With only a few days left before Hope Village was set to close on October 31, the Federal Bureau of Prisons granted the halfway house a 6-month extension on its federal contract to provide recently released prisoners with a place to stay and ancillary support, according to the Washington Informer. This extension will keep Hope Village running until April 30th of 2020, sustaining the hope that a permanent contract will soon be signed.
“I believe that the Federal Bureau of Prisons is working on the contract to give it to us permanently, possible in May 2020,” Phinis Jones, a spokesperson for the facility, told the Washington Informer. “While all the hoopla about Hope Village has died down, I think we made the case that we are the only option for male returning citizens who need a halfway house in the city.”
In 2018, Hope Village had lost its contract when a five-year contract to build and manage a new halfway house in Ward 5 was awarded to CORE DC. Backlash from community members in Ward 5, that did not want a halfway house in their community, as well as from Hope Village were among the challenges CORE DC faced once they had the contract. When developer Douglas Jemal pulled out of the leasing agreement without giving a reason, CORE DC suffered a major setback. CORE DC is now still looking for a property to lease out to further progress their plans to build a new re-entry facility.
Rev. Graylan Hagler, a longtime activist, has been a prominent voice advocating for CORE DC. “The BOP has extended Hope Village’s service until the matter with CORE DC can be sorted out,” Rev. Hagler told the Informer. “This does not mean that Hope Village is getting the contract back.”
Time will tell if Hope Village is here to stay.