11-month-old dies in hotel used as overflow for DC family shelters

An image of the sign at the New York Ave NE/Galludet University Metro Stop.

The 11-month-old died in a hotel on New York Ave NE. Photo courtesy of Flickr

An 11-month-old girl died last week after being injured at a hotel used as an overflow homeless shelter, according to a release from D.C. police. The death was ruled a homicide and is under investigation. 

At around 3 p.m. on Feb. 6, police were notified of an infant who had been taken to a nearby hospital with life-threatening injuries, the release stated. The girl — identified as Makenzie Anderson — arrived unconscious and was pronounced dead at 2:44 p.m. after succumbing to her injuries, according to a Washington Post report. 

The MPD release stated an autopsy on the young girl’s remains determined the cause of death to be blunt force trauma to the head. The infant sustained the injuries at the Quality Inn & Suites in the 1600 block of New York Avenue, Northeast — where the city government contracts for rooms to provide families experiencing homelessness who cannot fit into its shelter facilities.  

Street Sense Media reported in November 2017 and February 2019 that safety concerns, strict curfews, and lack of space for children to play made some families feel uneasy and unwelcome staying at the Quality Inn and a Days Inn and the Hotel Arboretum. The Days Inn is also still contracted for overflow shelter capacity. The Hotel Arboretum is not. 

The Department of Human Services outlined a plan in February 2019 to exit four motel shelters by the end of 2020, including the Quality Inn by the third quarter, the Washington City Paper reported. 



Issues |Housing|Shelters|Youth

Region |Northeast|Washington DC

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