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Concern for the homeless major focus of city response to the snow storm

Concern for the homeless major focus of the snow storm
Concern for the homeless major focus of the snow storm
Photo by Professor Metze

Many people see the homeless every business day as the increase in rent across the city has made it more and more difficult for people to afford apartments. As new and expensive condos and apartments go up in the city the problem of yearly rent increases has made affordable housing difficult to find for the poorest residents of the nation's capitol.

The extreme cold weather and two major snow events in the past two weeks have cast a very bright light on a problem that many people would like to ignore or to just go away. However, the plight of the homeless is not just an inconvenient truth; it is a reality that every human being must consider. There are programs in the District of Columbia doing work to help the homeless. Linda Clark-Holland of United States Veterans Initiative works very hard to help homeless veterans.

Mayor Vincent Gray is asking all District of Columbia residents to join in the effort to locate homeless people and to help them locate shelters and warming centers in the bitter cold and snow. "District’s human-services agencies are preparing to respond to the threats to homeless and vulnerable populations posed by the extreme cold that is expected to accompany the snow storm and last through the remainder of the week," Gray said.

Having successfully led programs to help the homeless in 1991, Gray has over 22 year of experience in dealing with the plight of the poor and most vulnerable populations in the city. Getting homeless people out of the snow today is a matter of life and death for the homeless community.

Gray is encouraging all residents to look out for the homeless this winter. When the actual or forecasted temperature or wind chill is 32 degrees F or below, the District issues a Hypothermia Alert. To request support for persons who are homeless and on the street now, contact the Shelter Hotline at 1-800-535-7252 or 311 or email uposh@upo.org.

All District of Columbia Public Schools will be closed on Wednesday, January 22 for all students and non-essential school-based staff. Administrative offices will operate on a two-hour delay and DCPS central office staff are required to report two hours after their normal start time.

The DC Department of Human Resources (DCHR) announced late Tuesday that the District Government will open on a two-hour delayed schedule on Wednesday, January 22, 2014.

As a result, the DC Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) will open on the following schedule:

All Aquatic facilities that hold morning swim hours will open at 9 a.m. Marie Reed and Ferebee-Hope will open at 3 p.m.

Administrative offices will open at 10:30 a.m.

The Cooperative Play program is cancelled for Wednesday, January 22.

Recreation centers will open as follows:

The following sites will be closed:
Mitchell Park Recreation Center
Rose Park Recreation Center

The following sites will open at 10:30 a.m.:
Bald Eagle Recreation Center
Chevy Chase Community Center
Columbia Heights Community Center
Deanwood Recreation Center
Emery Recreation Center
Fort Stevens Recreation Center
Fort Stevens Senior Center
Guy Mason Recreation Center
Hillcrest Recreation Center
Kennedy Recreation Center
King Greenleaf Recreation Center
Lamond Recreation Center
North Michigan Park Recreation Center
Riggs LaSalle Recreation Center
Rosedale Community Center
Sherwood Recreation Center
Southeast Tennis and Learning Center
Takoma Community Center
Theodore Hagan Cultural Center
Therapeutic Recreation Center
Turkey Thicket Recreation Center
Volta Park Recreation Center

All other sites will open at 3:30 p.m.