Volume 8: Issue 8 February 16 - March 1, 2011
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Read more and get involved at www.streetsense.org | The D.C. Metro Area Street Newspaper | Please buy from badged vendors
PRESERVING THE BLOOM
Local art space gets through tough times Page 6
Street Sense aims to serve as a vehicle for elevating voices and public debate on issues relating to poverty while also creating economic opportunities for people who are experiencing homelessness in our community.
News in Brief
Teaching Healthy Habits through Cooking Central Union Mission Searches for a New Home
New Report: Homeless Iraq & Afghanistan Veterans on the Rise
Chris Shaw Paints & Writes on Cities
Read all stories online at www.streetsense.org
The Mannequin Keeper: Part 2
Comic Strip Barney & Clyde, Now at Street Sense!
Read our blog at streetsense.org/blog James Davis goes on the Road Last Word: Navigating the Far Corners of a New City
A new issue comes out every two weeks, but you can stay connected to Street Sense every day! /streetsense @streetsensedc /streetsensedc Cover art by Kelsey Osterman
From the Executive Director
Perception is Not Always Reality
By Douglas Knight Executive Director
So, you are walking down the street, and you see one of our Street Sense vendors on the corner. How do you react? Do you wish him or her a good morning? Or do you pull the “I’ll act like I have a phone call and put my cell phone to my ear” move? How about the universal “city street walk” where you just look at the ground in front of your feet or stare blankly out in front of you? Sometimes our vendors notice this too. Most of the time, they handle it as the gentlemen and gentlewomen that they are. But sometimes, their persistence in asking for you to consider buying a paper seems to become more “pushy” than “proactive.” Through our vendor training, vendor meetings, and one-on-one conversations with our team members, we hope to best position our vendors to excel. We encourage sales skills, strong voices, and positive pitches. But as you might expect, learning how to handle rejection is a part of the process as well. You and I know about rejection in the daily world of business. A potential customer fails to buy that new product you are selling. An idea you are sure will be a winner is passed over during a staff meeting. A vendor’s pitch to invest in a street newspaper here in our nation’s capital is turned down. (Hmm, maybe too specific?) Rejection is a part of the daily grind. Now, imagine if that rejection extended to every part of your life. Food, shelter, a place to sit… imagine rejection as a constant– the norm and not the exception. Now, you might see why frustration can set in when a paper sale doesn’t take place. This isn’t an excuse, but an insight. So, what am I driving at here? Please be patient with our vendors selling papers in your neighborhood or near your place of work. Know that many of them
are trying to better themselves and find a strong pathway to personal success. And that road has some twists and turns. Please understand that what you might see as a simple transaction (or a choice not to have a transaction), to our vendor might feel like another in a long series of rejections for that day. We can help, especially if it becomes more than just “pushy” but we need for you to let us know. If you ever feel like a vendor is overly aggressive or not representing the community, neighborhood, or our organization well, please do contact us so we can support our vendors and assist them in their street-side approach to sales. P.S. – Please keep an eye out for an eCycle Event happening on March 17 th. Your donated computer equipment can support efforts to offer employment and job training skills to the homeless. This event is being hosted by Community of Creative Non-Violence (CCNV) Homeless Shelter and in partnership with WildTechCCNV, a nonprofit technology company completely managed and operated by the homeless people of CCNV. Check out their info at ecycle@nten. org or online at www.wildtech.org.
E-mail Doug at Doug@ streetsense.org
ADDRESS 1317 G Street, NW, Washington, DC 20005 PHONE (202) 347 - 2006 FAX (202) 347 - 2166 E-MAIL firstname.lastname@example.org WEB streetsense.org BOARD OF DIRECTORS Lisa Estrada, Ted Henson, Brad Scriber, Michael Stoops, Manas Mohapatra, Sommer Mathis, Kristal Dekleer, Robin Heller, Jeffery McNeil, Jordan Rummel, John Snellgrove, Dameon Philpotts EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR Doug Knight EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Mary Otto MANAGING EDITOR/NEW MEDIA DIRECTOR Lisa V. Gillespie COMM. DEVELOPMENT & PROGRAM MANAGER Amy Vokes INTERNS Kelsey Osterman, Gretchen Grant, Mehreen Rasheed, Kelby Miller, Holly Ceasar, Craig Hudson VOLUNTEERS/WRITERS Rhonda Brown, Holly Caesar, Margaret Chapman, Tracie Ching, James Clarke, Nikki Conyers, Bobby Corrigan, Irene Costigan, Carol Cummings, Adam Dangelo, Sara Dimmitt, Joe Duffy, Lilly Dymond, Ashley Edwards, Rachel Estabrook, Sarah Ficenec, Robert Fulton, Andrew Gena, Steve Gilberg, Jane Goforth, Adam Kampe, Jonah Goodman, Roberta Haber, Elia Herman, Trisha Knisely, Vicki Ann Lancaster, Elle Leech-Black, Lisa Leona, Sean Lishansky, Elsie Oldaker, Katinka Podmaniczky, Mike Plunkett, Willie Schatz, Jesse Smith, Mandy Toomey, Brett Topping, Maria Stoyadinova, Steve Gilberg, Sean Lishansky, Caroline Hopper, Jane Cave VENDORS Michael Anderson, Charles Armstrong, Jake Ashford, Lawrence Autry, Daniel Ball, Donna Barber, John Bayne, Kenneth Belkosky, Patricia Benjamin, Tommy Bennett, Jimmy Bigelow, Reginald Black, Emily Bowe, Debora Brantley, Andre Brinson, Floarea Caldaras, Percy Carter, Peggy Cash, Conrad Cheek, Simona Ciurar, Virginia Clegg, Aaron Conner, Theresa Corbino, Avram Cornel, Anthony Crawford, Kwayera Dakari, Louise Davenport, Charles Davis, James Davis, Devon Dawkins, David Denny, Ricardo Dickerson, Muriel Dixon, Alvin Dixon El, Deana Elder, Richard Embden, Joshua Faison, James Featherson, Tanya Franklin, Samuel Fullwood, Larry Garner, David Ger, R. George, Marcus Green, Barron Hall, Dwight Harris, John Harrison, Lorrie Hayes, Patricia Henry, Shakaye Henry, Shawn Herring, Derian Hickman, Philliip Howard, James Hughes, Richard Hutson, Margaret Jenkins, Donald Johnson, Alicia Jones, Mark Jones, Clinton Kilpatrick, Hope Lassiter, Brenda Lee-Wilson, Mary Lisenko, James Lott, Michael Lyons, Johnnie Malloy, Kina Mathis, John C. Matthews, Charlie Mayfield, Herman Lee Mayse, Robert McCray, Marvin McFadden, Jermale McKnight, Jennifer McLaughlin, Jeffery McNeil, Kenneth Middleton, L. Morrow, Saleem Muhammad, Tyrone Murray, Charles Nelson, James Nelson, Sammy Ngatiri, Evelyn Nnam, Moyo Onibuje, Douglas Pangburn, Franklin Payne, Michael Pennycook, Edward Perry, Gregory Phillips, Tracey Powell, Frank Pruden, Ash-Shaheed Rabbil, Michael Reardon, Melania Scott, Chris Shaw, Ronald Simms, J. Simpson, Veda Simpson, Gwynette Smith, Patty Smith, Franklin Sterling, Warren Stevens, James Stewart, Leroy Studevant, Beverly Sutton, Paul Taylor Sybil, Taylor, Steve Thomas, Larissa Thompson, Louise Thundercloud, Deborah Tibbs, Ronald Turner, Christopher Walker, Jeanette Walker, Martin Walker, Robert Warren, Lawless Watson, Paul Watson, Michael J. Welsh, Edna Williams, Sherle Williams, Wendell Williams, Susan Wilshusen, Ivory Wilson, Mark Wolf, Charles Woods, Tina Wright
STREET SENSE February 16 - March 1, 2011
NEWS IN BRIEF
Homeless Teens Find Outlet in Surfing A new surf program in Honolulu focusing on homeless teenagers provides lessons in both surfing and life, according to KITV Honolulu. These beginning surfers have the opportunity to learn from veteran surfer Dane Kealoha. “Yes, we’re going to make mistakes in life,” he said. “Yes, we are going to fall, but are we going to get back up and keep trying; that’s the thing.”
Budget Cuts Target Energy Assistance President Obama’s proposed budget for the next year would cut an energy assistance fund for low-income individuals, according to the National Journal. As the biggest domestic cut so far, it is likely to upset the president’s usual political allies. However, the complaints may satisfy the White House’s desire to convince Americans of its budget discipline. The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program would see a $2.5 billion drop from 2009’s approved $5.1 billion. According to officials, the cuts would not upset the program’s $590 million reserve fund, which is used during particularly
harsh periods of cold or hot weather. The number of people who would lose assistance has yet to be determined. Officials said LIHEAP spending has grown in the last several years to keep up with the rising price of gas.
D.C. to Lose AIDS Prevention Program The District’s leading needle exchange program for AIDS prevention plans to close its doors by the end of February, the Washington Post reports. Waning private donations, delays in city funding and high turnover of managers in recent years were among the reasons leading to the nonprofit’s Feb. 25 closure, said Michael Rhein, president of the board. PreventionWorks distributed free, sterile needles to drug users for the past 12 years – about one third of the free needles in the city with an HIV/AIDS rate of at least three percent. Last year, it distributed about 100,000 sterile syringes to 2,200 people. Needle exchange programs have been a controversial issue in D.C. Because of a congressional prohibition on publicly funded needle exchanges, PreventionWorks was the city’s only program until three years ago.
New Bagel Business to Help Homeless Home Free Bagels, a new bagel business in Asheville, N.C., plans to hire homeless residents, the Ashville’s Citizen-Times reported. Local eateries have already committed to buying the product. The profits will go to those who are struggling to eat. Founder Chris Sullivan, who experienced a brief period of homelessness, described the business as a “social enterprise” and said it will fill both a social and culinary gap. Full production is expected to start in March.
Homeless to Receive Free Mass Transit in Bay Area Valley Transportation Authority in Santa Clara, Calif., approved a plan to give the area’s homeless free bus and rail passes starting in April, according to the San Jose Mercury News. The program has been set up in hopes that this offer will help the homeless get to medical and job appointments. Candidates will be screened by social security agencies to determine qualification. The county will fund the $111,000 program, and about 1,850 transit stickers
will be handed out every three months. According to a survey conducted two years ago, 7,200 homeless people lived in Santa Clara County and an estimated 3,500 people are expected to use the offer annually.
Raising Poverty Awareness through Social Media You lost your job and you’re down to your last $1,000. Will you make it through the month? The Urban Ministries of Durham and the McKinney advertising agency teamed up to let people try to answer this question through an online game, SPENT, according to the Daily Tar Heel. Users log on to http://playspent.org to play the click-through game, consisting of a series of questions and decisions designed to educate about homelessness and poverty. The questions focus on changes and difficulties in employment, housing, health care and other unexpected expenses. It is meant to break down stereotypes about the low-income and homeless families and individuals, saying that financial difficulty is a reality that could happen to anyone. Compiled by Caroline Hopper.
Every homeless person has a name, a story and a hope for something better. David came to Street Sense in March 2009 to work, write and support the homeless.
writes poems regularly in Street Sense about love and his experiences being homeless. He hopes to one day get a job that pays a living wage so he can afford his own apartment.
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Help Street Sense help people like David get back to work and improve their lives.
With a $60 donation, we can provide food for six Writer’s Group meetings.
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Donate online at www.streetsense.org
In 2008, 60 percent of deaths in D.C. were linked to diet-related illnesses (e.g. heart disease, diabetes, hypertension) and were disproportionately affecting African-Americans, Latinos, women and low-income families.
Filling Stomachs, Filling Minds By Gretchen Grant Editorial Intern
In an unassuming brick building on the corner of Fourth Street and Massachusetts Avenue NW, women who have been homeless rebuild their lives and rediscover the skills they need to care for themselves. Every other Thursday afternoon the residents of Pathways, a transitional housing program, gather for a cooking class. Cooking is a practical art, but it also offers deeper lessons in self-sufficiency too, says Pathways teacher Juliette Tahar. “My goal is to give them skills that they can take with them when they live independently,” said Tahar, president and founder of nonprofit organization Healthy Living. Tahar’s goals are teaching healthy, economical eating habits and providing a sense of community. “This is the essence of healthy living,” she said. Tahar, of French descent, has always had an appreciation for nutritious foods and a desire to teach others how to cook healthy, affordable meals. In 1992 she founded Healthy Living as a forprofit business that provided vegetarian and macrobiotic meals as well as catering and teaching services. During Healthy Living’s early years she began volunteering at homeless shelters for women by teaching cooking classes. “These experiences taught me the profound impact that something as simple as a basic cooking demonstration and a shared meal can have on the lives of the undernourished and underserved,” Tahar said. After seeing the women’s self-esteem and sense of empowerment increase, Tahar made the decision in 1997 to reinvent Healthy Living as a nonprofit organization aimed at helping individuals incorporate healthy cooking into their lifestyles and limited budgets. Since then, the organization has dedicated itself to the vision of empowering homeless men and women with the ability to cook wholesome meals. The program has continued to expand and reach even larger numbers of marginalized populations. Service locations for
Above, Juliette Tahar shows the women of Pathways how to make a healthy, yet still delicous dessert of apple and banana pie. Right, you can get more bang for your buck at a grocery store vs. a fast-food chain.
PHOTO BY GRETCHEN GRANT, STREET SENSE GRAPHIC BY KELBY MILLER, STREET SENSE
Healthy Living include homeless shelters, children’s centers, health centers, community centers and schools. The 10-bed Pathways program is a sister program to the 25-bed Calvary Women’s Shelter, and it assists women who are chronically homeless and have mental health needs. The women are offered a safe place to live, case management, life skill trainings and support services. The program is considered a stepping stone towards independent living. That is where Tahar fits in, said Janet Norris, a Pathways case manger. “She really cares about keeping the women healthy, and they are definitely responding,” Norris said. “We love her, and we want her to keep coming back to us.” “Soul food” read the menu one recent Thursday, yet one would be hard-pressed to find a greasy plate in the dining room: lightly fried perch, quinoa, asparagus, carrots, peas and corn. The women gathered around, enjoying the experience and the sense of community that good food and cooking offers. Maureen, who has been living at Pathways for almost a year, sang Tahar’s praises, “She’s a wonderful cook and a wonderful person.”
STREET SENSE February 16 - March 1, 2011
Founded in 1884, Central Union Mission is the city’s oldest social service agency.
Finding the Way Home
Left, executive director David Treadwell talks about the future of Central Union Mission. Right, volunteer kitchen staff Lisa Belding, Jose Castillo and W.D.Belding prepare a chicken dinner for more than 100 men who would later sleep in the 140-bed shelter. JANE CAVE, STREET SENSE
Local homeless shelter’s long search for new facility may finally be nearing an end By Mary Otto Editor Over its 126-year history, the Central Union Mission men’s shelter has survived world wars, gentrification projects and numerous relocations. But with its current building on R and 14th Streets under contract to a developer and its moving plans challenged — first by neighborhood activists and then by civil libertarians — the future of the shelter has been in doubt. Now the Mission is in the process of negotiating a lease with the city for the Gales School on Massachusetts Avenue. David Treadwell, executive director of the 140-bed shelter, said he hopes that plans may move forward soon with a $12 million renovation plan to transform the historic school near Union Station into a new state-of-the-art shelter. “That’s our dream,” said Treadwell, with a nod to an architectural drawing of the project that he keeps in his office at the shelter. “This is the best place to serve poor people.” City Councilmember Jim Graham confirmed that the pieces of the agreement seem to be falling into place.
“It looks pretty clear at this point they are going to have 65 Massachusetts Ave.,” Graham said. “We will have a brand new facility in that location.” The current terms would allow the Mission to lease the school at a cost of $1 a year for 45 years with a 25-year extension, according to Treadwell. The Mission would renovate the building with its own funds, garnered from the sale of its current shelter and other property. The new facility would house 150 to 175 people with the flexibility to shelter families as well as single men. There would also be enough space for counseling offices and a clinic. It has been a long road to a new home. Treadwell, a retired soldier who oversees the current shelter with an emphasis on keeping it “clean, safe and polite” is not ashamed to say that prayer has gotten him this far in his journey. “I am an impatient person,” he admitted. “The fact that this is still going after this long shows a degree of spiritual perseverance which I am not otherwise capable of.” In 2006, Central Union Mission, with its long rows of orderly bunks for nightly visitors and 18-month spiritual transfor-
mation program for longer-term residents, first announced its decision to move. The plan was to build a new shelter on Georgia Avenue, but the following year, opposition from the Petworth and Columbia Heights neighborhoods put a stop to it. The Mission began exploring the use of the city-owned Gales School as an alternative site, but that plan also stalled partly because the American Civil Liberties Union and others sued. The civil libertarians asserted that a deal resulting in city support for the mission would violate the constitutional principle of separation of church and state, since the mission had a long history of requiring men to participate in religious services in return for help. Central Union Mission, envisioned from its Civil War-era, beginnings as a gospel rescue ministry for the needy and homeless, and still holds daily prayer services and Bible classes. But the men also have the option of spending time in quiet contemplation, said Treadwell. Attendance at worship is no longer required, he said. “ We q u i t t h a t i n 2 0 0 7 , ” s a i d Treadwell. “We never told the ACLU,” Requiring people to pray doesn’t work
anyway, he added. “In our world you don’t push. You draw them in. These guys have been pushed into so many corners. You have to respect them and treat them like grown men.” After the legal challenge, the district regrouped and issued a request for proposals for the operation of a shelter at the Gales School. Central Union Mission was one of the organizations that responded, and its proposal was chosen. Last fall, the city and Central Union Mission signed a non-binding letter of intent to allow the Mission to lease Gales School, but according to the ACLU, a deal between the two is still worrisome. “Rent of $1 per year for this very valuable property remains a significant subsidy,” the group warned in a recent statement. “Proselytization can take many forms other than compelled attendance at religious services or study.” The ACLU has asked the court to keep its legal challenge in place pending the finalization of any agreement between the district and the Mission. Volunteer reporter Ellen Gilmer contributed to this report.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there were 124,620 arts, entertainment and recreation establishments in the U.S. in 2007.
BloomBars cultivates the Columbia Heights community By Kelsey Osterman Editorial Intern
Step out of the mid-February chill into the warmth of BloomBars on any given night and there is no telling what you might find. The darkened room might be filled with the smell of popcorn and the glow from the large screen, as 15 to 20 people in folding chairs watch a special showing of the movie “Kandahar.” On a different night, it’s a Samba class, where dance instructor Zezch Lusane teaches movement to spirited music. And if you drop by after that, you may find yourself laughing at comics trying out their jokes improv-style. Located on 11th Street NW in Columbia Heights, just blocks away from the booming commercial hub centered around Target and Best Buy, BloomBars was conceived as a place for community, camaraderie and personal growth through the arts. Painted above the door outside are the words, “You bloom. We bloom,” which captures the idea. When founder and “chief executive gardener” John Chambers left his career in marketing and communication and started BloomBars in 2008, he was seeking a more fulfilling use of his talents. He saw his passions spelled out in the word “bloom.” “I looked up ‘bloom’ in the dictionary, and it means reaching your full potential,” he said. “Everything about it resonated. You can call it a metaphor, but it really is more. It’s real.” But like many nonprofits, BloomBars has struggled with financial challenges in recent years. All events and classes at BloomBars are free, with the hope that guests will show appreciation for their experience by leaving donations. That business plan has obvious risks and the place nearly folded at the end of 2010, when it faced a $20,000 budget
Above, Samba instructor Zezch Lusane leads her class in a dance move. Below, journalist Syed Rahim, left, and Saadia Khattak, host of Global Rickshaw Radio, answer questions following the “Kandahar” showing in BloomBars. KELSEY OSTERMAN, STREET SENSE
shortfall. With the help of a wide network of supporters, the immediate crisis was averted. Chambers admits that BloomBars will face more challenges in the future, due to its donation-based structure. Yet the financial predicament of 2010 actually proved helpful, creating publicity for the organization. “There is many an axiom that talks about the good things that come out of crisis and challenge,” Chambers said. “We certainly were witness to that.” So in spite of the risks, BloomBars goes on. The lower level, an open room used for many of the events, is furnished with half of a rowboat, serving as a sound booth. The other half of the boat can be found on the second floor, hanging in what doubles as a gallery for art shows. BloomBars, an alcohol and profanityContinue on Page 7
STREET SENSE February 16 - March 1, 2011
Californnia, Texas, Florida and New York hold nearly half of all homeless veterans.
Veterans Face a Stark Reality on the Streets By Gretchen Grant Editorial Intern
“You Bloom. We Bloom.” The BloomBars slogan decorates almost every piece of marketing material, from their business cards to their building. KELSEY OSTERMAN, STREET SENSE
Continued from Page 6 free establishment, caught patron and volunteer Brenda Estrella by surprise when she first found the place three years ago, Bloombars turned out to be exactly what she was looking for. “I was trying to find a connection in D.C. that’s not based solely on drinking,” Estrella said. “When I found this place, it was perfect.” The unconventionally welcoming spirit quickly won Estrella over, and the wide variety of events and programs kept her coming back. Though she had been living in the area for five years, Estrella had not found a place that she felt reflected the cultural diversity of the Columbia Heights neighborhood until she found BloomBars. She especially likes the way the sliding doors at the front of the building are left open, welcoming passersby in the summer. “I think it kind of affects the way people interact with each other in a weird way,” Estrella said. “People just hang out on the stoop.” Summer may be the peak season for BloomBars, but this winter, Chambers and his volunteers are staying busy figuring out how to avert future shortfalls, sustain the place and even expand, adding some paid staff positions. Chambers envisions BloomBars becoming part of an international network of creative spaces. Artists
and performers from all over the world have visited BloomBars, and many have expressed interest in opening venues like it in the places they call home. Such a network is possible, Chambers believes, because the community-oriented nature of his organization makes it easily adaptable to different locations. “It’s not a one-size-fits-all,” he said. “Every community has its own unique needs, but the idea is that a space doesn’t have to be fancy. An empty space can be filled with the community.” Though Chambers laughingly admits BloomBars has acquired a sort of hippie reputation, he welcomes it, believing the world is in need of places just like his organization. He witnesses people searching for ways to connect with others in their communities, and with his background in marketing, Chambers knows a good thing when he sees it. “It sells itself,” he said. “You come in and what you see is what you get.” Chambers hopes visitors enjoy what they find at BloomBars and are willing to give financial assistance. But a monetary gift is more than just a donation in his eyes. “It’s an investment,” he said. “It’s an investment in love, in compassion and in our growth.”
Veterans are more likely than other Americans to become homeless. An increasing number of younger veterans, especially those who served in Afghanistan and Iraq, are now sleeping on the streets and in shelters. These were among the findings included in a groundbreaking new study on veteran’s homelessness conducted by the federal government. The report serves as an attempt to get a handle on the scale of veteran homelessness, as well as a way to better understand how veterans are using the nation’s shelter system, officials said at the formal release of the study on Feb. 10. “Anytime a veteran sleeps on the streets that he or she defended, we are all dishonored,” said Tammy Duckworth, assistant secretary for public and intergovernmental affairs for the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs. Mark Johnston, deputy assistant secretary for special needs for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, said he believed the information gathered in the report will provide critical understanding of who these veterans are, where they live and how long they’ve stayed in shelters. The report included data about veterans on annual homeless counts conducted in about 3,000 cities and counties. It also drew from information from emergency shelters and transitional housing programs that serve homeless people year round. Among other findings: - In January 2009 there were approximately 76,000 homeless veterans on the streets. That same year there were an estimated 136,000 veterans who spent at least one night in a shelter. - The majority of sheltered homeless veterans are most often white men between the ages of 31 and 50, living with a disability. - Of all Americans, veterans are 50 percent more likely to become homeless,
that risk is even greater for those veterans living in poverty or who are racial minorities. During 2009, twice as many poor Hispanic veterans used shelters compared with poor non Hispanic veterans. With a goal of ending homelessness among veterans by 2015, the VA and HUD are partnering with each other, along with many other federal agencies and organizations to address the problem. One step that has already had an impact has been the establishment of the Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing program that combines HUD’s housing voucher program with the VA’s case management and healthcare services. “Together we’ve allocated 30,000 rental vouchers to public housing authorities across this country. These housing authorities are working to lease apartments to veterans who might otherwise still be living on the streets or in shelters,” said Johnston. In addition to housing vouchers, the VA provides prevention services for veterans that are at risk of becoming homeless. According to Duckworth, a significant part of the five-year plan to end homelessness is not simply getting veterans off the streets, but also building up programs that prevent homelessness. “We need to prevent homelessness in the first place, in addition to getting our veterans off the streets, if we truly are going to get to zero homeless veterans in five years,” she said. Duckworth also emphasized the importance of knowing the accurate number of veterans who are truly homeless so that the correct combination of services and benefits can be extended to them. Anthony Love, deputy director of national programs for the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness, described the plan to end homelessness as the “most far-reaching and ambitious plan in our history.” “Quality data is going to be essential to determining what works, what doesn’t and what we need to do better in order to end veteran homelessness,” he said.
Number Two By James Preston Jordan
Heart of the city, Nick Lowe said, Back in the days when the city had
Like Big Hair, like apples. I loved you but
You are gone now, dispersed, lungs, tongue and teeth
Borscht Belt Blues. The Catskills are in New Jersey, Your heart is in San Francisco, city of hearts.
That like you no longer has a heart. Iâ€™ve Willed my own to some poor sick baboon In the San Diego zoo with a face like Al Lewis You know, Grandpa Munster, to try and make things right. The absconded trash of thy silk purse-strings shiver
Over Shanghai harbor, Marlon Brando & William Holden, the city disremembers you.
STREET SENSE February 16 - March 1, 2011
Pics & Poems
What is a City’s Soul by Chris Shaw (Cowboy poet)
Is it the ledge Housing a slumbering sage, Or a Bakelite Shop Caking with age? An old Gospel Mother Talking and singin’ ‘Bout the Kings Highway, Perhaps the braided Girls dutch-doubled(Double-dutch) Skipping rope? (Full of hope) Or instead the ‘Ital’ Barber whom a young Buck once fearedNow he is glad Just to cut any hair; Likely it is these and Many more, Simple facets of a weary wonderful city— A pavilion of endless Hopes.
MOUNT VERNON SQUARE, 1941 I CHRIS SHAW
The Mannequin Keeper: Part Two By Ivory Wilson Vendor “My anger is making me see and hear things,” Patrick thought. He placed his right hand on the statue of the fallen angel. Patrick saw an endless pit, dark and black with dead souls reaching for him. Patrick quickly pulled his hand away. “I’m not an evil person,” he thought. “I just want Hudson to stop.” The fallen angel smiled. “He is not going to stop until he gets rid of you and your mannequins. But first there is something you must do.” “What is it?” “There’s an old wooden mannequin, the first of its kind ever made.” Patrick walked around the flea market looking for it but could not find it. “Where is the wooden mannequin?” he asked the market dealer. “How did you know about it?” the dealer asked. “I haven’t taken it off the truck. It’s nothing but old wooden junk. The arms are missing; even the head is missing.” “I want to buy it,” Patrick said. “Are you sure you want that wooden mannequin?” “Yes.” “Well, give me 15 minutes to dig it out of the truck,” the dealer replied. “It will cost you 20 bucks.” Patrick went back to the fallen angel, picked it up and waited. The dealer came back with the old wooden mannequin and saw the fallen angel. “You want that hideous-looking statue also?” he asked Patrick. “Yes.” “Together that’ll be 40 bucks.” Patrick paid the man and took the train. When he got home, he locked all the doors and pulled down all the blinds. He sat the statue of the fallen angel on the table. It opened its eyes. “For this that I do for you, I will take Hudson’s soul,” it said. “You must never let a small child touch the wooden mannequin, nor anyone else who has never sinned against man. If one does, the mannequin will take you, and I will take your soul. Take the wooden mannequin with you to work.”
KELSEY OSTERMAN, STREET SENSE
The next day, Patrick went in to work. Hudson was standing on the loading dock of the shipping and receiving department. “Patrick,” said Hudson, “today I want you to bring all your mannequins down here. Take all of them except three—one man, one woman, and one child—for display. Today the new Steve Harvey of Today’s Man line of suits is coming in. I have one already hanging in the dressing room. Call the mannequin manufacturer, they are sending a truck at 6 p.m.” Hudson knew he was hurting Patrick by saying those things. He smiled and went up to his office. All morning, Patrick brought the man-
nequins down. At lunchtime, Patrick went to his car, took out the old mannequin and put it in the dressing room booth where Hudson’s suit was hanging. He closed the curtain. Hudson called from upstairs in his office to the loading dock. “Have you finished bringing them mannequins down yet?” he asked. “Yes,” Patrick answered. At 5:30 that evening, Hudson came down the elevator in a hurry. He went to the dressing room to get his new suit. When he pulled the curtain back, he saw the wooden mannequin. “What is this doing in the dressing room?” he asked. But before Patrick could answer,
Hudson said, “It’s OK, I kind of like this one. Make sure you keep this one.” “OK,” Patrick replied. Hudson closed the curtain to change. While doing so, he touched the old wooden mannequin in wonder. “How I do like this one,” he said. The mannequin entered Hudson by transcending into his body, turning him into part human and part wood. The mannequin-controlled Hudson put on the new suit and walked out of the dressing room. He passed Patrick and other co-workers on the dock. He went out the door and, without looking, got hit by the truck that was coming for the mannequins. Hudson was dead. The phone rang on the loading dock. Patrick answered. “It’s Mrs. Baker. Pat, is that you?” “Yes, Mrs. Baker, it’s me.” “Pat, you have been here at this store since the day we first opened. It would be a shame to let you go now. I’ve decided to let you stay, along with your mannequins.” “What about Hudson?” Patrick asked. “Leave him to me,” Mrs. Baker said. But Patrick knew it was too late for Hudson. People came out of the store, saw the accident and went back in saying, “It’s Hudson; he’s dead!” One of the employees called upstairs and told Mrs. Baker what happened. Upon the ambulances arrival, the driver and his helper picked up Hudson off the street and put him in the ambulance. “This guy is so heavy, he feels like wood,” they said to each other. When they got to the hospital, they took Hudson down to the morgue. When they came to examine the body, it was gone. Just an old wooden mannequin remained. “What is this?” the examiner said. “This is some kind of sick joke.” He took it outside and put it in the dumpster. Patrick had followed the ambulance to the hospital. He took the wooden mannequin out of the dumpster, put it in his car, and drove home. The End.
STREET SENSE February 16- March 1, 2011
Street Sense offers our vendors the chance to share their stories a nd poetry every Monday from 10 to 11 a.m at our office on G Street.
The Beat of the Drums
By Robert Warren Vendor
What can you say about all the bad world news right now today? When the lows get lower in how things are going, And the news of today is pretty bad wouldn’t you say? I once asked a man what was the good news of today? He said read the Lord’s word, and believe what it says. In it you will find the Lord’s word coming true to life today. Stories of faith and another life to come, Paradise and hell for some. He said with today’s news you will have a lot of bad news people come your way. The devil whispers to them, so don’t believe every word they say. They bring you no stories of the joy of life. Only talk of wars, half truths and lives stress and strife. News about how Everything is supposed to be dying.
From an “Innie” to an “Outie,” And Back Again By Chris Shaw (Cowboy poet) Vendor
You see that includes you and me.
I first noticed my bulging gut
Death waits for all living things.
The very first time I seriously
There is another life in paradise to come you see, In the Lord’s word of hell you should fear and believe.
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When The Lord’s word of life is over and done, And those who followed the Lord word will live as one. There is not even much joy in that good news it seems. Days of war and bad news tests our faith and destroyed our dreams. This life is the test of the Lord you must believe me. Peace in hard times is what you will receive The good news is the devil is being brought to his knees, He still tried to run but it’s all over you see. His time has passed there are no more souls to receive, That’s the good news for the righteous to believe. Just a thought to go along with all this so-called bad news every day.
The devil is a liar you don’t believe everything bad news people have to say
Tried to get “It” all together. Protruding dangerously was my Belly Button- [no window— Sorry bout that Jimi] But back in my modeling daze I was an ‘inneh’ In New York citteh! If you can believe dat. I next felt the uncomfiness Of my newly acquired “Outie” status as I bumped belt buckles moving My prized hired-gun-slash-“Bandido’s,” -Slash- band leader’s so Monster amps et speakers. By now, as a sadder wiser
They give you nothing but bad news that you might have a bad day. He said any day is a good day, when you breathe and pray-When the thought of the Lord starts your day. Chances are less hardship and bad news will come your way. This is all the man had to say, Of good and bad news of the day.
Guy, realize that to try Simple old Poverty (Or at least solid case of living The life of the ascetic) Is the best chance For this member of the Dance To shed, get skinny and Return to romance and again The desired, God-given Status of “Innie!”
12 The Funnies
BARNEY & CLYDE IS A COMIC STRIP ABOUT AN UNLIKELY FRIENDSHIP BETWEEN A HOMELESS MAN AND A TYCOON. IT’S ABOUT OUR MODERN, POLARIZED ECONOMY OF HAVES AND HAVE-NOTS. IT RE-EXAMINES TRADITIONAL MEASURES OF SUCCESS, FAILURE, AND THE NATURE OF HAPPINESS.
ABOUT THE AUTHORS: GENE WEINGARTEN IS A COLLEGE DROPOUT AND THE NATIONALLY SYNDICATED HUMOR COLUMNIST FOR THE WASHINGTON POST. DAN WEINGARTEN IS A FORMER COLLEGE DROPOUT AND A CURRENT COLLEGE STUDENT MAJORING IN INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY. CARTOONIST DAVID CLARK HAS BEEN A FREELANCE ILLUSTRATOR FOR NEWSPAPERS, MAGAZINES AND BOOKS FOR MORE THAN 20 YEARS. A GRADUATE OF THE PENNSYLVANIA ACADEMY OF THE FINE ARTS IN PHILADELPHIA, CLARK HAS EARNED SEVERAL ILLUSTRATION AWARDS INCLUDING THE NATIONAL CARTOONISTS SOCIETY’S NEWSPAPER ILLUSTRATION REUBEN AWARD IN 1996. MANY THANKS TO GENE WEINGARTEN AND THE WASHINGTON POST WRITER’S GROUP FOR ALLOWING STREET SENSE TO
Street Sense wishes to thank our corporate sponsor
CAMRIS is a dynamic international development consulting firm with more than 50 years of experience designing and managing complex, large-‐scale projects in all regions of the world.
CAMRIS joined Street Sense at the 2010 Help the Homeless Walkathon in Washington, DC DAN NEWELL, A HOMELESS MAN, LIVES IN WASHINGTON, D.C.
Interested in submitting cartoons? E-mail Editors@StreetSense.org
6931 Arlington Road, Suite 575, Bethesda, MD 20814. T: 301.770.6000. F: 301.770.6030. camris.com
STREET SENSE February 16- March 1, 2011
The Parable of the Wolves and the Sheep By Jeff McNeil Vendor There is a ranch where wolves watch over sheep. “The Pack” included three wolves who had different styles of watching the sheep. Sneaky put on a sheep costume in order to spy and pick the plumpest sheep. Sly was charming and gracious, playfully leading lambs to slaughter. Butcher was a cruel, cold-blooded killer who hungered for tasty sheep meat. The wolves were tyrannical, discord was not tolerated, and trouble-making sheep mysteriously vanished. These tactics squashed any sheep uprisings; the wolves were cruel and wicked. However, a few sheep decided to resist. They formed a militant group called “The Black Sheep” and preached independence from the tyranny that the wolves inflicted on them. They espoused unity and educated the other sheep about their ancestry and history as well as teaching self-reliance. Almost immediately Sly, Sneaky and Butcher found out about the dissidents. The wolves gathered the flock and threatened slaughter if the sheep would not tell them who was creating trouble. But the sheep were firm and kept their silence. The wolves bribed, blackmailed and tried their best to break their will. They plowed the grass so the sheep would starve, put dirty water in their troughs and sent the malcontents to Butcher for slaughter. However, the sheep withstood the bullies. Animal rights organizations saw what was happening to the sheep and protested the cruelty. They
demanded the complete removal of the wolves. Tensions were running high. The wolves were upset and howled and growled as if possessed by werewolves. Neighboring ranchers and hunters moved in, waving their guns. One skirmish ended when a black sheep, staggering with a gunshot wound, fell with a loud thud. This black sheep was the first victim in what was later named the Wolf War. But the hunters kept coming. They captured, shot, hung and hacked the wolves’ heads for trophies. Sly, Sneaky, and Butcher managed to escape and ran off into the wilderness. The sheep celebrated. The farm was auctioned off to a shepherd who loved and protected the sheep. He put up barbed wire, laid out traps and called the hunters if a wolf got near. The sheep’s lives had never been better. And the wolves were considered scavengers, in the same category as raccoons, opossums and other rodents. One day, as a hiker was going through the forest he saw Sly, Sneaky and Butcher along with a few other wolves looking starved, worn and mangled. The hiker discovered that wolves had become rare. They were taken to the zoo in order to save them. There, Sly, Sneaky
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and Butcher told the zookeeper about the brutal massacres inflicted on them. The zookeeper cried, “How could men be so cruel?” They decided to contact an animal rights group which began protesting the hunters with signs showing pictures of cute baby wolves. Eventually wolves were put onto the protected list. Slowly, the wolf population rebounded. Wolves got on the boards of animal rights groups. Then they started to gain control of government agencies. They made new laws banning Little Red Riding Hood and the Big Bad Wolf, as well as Biblical scriptures that portrayed wolves unfavorably. Later, they created the Barbed Wire Act, making it unlawful to fence a herd of sheep. Sly, Sneaky and Butcher claimed they were rehabilitated. They pleaded with the sheep to give them another chance to run the ranch. The sheep were confused because there were not any black sheep to offer them leadership. The sheep decided to give the wolves another chance and went to the shepherd and said, “We want you to leave, we do not want you telling us what to do. The wolves promised us freedom.” The shepherd felt betrayed and angry. The sheep assured him the wolves had changed. As he headed off he screamed, “A wolf is a wolf and will always be a wolf.” The wolves quickly moved in and seized the farm, salivating because the shepherd had allowed the sheep to become plump and juicy once again. Soon the sheep realized they had been hornswoggled. Today the wolves run one of the biggest slaughterhouses in the state.
Asking the Important Questions By James Davis Vendor “Did you know that on any given night in this country, there are over 800,000 people living in the streets? Did you know that the fastest growing segment of the homeless are women with children?” These were the challenging questions asked in front of a captive audience of over 500 students, teachers and administrators at the Shady Side Academy in the suburbs of Pittsburgh late last year. I was at the private school as part of a panel that also included another Street Sense vendor, John Harrison, and Michael Stoops from the National Coalition for the Homeless. As a member of the NCH’s Faces of the Homeless speakers’ bureau, I get the chance to visit other cities and towns, raising awareness about homelessness. In this case, Ethan, a student at Shady Side Academy, had seen the panel in action on a visit to Washington and was so impressed he undertook the task of arranging to have us speak at his school. He also invited us to dinner at his home. The previous evening, we spoke with guests and students at the Jewish Community Center in downtown Pittsburgh. The audience there had lots of questions that we eagerly answered. These were just two of the hundreds of appearances by speakers’ bureau participants. Our goal is to ask important questions about homelessness and to answer them as well. The speakers’ bureau is an integral part of the work done by the National Coalition for the Homeless. If you want to know more, please visit our website: nationalcoaltionforthehomeless.org.
Welcome to new vendors Evanson Kamau and James Nelson!
Vendor Code of Conduct 1. Street Sense will be distributed for a voluntary donation of $1. I agree not to ask for more than $1 or to solicit donations for Street Sense by other means. 2. I will only purchase the paper from Street Sense staff and will not sell papers to other vendors (outside of the office volunteers). 3. I agree to treat all others – customers, staff and other vendors – respectfully. I will not “hard sell,” threaten or pressure customers. 4. I agree to stay off private property when selling Street Sense. 5. I understand that I am not a legal employee of Street Sense but a contracted worker responsible for my own well–being and income. 6. I agree to sell no additional goods or products when selling Street Sense. 7. I will not sell Street Sense under the influence of drugs or alcohol. 8. I agree to stay a block away from another vendor and respect the space of all vendors. 9. I understand that my badge is the property of Street Sense and will not deface it. I will present my badge when purchasing newspapers. I will display my badge and wear my vest when selling papers. 10. I understand that Street Sense strives to be a paper that covers homelessness and poverty issues while providing a source of income for the homeless. I will try to help in this effort and spread the word.
Vendor Profile: Andre Brison By Mandy Toomey Volunteer Writer The three things Street Sense vendor and native Washingtonian Andre Brison are most proud of are his 12 and 21-year-old daughters and 16-year-old son. Andre’s dream for the future is to see his family all together. And slowly, with the help of Street Sense and the readers who support him, he is taking steps to make that a reality. When Andre’s first daughter was taken away more than 10 years ago, he turned to drugs to deal with the pain and then struggled with addiction for the next eight years. “I was out there not paying attention to what was happening in my life, but I’m clean now,” Andre said. These days Andre is working seven days a week and trying to put away enough money to secure permanent housing. In addition to earning money through selling Street Sense, Andre works regularly as a cook and takes on odd carpentry and electrical jobs. He is also working toward his commercial driver’s license. Andre has been selling Street Sense for about a year and can be found at Friendship Heights Thursday through Sunday. According to him, the organization provides a means to earn money “the right way.” To get back on his feet, Andre wants to be true to himself and find productive ways to work toward his goals. “I am grateful and thankful for the readers because Street Sense kept me going when I didn’t have a job,” said Andre.
Through Street Sense, in addition to a supplemental income, Andre has found a way to break through barriers. One of this vendor’s favorite aspects of DC is the variety of people. But his situation on the streets has at times thrown up barriers between him and the DC elite. Street Sense provides a common ground for readers and vendors to meet and talk about issues. “It helps people overcome judgments on both sides,” Andre explained.
THE STORY OF STREET SENSE Street Sense began in August 2003 after two volunteers, Laura Thompson Osuri and Ted Henson, approached the National Coalition for the Homeless on separate occasions with the idea to start a street paper in Washington, D.C., as a means of empowering the area’s poor and homeless. A street paper is a newspaper about poverty, homelessness and other social issues which provides an income to the homeless individuals who sell it. More than 30 street papers operate in the United States and Canada,
Directly aids the vendor
including in cities like Seattle, Chicago, Montreal and Boston. Dozens more exist throughout the world. After bringing together a core of dedicated volunteers, Street Sense published its first issue in November 2003, printing 5,000 copies. About a dozen vendors sold the first issue of the paper. For the next three years, it published on a monthly basis and greatly expanded its circulation and vendor network. Street Sense initially operated as a project of the National Coalition for the Homeless. In
October 2004, the organization incorporated and moved into its own office space. In March 2005, Street Sense received 501(c)3 status, becoming a nonprofit organization. In October 2005, Street Sense formed a full board of directors, and in November, the organization hired its first employee, a full-time executive director. A year later, Street Sense hired its first vendor coordinator and began partnering with several service providers. In February 2007, the paper increased the frequency of publication to twice a month.
Supports printing costs
In order to support the increased production, Street Sense brought on its first full-time editor-in-chief in April. To d a y, S t r e e t S e n s e h a s f o u r professionals, more than 100 active vendors and nearly 30,000 copies in circulation each month. The newspaper has become a major source of news for Washingtonians, providing content on issues which often go uncovered by the mainstream media. Street Sense is a member of the National Association of Street Newspapers (NASNA).
YOUR DOLLAR Every vendor makes a personal investment in Street Sense by purchasing issues at a rate of 35 cents per copy. This money helps cover our production and printing costs for the paper, while still enabling the vendors to sell the paper at a low price and substantial profit.
STREET SENSE February 16-March 1, 2011
Service Spotlight: Open Door Shelter
By Mehreen Rasheed Editorial Intern
Just a few minutes from the U.S. Capitol is Open Door Shelter, which is operated by New Hope Ministries, a local nonprofit founded in 1993. Open Door provides emergency shelter for women on a nightly basis. With 128 beds, 18 of which are usually set aside on cold nights for hypothermia cases, the shelter is almost always completely full, says program director Rev. Alberta Johnson. In addition to Open Door on 2nd Street NW, Johnson runs the John L. Young Women’s Center just around the corner on D Street NW, which New Hope took over last December after Catholic Charities. The center has 85 beds and is full to capacity every night, Johnson said. On the same block is DC Central Kitchen, which provides dinner for the shelter every night. “DC Kitchen’s always very helpful,” said Johnson. “Not only do they send over dinner; they provide sandwiches
DEPARTMENT OF MENTAL HEALTH ACCESS HOTLINE 1-888-7WE HELP (1-888-793-4357) www.dcfoodfinder.org
SHELTER Calvary Women’s Services 110 Maryland Ave, NE (202) 289-0596 (office) (202) 289-2111 (shelter) www.calvaryservices.org
and snacks whenever they can. We also have a good collaborative effort with other local organizations ... A lot of faith-based groups will bring in hot soup or drinks for the ladies.” For New Hope Ministries executive director John Shetterly, the biggest accomplishment in the last year was simply surviving it. Funding cuts from the city forced them to close their shelter and transitional program for men, as well as the Safe Haven Program, a shelter that targeted the mentally ill. “We’ve downsized and made a lot of cuts so we can at least be in a position to continue to provide any services at all—in this case, to the women that need them,” said Shetterly. “It’s been difficult to tell people that we won’t be able to take them in anymore,” said Johnson. “We lose them to the streets. But now we just have to give 100 percent to what we do have.” Open Door Shelter is located on 425 2nd Street, NW, Washington, DC 20001. For more information, please call 202639-8093. My Sister’s Place PO Box 29596, Washington, DC 20017 (202) 529-5261 (office) (202) 529-5991 (24-hour hotline)
801 East, St. Elizabeths Hospital (Men) 2700 MLK Avenue, SE (202) 561–4014 New York Ave Shelter (Men 18+) 1355–57 New York Avenue, NE (202) 832–2359
Open Door Shelter (Women) 425 2nd Street, NW (202) 393–1909 www.newhopeministriesdc.org/id3.html
Covenant House Washington (Youth) 2001 Mississippi Ave., SE (202) 610–9600, www.covenanthousedc.org John Young Center (Women) 119 D Street, NW (202) 639–8469, www.catholiccharitiesdc.org
St. Stephens Parish Church 1525 Newton St, NW (202) 737–9311, www.thrivedc.org
Martha’s Table 2114 14th Street, NW (202) 328–6608, www.marthastable.org
Food and Friends 219 Riggs Road, NE (202) 269–2277, www.foodandfriends.org
Rachel’s Women’s Center 1222 11th Street, NW (202) 682–1005, www.ccdsd.org/howorwc.php
Miriam’s Kitchen 2401 Virginia Avenue, NW (202) 452–8089, www.miriamskitchen.org
Sasha Bruce Youthwork 741 8th Street, SE (202) 675–9340, www.sashabruce.org
The Welcome Table Church of the Epiphany 1317 G Street, NW (202) 347–2635, http://www.epiphanydc. org/ministry/welcometbl.htm
So Others Might Eat (SOME) 71 “O” Street, NW (202) 797–8806; www.some.org
MEDICAL RESOURCES Christ House 1717 Columbia Road, NW (202) 328–1100, www.christhouse.org Unity Health Care, Inc. 3020 14th Street, NW (202) 745–4300,www.unityhealthcare.org Whitman–Walker Clinic 1407 S Street, NW (202) 797–3500, www.wwc.org
ADDITIONAL RESOURCES Academy of Hope GED Center 601 Edgewood St., NE 202-269-6623, www.aohdc.org Catholic Community Services 924 G Street, NW (202) 772–4300, www.ccs–dc.org D.C. Coalition for the Homeless 1234 Massachusetts Ave., NW (202) 347–8870, www.dccfh.org Community Family Life Services 305 E Street, NW (202) 347–0511, www.cflsdc.org
OUTREACH CENTERS N Street Village (Women) 1333 N Street, NW (202) 939–2060, www.nstreetvillage.org
Central Union Mission (Men) 1350 R Street, NW (202) 745–7118, www.missiondc.org
Community of Hope (Family) 1413 Girard Street, NW (202) 232–7356,www.communityofhopedc.org
Charlie’s Place 1830 Connecticut Avenue, NW (202) 232–3066 www.stmargaretsdc.org/charliesplac Church of the Pilgrims (Sundays only) 2201 P Street, NW (202) 387–6612, www.churchofthepilgrims.org Thrive DC Breakfast served Mon.-Fri., 9:30-11 a.m. Dinner for women and children, Mon.-Fri., 3-6 p.m.
Bread for the City 1525 Seventh Street, NW (202) 265–2400 1640 Good Hope Road, SE (202) 561–8587, www.breadforthecity.org Community Council for the Homeless at Friendship Place 4713 Wisconsin Avenue NW (202) 364–1419, www.cchfp.org Bethany Women’s Center 1333 N Street, NW (202) 939–2060, www.nstreetvillage.org Father McKenna Center 19 Eye Street, NW (202) 842–1112 Friendship House 619 D Street, SE (202) 675–9050, www.friendshiphouse.net Georgetown Ministry Center 1041 Wisconsin Avenue, NW (202) 338–8301 www.georgetownministrycenter.org
Foundry Methodist Church 1500 16th Street, NW (202) 332–4010, www.foundryumc.org Gospel Rescue Ministries (Men) 810 5th Street, NW (202) 842–1731, www.grm.org Hermano Pedro Day Center 3211 Sacred Heart Way, NW (202) 332–2874 www.ccs–dc.org/find/services/ JHP, Inc. 425 2nd St, NW (202) 544–9126, www.jobshavepriority.org Samaritan Ministry 1345 U Street, SE 1516 Hamilton Street, NW (202) 889–7702, www.samaritanministry.org
SHELTER HOTLINE: 1–800–535–7252
THE LAST WORD
The Trials Travelling in the City By Kelsey Osterman Editorial Intern On a particular Monday night, I was assigned to cover an event for Street Sense. My trip first took me from my apartment, located in NE, to Union Station, a 15-minute walk according to Google Maps. According to the Trip Planner on the WMATA website, it should have taken me approximately 28 minutes to ride from Union Station to Southern Avenue, with a transfer at Gallery Place/Chinatown. Then from the Southern Avenue stop, my destination remained only a 14-minute walk away. Grab a calculator or hash out some mental calculations and the result is a total travel time of approximately 57 minutes. Ask any District resident, however, and he or she will tell you that public transportation in D.C. never runs according to plan. It took me 75 minutes to get there. If I had walked directly from my apartment to the event, it would only have taken 13 minutes longer and would have saved me $2.75. It would have taken 13 minutes to drive the five miles. But like my fellow travelers who relied on the D.C. Metro 217.2 million times last year, I had to take the lumps with the sugar. For people who live in suburbs of D.C. and use the metro to commute to work, this lump isn’t just an occasional inconvenience; it’s a daily hassle, magnified by the frantic craze of rush hour. And for low-income travelers, without the availability of a car, it may be the only option to gain access to downtown D.C. during any time of the week. Another lump has been Metro station escalators, which failed pedestrians
Government of the District of Columbia • Department of Human Services
every 153 revenue hours on average in 2010. The D.C. Metro system has more escalators (588) and elevators (237) than any other transit system in North America, according to a 2011 report presented to the Customer Service and Operations board. In 2008, the average time was 178 revenue hours between breakdowns, which means escalators are breakBRiNg FamilieS wHO aRe HOmeleSS iN FROm THe COld ing down more frequently, even after continued time and money is used for escalator rehabilitation. Average time FamilY SHelTeRS required to fix escalators increased from Families seeking shelter must go to the Virginia Williams Family just under 10 to 14 revenue hours. As if I don’t already waste enough Resource Center, 920–A Rhode Island Avenue, NE, on Monday SHelTeR HOTliNe time riding the metro, I can’t imagine through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. At other times, call spending an hour or two commuting to 1.800.535.7252 the Shelter Hotline at 1-800-535-7252 or 311. work every day. Thankfully, my trip to the office only requires a half-hour of OR 311 Those who are homeless may call the numbers for assistance, my morning. Traveling for upwards of and the general may call the numbers to seek assistance Shopevil | Eat | Explore |public miDCity | Shop | Eat | Explore | miDCity | Sh three hours daily is a necessary for for someone who is homeless and in need of help. some, who might not be | able Eatto|afford Explore | miDCity | Shop | Eat | Explore | miDCity | Shop | E housing deep in the city, residing in the Explore | miDCity | Shop | Eat | Explore | miDCity | Shop | Eat | Exp suburbs instead and suffering through | miDCity the eternal commute. But with few oth- | Shop | Eat | Explore | miDCity | Shop | Eat | Explore | m er options, that’s a lumpCity that isn’t going | Shop | Eat | Explore | miDCity | Shop | Eat | Explore | miDCi to change. Shop | Eat | Explore | miDCity | Shop | Eat | Explore | miDCity | Sh Undeniably, the escalators are an un| Eatluxury. | Explore | miDCity | Shop | Eat | Explore | miDCity | Shop | E necessary, but very welcome, A broken escalator is still usable, just Explore |asmiDCity | Shop | Eat | Explore | miDCity | Shop | Eat | Exp a staircase. But since the escalator im| miDCity | Shop | Eat | Explore | miDCity | Shop | Eat | Explore | m provement project began in 2000, the 1603 U Street | it. Shop | Eat | Explore | miDCity |NWShop |1736 Eat14th| Street Explore | miDCi WMATA has very little toCity show for NW www.caramelfashion.com www.circleboutique.com And when I was returning home Shop | from Eat | Explore | miDCity |Shop | Eat | Explore | miDCity | Sho my assignment, exhausted and carrying Eat | Explore | miDCity | Shop | Eat | Explore | miDCity | Shop | Ea a backpack laden with reporting gear, Explore | miDCity | Shop | Eat | Explore | miDCity | Shop | Eat | Exp a broken escalator was the last thing I wanted to see, considering I spent more | Shop | Eat | Explore | miDCity | Shop | Eat | Explore | m | miDCity time on the Metro than I spent covering 1338 U Street NW City | Shop | Eat | miDCity | Shop | Eat |Floor Explore | miDCi 1911 | 9thExplore Street NW 2nd the event. www.lettiegooch.com
fashion in MidCity
www.dekkafam.com Shop | Eat | Explore | miDCity | Shop | Eat | Explore | miDCity | Sh February 16 - March 1, 2011• Volume 8 • Issue 8 | Eat | Explore | miDCity | Shop | Eat | Explore | miDCity | Shop | E Explore | miDCity | Shop | Eat | Explore | miDCity | Shop | Eat | Exp Street Sense Nonprofit Org |USmiDCity | Shop | Eat | Explore | miDCity | Shop | Eat | Explore | m Postage Paid 1512 U Street NW 1317 G Street, NW Washington, City | DC Shop | Eat | Explore | miDCity | Shop | Eat | Explore | miDCi www.moojooken.com 1734 14th Street NW Permit #568 www.redeemus.com Shop | Eat | Explore | miDCity | Shop | Eat | Explore | miDCity |Sho Washington, DC 20005 Eat | Explore | miDCity | Shop | Eat | Explore | miDCity | Shop | Ea Mail To: Explore | miDCity | Shop | Eat | Explore | miDCity | Shop | Eat | Exp Vendors remind customers to only | miDCity | Shop | Eat | Explore | miDCity | Shop | Eat | Explore | m buy from badged vendors and not to give to 1528 U street NW 1803a 14th Street NW City | Shop | Eat | Explore | miDCity | Shop |afterEat | Explore | miDCi www.nanadc.com.com those panhandling with shopping MidCity— www.rue14.com unwind at Cafe Saint Ex one paper. Shop | Eat | Explore | miDCity | Shop | Eat | Explore | miDCity | Sh www.midcitylife.org | Eat | Explore | miDCity | Shop | Eat | Explore | miDCity | Shop | E Interested in a subscription? Go to page 3 for more information. Explore | miDCity | Shop | Eat | Explore | miDCity | Shop | Eat | Exp | miDCity | Shop | Eat | Explore | miDCity | Shop | Eat | Explore | m