Living in shelters

Photo of a pipe with a bucket catching water.

Courtesy of Flickr

Having lived in several shelters in D.C., I get pretty sick not having a window open and not breathing fresh air. When I was going through domestic violence, I was staying in the John L. Young shelter. The first night I noticed that the ceiling was leaking water. I thought to myself, “How did this happen? Was it years of neglect?”  

The water was so bad that eventually they had to use buckets to catch it. I later found out that a pipe in the bathroom had broken. I guess that was the cause of the leak. Eventually, the shelter closed. Residents were moved from both John L. Young and Open Door shelters that were located in the Community for Creative Non-Violence building at 2nd and D streets to the new Patricia Handy Place for Women that opened in Chinatown in 2016. 

I think the D.C. government cares about the shelter situation. The mayor’s 5-year plan calls for more new facilities like Pat Handy. But in the meantime, proper maintenance of the existing buildings is still important for the health and dignity of those of us who depend on shelter now.

Issues |Shelters

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We believe ending homelessness begins with listening to the stories of those who have experienced it.