted Path



The state or quality of being free from control or influence, aid of the likes of our competency. The city west of Missouri. The starting point of fairness and omnipresent trails. The town southeast of here. The state and quality of every being. The city where many need kindness and compassion. The starting point for the security of futures. Offering all colorful tales. The beginning of solutions for tragedies. Used by moving forward, toward a state of being free. The aid and influence of control, no longer a competency. Securing needs, kindness and compassion for community. Beginning to solve for troubles. Use the state, and quality, of being free. The aid and influence out of control. The competency we make for ourselves. Own the trail of kindness for somebody's children. State your quality, influence, aid, control being like the free.

When I awake, I always thank the good Lord for another blessed day. When I count my blessings, my sacred heart always sees that path of light because that's how God is trying to reach me spiritually. When I go to sleep, no matter how much pain I go through with my arthritis, I still try to put my prayers in for that day. Though, sometimes I may forget because of being so tired and living alone at my apartment with all of these responsibilities. I always try to explain this to my family, but at times they don't seem to understand. However, I know deep down in my heart and soul that God knows what I am going through, because he is a big part of my journey down here on Earth. No matter how many ups and downs I have been through, God has been there for me, and I thank Him for that. I also thank Him for helping me through my health situations and my mental situations. I will always thank God for blessing me with a nice apartment and guiding me from being homeless again after more than 28 years of that journey. I will always stay in that lighted path of the Lord. May God Bless us all! Amen.

Charge it to my heart, not my head BY ELIZABETH BRYANT Artist/Vendor

I have been sick for about a week. I have ulcers, and when I eat the wrong food it makes me not want to go to school or come into Street Sense to work. I must also stay close to the bathroom. However, I am blessed to have a doctor and to have my medication, which I take 4 times a day. I also try not to smoke. I keep praying, and I know that Jesus will help me through this. I need to change my diet because I keep eating in response to my feelings, even if I am not hungry. I have been working with my AAA sponsor about conquering my alcoholism, and I feel good about that. I seem to stress about bills and life in general. I try to focus on my beliefs, and remember that Jesus is the teacher and will show me how to overcome these emotions. I will not give up. It is one step at a time, one bite at a time. So, as I get better, I won’t take on other’s stresses, and I will try to change my anger into smiles. So, let the chips fall where they may–I surrender myself to Jesus because it is not up to me anymore.

BY REGINALD BLACK, JR. // Artist/Vendor

Growing Up Fast SASHA WILLIAMS // Artist/Vendor

Little Onyx saw her fireworks this past holiday. Eboni and I have watched the Fourth of July fireworks together every year since we got our housing. Last year, Onyx was still growing in my stomach. So this year’s holiday was extra special as we approach her 10-month milestone. We just love her so much. And Eboni loves being a big sister. She is so protective and doesn’t want anyone to touch Onyx if she doesn’t approve first. More good news, Eboni, now 5, got approved to her school! The process of getting documents, filling out the D.C. school lottery application and securing her seat, before turning in even more documents is finally over. She is waiting on course materials, books and a laptop. I’m excited for her, but nervous about guiding her through her learning. I have to wait to start her in other activities, such as gymnastics, martial arts, and Spanish course — but I am not going to give up on making that happen. She’ll need to get adjusted to her new routine first anyway. Now I’m planning how to make her room into a diva/study area to support her growth. She starts kindergarten August 20th and I’m so proud!

Hold Your Head

BY LEVESTER GREEN // Artist/Vendor

I just want two salute and honor all the brave soldiers and souls who have served and died defending the truths and ideals of freedom. A special salute and salutations to my father and family who serve and have served in the past. Thank you all! Especially and including the Most High of all, Father God!

Memory and Memorial BY PHILLIP BLACK JR. // Artist/Vendor

When the holiday came to pass this year, I learned that Memorial Day was partially inspired by Black soldiers who fought for this country. When 257 of them died fighting for the Union, they were left in unmarked graves. But local villagers chose to dig up the bodies and worked for two weeks to give the soldiers a proper burial and service as gratitude for fighting for their freedom. They even held a parade of 10,000 people, led by Black children. This was one of several instances following the Civil War that led to the founding of Decoration Day, a precursor to the modern Memorial Day that was formally established several years later.


// 13

THE HOBO, part 2: Black Fields is asked “What led you to drugs?” Previously, we met Black Fields as he panhandled. The woman, Harriet, whose attention he had caught, seemed genuinely interested in helping him and said that she would return to where they met regularly to check on Fields. This is one of their next encounters: “So let me ask you a question. You don’t have to answer, but if you do, don’t lie because you’ll only be lying to yourself.” Harriet gave him a moment for that to register, then she asked, “How long you been getting high?” “Huh?” he exhaled. Black was caught off guard by her directness. For a moment his mind went blank and he was speechless. The only response he could come up with was, “What makes you think I get high?” “Young man-I don’t mean no harm, but look at you,” she said, waving her arm as if she were giving him a display of the surrounding scenery. Then she smiled, “When I was in treatment, we used to say…Man, he greasy as a pork chop.” Then she stepped closer to him and they locked eyes, “You are far from mentally ill son. So what’s your deal?” Once again, Harriet had him cornered. He gravely wished that something would suddenly pull her away from him so that he could elude her interrogation. Then, something inside him said, “What you got to be afraid of.” “It’s a long story, but the abridged version is that the crew I was hanging with in college got into a beef with some guys from New York, I got stabbed, and I just couldn’t keep my mind on studies. I’m blessed to be here though. The same guys rushed the dorm and shot my man Gerard in the head…” Twenty-five years later he still got choked up at the mention of his dorm-mate. “He was always cool, calm, and collected. We on the other hand were rowdy-rowdy. We were from D.C., listened to go-go music, wore Polo, and had something to prove,” Black said.

Who Am I?


Hello Customers! I am the eighth of nine siblings. My father’s and mother’s names are Otis and Julie Meriedy, respectively. Mom died when I was five and Dad died when I was 17. May they rest in peace. Their deaths forced me to become a man at an early age. I dropped out of high school to work and take care of myself. But, as years went by I obtained my GED. My values and beliefs are to be happy with no worries, so my blood pressure will not go on the rise and I won’t have a heart attack or stroke. I also believe in my higher power, Jesus Christ. He is the one who has brought me this far.

A True Believer BY MICHAEL DANIELS // Artist/Vendor

I am a true believer in getting people together to voice their support for–and vote for–the right people. I think that is the key to solving homelessness. Having the right people in the right offices of government will reach those in need of housing. Vote for yourself as well as the community. I have seen a lot of homeless people over the years, but I have not seen many necessary changes take place in the last 40 years. Of course, it’s up to the people to get out and be heard. You must vote for the right people because they play a big role in how not to have homelessness. So, VOTE!

“Gerard didn’t drink, didn’t smoke, talked about world peace and Black pride, and was the only person that the wayward group interacted with that was in school to get an actual education, and not down there to escape their demons.” The course of events would forever remain etched into his memory. It was college night at this skating rink in RichmondBroad Street to be exact. Gerard was in his room studying when Black and the others got into a fight with the crew from New York over some girls from Richmond, who they had never seen before and never would again. Gerard had nothing to do with that beef, or the numerous others his acquaintances had caused. He would tag along with them from time to time because they all were from the same hometown. That’s about the only thing he had in common with them. Black looked off into the horizon as he began to speak, “Dealing with the trauma that surrounded Gerard’s death, and my subsequent stabbing, sent me down a fork in the road, so to speak.” His expression was apologetic as he conjured up images of his past. “I had always said, 'I ain’t never smoking nothing!' I had never saw a need for it. I had been around weed plenty of times and didn’t understand the concept,” Black explained. “But after everything that happened, I just seemed to thoughtlessly gravitate towards it. I had never even given a second thought to the stoners that congregated in the lobby of the dorm. But within hours of being released from the hospital, I was out on the stoop smoking blunts with them.” Black began to be overcome with emotion. This was the first time in years that he had discussed his experiences. He had never before made the connection between the tragic events he had endured and his path towards addiction. He was suddenly deluged by recollections. Harriet just listened as he continued. “Now that I look back on it, within a week, the crowd I hung around with changed dramatically. They went from straightlaced to thugged out,” Black said. “I lost interest with everyone whose life wasn’t focused on debauchery. I would later in life hear a rock and roll song that I found very exemplary of my




To be continued. This is an excerpt of Duane Foster’s manuscript “The Black Fields Chronicles: THE HOBO.”


Dedicated to Bonnie Parker

Wereun the tosun glare to glare ond ld ashare, wyld dare hare, dare to fling, will wee han to share ur tripp? Xal wr snare son swing? Truth may hing. I bare. At the cheek, no care dooes cling.

behavior called, ‘Running with the Devil'. That’s exactly the way I’ve lived most of my years. “When I first began to dabble with weed, I was focused and determined that it would remain an activity of leisure and that I would only partake of it on weekends. Of course my new friends found this very laughable. In less than a month I was smoking daily.” “That’s how it usually works,” Harriet interjected. “Addiction is very progressive.” Black found her statement profound. It made him feel as if his issues were more pervasive than personal. This lifted his spirits and softened his feelings of isolation. “I can’t agree with you more. It crept up on me like a thief in the night,” Black said. “I started off drinking cheap wine and malt liqueur. Next thing I know, I dippin' my cigarettes in nut juice (PCP). For all these years, my motivations have mystified me.” “Why is it a mystery?” Harriet asked. “You know all the answers. Whether or not you want to acknowledge them is a decision only you can make.” “Are you a therapist or something?” he asked suspiciously. “Oh no — I’m speaking from wisdom gained through personal experience. We are more alike than different,” she said with a gentle smile. Black decided to continue. “All my life, I’ve felt as if I had a void that needed to be filled. I’ve tried a variety of methods or material items to obtain fulfillment and peace of mind. When I was a child it was toys and video games. Then during my teens it was shoes, clothes, food, and girls.” She laid her hand on his shoulder and cut in, “Don’t feel ashamed. People have been attempting to fill that spiritual void you speak of with tangible items since the beginning of time. There is only one road to inner peace. So if you’re not walking with Jesus-you better detour…or your behind will be eternally sorry.”

Casketing a Tent Yes, I'm finding the time to write a few lines. For the people that see me shine, It's not always bright or always right But it's me that I'm looking to find.



I know it feels good to be doing the right Even though it's hard to sleep at night, With the Bedbugs and mice not to mention the lice or the two-legged rats that wants me back "on crack" or just to attack. I've found a way y'all to get some rest from this nagging place of Pest I've casket a tent way away from the rest but I still have to deal with the stench. It sho’ beats waking up with a pillow full of blood and your buddies coming in from an all-nighter full of crud. So like I said in the beginning "I've Casket a Tent" and, except for the stench, I'm better now living pest free, but praying for more rent.

1 4 // ST REET SEN S E ME DI A / /


JULY 11 - 2 4 , 2018

Challenging Sudoku by KrazyDad, Volume 1, Book 1

Sudoku #2 3 5 6 7

1 3 1 7 2 4

8 1 2 9 7 3 5 1 4 6 8 9 Answers

© 2013

Fill in the blank squares so thatSudoku each row, each #1column and each 3-by-3 block contain all of the digits 1 thru 9.

SUDOKU: Fill in

7 without 1 6 guesswork. 3 5 2 If you logicsquares you can solve the4puzzle theuse blank

9 8 so athat 8logical 1 order 7 4to solve 5 the 3 puzzle. 6 9 shows 2 a Need little each help? row, The hints page each column Use it to identify theand next square you should solve. Or use the answers page 6 5 3 2 9 8 4 7 1 if you really get stuck. each 3-by-3 block contain all of the 1 3 6 5 4 2 7 8 9 digits 1-9. 5 8 4 7 6 9 3 1 2 7 9 2 8 1 3 6 4 5 LAST 8 6 7 4 2 1 9 5 3 EDITION’S 3 4 5 9 8 6 1 2 7 PUZZLE SOLUTION >> 2 1 9 3 5 7 8 6 4 Sudoku #3 9 4 6 1 1 7 3 8 5 8 2 9 3 2 7 6 8 6 5 3 4 9 1 5 7 1 9 2 6 5 8 4 2 3 4 7 Sudoku #5 4 6 5 3 7 2 1 6 9 3 8 4 3 5 7 2 2 1 9 5 6 8 4 7 8 9 6 1 5 7 2 9 1 4 3 8


2 6 4 7 8 5 1 9

BY CHON GOTTI Artist/Vendor


I learned how to be a man from the Lord and a from my I was raised without my biological father. A lot of my friends beautiful Mom and hardworking Dad. I’m still learning, were raised the same. So it never crossed my mind that I it's not easy. The truth is, men all over the world have was different. fallen by the wayside. When I was 12, me and my sister got home from school and God wants a man in each young boy’s life to teach him I saw a blue van in front of our house. We didn't think anything how to be a man. But where is he??? Where's the man of it until our mother told us to go outside and say hello to our that's supposed to be around mom to hold her, have fun biological father. I was shocked and surprised. I had never with her, disagree with her, work together with her, take thought about meeting him. I just blocked him out of my mind care of her or him in tough times and sickness, and be entirely. I was always told he used to abuse my mother, so I an exemplary husband? really didn't like him. The thought of him putting his hands on All of this while Junior looks on and observes firsthand my mother infuriated me. I wanted to repay the favor. how a strong family is formed and sticks together in love. Now, as an adult, I don't feel the same hatred toward him. Where is that man? One main reason you won't find him He was a heroin addict and is still on drugs to this day. Now, is because that man either has not found God or does not I want to help him — even though he wasn't there for me. want God in his life. He is struggling to survive in Atlanta and I want to be there Too often our men find themselves chasing skirts or for him. I understand no one is perfect. I also believe we pants instead of being at home. Junior will grow up and all deserve a second chance and we all deserve happiness. be a man too. If dad is out running from responsibilities and ignoring God, most likely, so will Junior. The sins Challenging Sudoku by KrazyDad, Volume 1, Book 1 of the father will visit the offspring. BY PATTY SMITH // Artist/Vendor I have thought Sudoku #2 about this a long 7 3 9 2 8 4 1 6 5 time. I know some Walking through the city, Bricks and stones, 5 6 4 1 3 9 7 2 8 wonderful women at the very edge of the city, get under my feet I walk alone But I walk alone and I pray they find 1 8 2 5 6 7 4 3 9 good, responsible 6 4 3 8 9 2 5 1 7 The only one with me It's a scary place, men that will treat 8 5 1 6 7 3 2 9 4 is my shadow that I sometimes, them right. They So I walk alone, I walk alone travel through deserve it. (Love 2 9 7 4 1 5 3 8 6 ya my Street Sense 9 7 6 3 5 1 8 4 2 Can anybody hear me? Yet, I keep my head up high Customers!) Now 3 Don't need no company, and keep pushing on, with back to taking care of 2 5 9 4 8 6 7 1 to follow me my shadow, we walk alone my beautiful queen. 4 1 8 7 2 6 9 5 3

Walk Alone

7 6 2 1

Sudoku #4 4 7 5 1 6 2 9 8 3 1 8 5 9 5 6 4 2 4 3 9 1 8 7 2 5 6 4 7 7 9 2 3 8 3 1 6


1 8 3 4 5 6 6 9 4 7 2 3 7 2 8 1 9 5

Sudoku #6 7 9 3 5 4 2 6 3 8 5 1 6 3 4 5 7 6 7 8 1 9 1 2 8 5 6 7 2 2 8 4 9 1 3 9 4

1 2 8 9 8 7 7 4 3 2 9 1 4 3 5 6 5 4 3 1 9 5 7 6 8 6 2

7 5 2 5 6 4 4 1 7 1 9 8 9 2 1 2 3 6 8 4 3 3 7 9 6 8 5

9 7 5 8 9 1 7 2 8 4 1 3 6 8 9 1 5 4 5 3 6 3 4 7 2 6 2

Growing up

Ask five economists and you'll get five different explanations (six if one went to Harvard). -- Edgar R. Fiedler

9 4

Responsibilities of a real man


9 3

5 4

Sudoku #7 7 4 6 3 2 5 8 1 9 3 9 1 6 4 8 5 7 2

6 9 7 3 4 2 1 7 8 5 3 6 9 1 5

8 4

8 2 3 4 5 1 7 9 6 2 3 8 1 6 7 9 4 5 3 8 2 6 1 4 5 7 9



1 5 9 2 6 8 2 9 7 3 8 4 3 1 5 7

Sudoku #8 9 3 7 8 6 2 4 1 5 1 2 6 4 5 3 9 7 8

Author Gene Weingarten is a college dropout and a nationally syndicated humor columnist for The Washington Post. Author Dan Weingarten is a former college dropout and a current college student majoring in information technology. Many thanks to Gene Weingarten and The Washington Post Writers Group for allowing Street Sense to run Barney & Clyde.



SHELTER HOTLINE Línea directa de alojamiento

(202) 399-7093

YOUTH HOTLINE Línea de juventud

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE HOTLINE Línea directa de violencia doméstica

(202) 547-7777

Education Educación

Health Care Seguro

Clothing Ropa

Legal Assistance Assistencia Legal

Case Management Coordinación de Servicios

Food Comida

Employment Assistance Assitencia con Empleo

Transportation Transportación

Showers Duchas

All services listed are referral-free Academy of Hope Public Charter School 202-269-6623 // 2315 18th Place NE

Bread for the City 202-265-2400 (NW) // 561-8587 (SE) 1525 7th St., NW // 1640 Good Hope Rd., SE

Calvary Women’s Services // 202-678-2341 1217 Good Hope Rd., SE

Catholic Charities // 202-772-4300

Central Union Mission // 202-745-7118 65 Massachusetts Ave., NW

Charlie’s Place // 202-232-3066 1830 Connecticut Ave., NW

Christ House // 202-328-1100 1717 Columbia Rd., NW

Father McKenna Center // 202-842-1112 19 Eye St., NW

Food and Friends // 202-269-2277 219 Riggs Rd., NE (home delivery for those suffering from HIV, cancer, etc)

Foundry Methodist Church // 202-332-4010 1500 16th St., NW ID (Friday 9am–12pm only)

Friendship Place // 202-364-1419 4713 Wisconsin Ave., NW

Georgetown Ministry Center // 202-338-8301 1041 Wisconsin Ave., NW

Jobs Have Priority // 202-544-9128 425 2nd St., NW

Loaves & Fishes // 202-232-0900 1525 Newton St., NW

Church of the Pilgrims // 202-387-6612 2201 P St., NW food (1-1:30 on Sundays only)

Martha’s Table // 202-328-6608 2114 14th St., NW

Community Family Life Services 202-347-0511 // 305 E St., NW

Miriam’s Kitchen // 202-452-8926 2401 Virginia Ave., NW

Community of Hope // 202-232-7356

Covenant House Washington 202-610-9600 // 2001 Mississippi Ave., SE

D.C. Coalition for the Homeless 202-347-8870 // 1234 Massachusetts Ave., NW

BEHAVIORAL HEALTH HOTLINE Línea de salud del comportamiento

(202) 749-8000

Housing/Shelter Vivienda/alojamiento

1-888-793-4357 Laundry Lavandería

Patricia Handy Place for Women 202-733-5378 // 810 5th St., NW

Samaritan Inns // 202-667-8831 2523 14th St., NW

Samaritan Ministry 202-722-2280 // 1516 Hamilton St., NW // 202-889-7702 // 1345 U St., SE

Sasha Bruce Youthwork // 202-675-9340 741 8th St., SE

So Others Might Eat (SOME) // 202-797-8806 71 O St., NW

St. Luke’s Mission Center // 202-333-4949 3655 Calvert St., NW

Thrive DC // 202-737-9311 1525 Newton St., NW

Unity Health Care // 202-745-4300 3020 14th St., NW

Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless 1200 U St., NW // 202-328-5500

The Welcome Table // 202-347-2635 1317 G St., NW

My Sister’s Place // 202-529-5991 (24-hr hotline)

N Street Village // 202-939-2060 1333 N St., NW

New York Avenue Shelter // 202-832-2359 1355-57 New York Ave., NE

// 15

Whitman-Walker Health 1701 14th St., NW // 202-745-7000 2301 MLK Jr. Ave., SE // 202-797-3567

For further information and listings, visit our online service guide at

JOB BOARD Outreach Fellowship

Alliance for Justice // Washington, D.C. A one-year public interest fellowship focused on grassroots organizing, and public education, predominantly with member organizations and progressive groups; legal audiences such as law school communities and attorneys; and online activists. The 2018-2019 fellow will play an important role in raising awareness about the importance of the Supreme Court and federal courts and how the Trump Administration is reshaping the federal judiciary. REQUIRED: Recent undergraduate degree, experience with campus, community, union, or political outreach or organizing and demonstrable social media engagement skills. APPLY:


Pirate Castle // Washington, D.C. Seeking fun and vibrant personalities to staff our cashier tent to assist our customers purchase tokens to exchange for drinks. Both entry level and supervisory positions are available. NO REQUIREMENTS. APPLY: Team Member UDC Bookstore // Washington, D.C. Part-time and Full-time opportunities Greet customers, assist customers with inquiries in-store and on the phone. Operate the cash register. Take responsibility for safe money handling procedures and secure transaction practices. Shelve products and arrange product signage and displays. REQUIRED: 0-3 years similar experience; High School degree or equivalent, general computer skills. APPLY: Restaurant Team Chipotle // Washington, D.C. Provides tuition assistance, free food, paid time off, and full and part-time opportunities. Looking for enthusiastic learners. Training is provided. REQUIRED: Must be at least 16 years old. Must speak English. APPLY: Team Member Takorean // U Street, Washington, D.C. Team Members are cross-trained on all working positions - taco line, cash wrap, food prep, etc. They create memorable customer experiences by making eye contact, extending friendly greetings, and providing fast, helpful service. NO REQUIREMENTS. APPLY:

Hiring? Send your job postings to

2018 ANNUAL AUDIENCE SURVEY! As a reader and customer, you are a crucial part of the Street Sense Media family. It is you who empowers our vendors economically, you who reads, watches and listens to their creative work and you who improves our local culture by being better-informed about homelessness and poverty. Needless to say, we value your feedback.

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