As the pandemic entered its third year, the new Omicron Variant caused an uptick in positive Covid19 cases in DC in December 21 and January 22 but fortunately the effect of Omicron was less severe, and in February 22 positive COVID19 cases dropped considerably. With the downtick, on March 1, 22 DC will relax its mask mandate in public and some identified venues, however a mask advisory will remain in force for Homeless Shelters and UPO Shelter Hotline personnel who interact with homeless clients and the public.
During the past quarter UPO’s Shelter Hotline team has diligently continued to protect the unfortunate homeless on the streets of DC, checking on their health, transporting them to shelters, and providing them with lifesaving comfort items, food, warm clothing and protection against the elements as the bitter cold of the hypothermia season became severe with a record number of Cold Weather Emergencies. With 40,000 comfort items distributed in the past three months a need to restock urgently requires additional funding.
According to a report from the Community Partnership for the Prevention of Homelessness the number of homeless in DC was reduced by 20% in 2021. Shelter Hotline shared in this success to the extent of being an integral part of the District Homeless Continuum of Care.
The opening of MDL Flats, developed by UPO’s partners TM Associates, located at 1550 1st St. SW last year provided affordable housing for 76 individuals and families, who moved into their in their new homes, with upgraded amenities, before December 31, 21. All residents in this 100% affordable, new construction community are at 50% of area median income and below. Another new affordable housing building, MDXL flats, located at 1530 1st St., also being developed by TM Associates, is now under construction.
UPO’s Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH) program has tenants approved who are scheduled to move into 16 MDL Flats units on April 1, 22.
We are very grateful to all our supporters who have so generously supported our appeal for support of our PSH program. In July 21 we set a goal to raise $10,000 to assist at least 5 DC neighbors with household supplies and furniture when they move from homelessness into their new homes. With your help we have now raised more than $8,000!
With 16 more tenants moving in next month needing funding support for furnishing their new homes, and our critical need to replenish our supply of comfort items to support those who are still homeless, we have set a new goal of $10,000 for the next six months. Please maintain your generous support and share our project with your family and friends.