The Hypothermia season, which ended on April 15, 2022, after five months with the highest number of hypothermia and cold weather emergency alerts we have seen over the last several years. Over the past two months, the number of available shelters have been reduced by half, which significantly decreased bed capacities for those seeking shelter. This resulted in considerably more homeless individuals are unsheltered on the streets. UPO Shelter Hotline (SHL) has been very responsive in serving those on the streets with comfort items, food and referral to homeless services programs. There has been renewed emphasis on collaboration among homeless providers within DC continuum of care systems to move individuals and families experiencing homeless into permanent supportive housing options.
Among the DC homeless population, number of positive COVID19 cases decreased significantly over the past several months. DC Mayor Muriel Bowser's Office have kept protective and safety measures in places across the shelter system and contracted provider programs– to help mitigate spreading the virus. Shelter hours remained extended 24/7 (with onsite case management, testing, healthcare, meals etc.) to limit movement across the city. Also, more community-based Walk-Up Testing and Vaccination Sites were added in the city to provide easy access for customers, which resulted in a considerable increase in the number of homeless persons fully vaccinated and boosted.
As we transition to warmer weather, UPO SHL operational and response posture remains consistent in providing compassionate services to those experiencing homeless. Shelter Hotline remains on the front-line daily (365/year) saving lives by reaching out, conducting welfare checks, distributing meals and comfort items, responding to hundreds of calls from customers seeking help and resource linkage.
UPO’s Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH) program moved 16 new tenants, 9 families and 7 individuals, into the 16 remaining apartments at MDL Flats, developed by UPO’s partners TM Associates, located at 1550 1st St. SW on schedule in April 22. Thanks to your generous support all clients were provided with furniture for their new homes. All residents in this 100% affordable, new construction community are at 50% of area median income and below.
Construction of MDXL flats, located at 1530 1st St., also being developed by TM Associates, has commenced with the clearing of the sight and completion is anticipated during 2023. Apartments in the new development community will also be affordable for PSH tenants at 50% of area median income and below.
In UPO’s Scattered Sites program PSH has serviced a total of 58 clients, 24 families and 34 individuals. Of the 58 clients 54 have been moved into Permanent Housing. We have consistently maintained a housing stability rate of 100%. We work with families to help them, with the support of UPO’s multi-faceted programs, to achieve the highest level of self-sufficiency possible and improve their overall quality of life. We value data and information to inform our work to best serve our families. We track our work closely and modify our strategies according to our own analysis of our work, as well as keeping apprised of the current best practices in the field.
With PSH gearing up to move many more families into affordable housing during the next 18 months the need to provide support for furnishing their new homes will be strong. In addition we have a critical need to replenish our supply of comfort items to support those who are still homeless!
We have a great opportunity on Wednesday July 20th, JULY BONUS DAY, to kick off our fundraising efforts with a soaring start.
- The 2022 July Bonus Day campaign will have a Matching Fund of $400,000.
- While funds remain, the following matching structure will apply:
- Donations of $100 and up will be matched by GLOBAL GIVING at 30% - 50%, depending on gift level.
- Donations will be matched based on the order in which they are received while funds last.
We ask that you please join us with your generous support and share our project with your family and friends. Our Goal is to raise $10,000 on July Bonus Day to assist at least 5 DC neighbors with household supplies and furniture when they move from homelessness into their new homes.