Short-Term Family Housing Facility to Open

It’s been a long time since we reported on progress on the construction of Ward 3’s Short-Term Family Housing Facility for families experiencing homelessness, at 3320 Idaho Ave. NW (next to the police station).  We can now report with great pleasure that it is just about complete and that families will start moving in the week of April 27th.

The facility, known as The Brooks, is a hive of bustling last-minute activity as the building is readied for its first clients. The management contract was awarded to Friendship Place, which has a full team trained and ready to support families. Up to ten families will arrive starting Monday, April 27.  Future moves will be gradual, to give the staff time to get to know the new residents and understand their needs, and to give the clients a chance to adapt to their new circumstances.

The building is impressive – light and cheerful, each floor distinguished by its own bright color.  What follows is an impressionistic report on the space, based on a brief tour, so it is certain to be incomplete.  At capacity, there will be ten families on each of five residential floors, along a corridor visible to all residents and to a 24-hour staff member at a desk at the end of each floor.  Each room can hold up to five people; some of the rooms have connecting doors in order to accommodate up to a family of ten.  Each room has a mini refrigerator, a desk, a dresser, and hanging space.  In most cases, two rooms share a spacious bathroom, entered from the hall and lockable from the inside.  Each hall contains a community room, a microwave oven, and water fountains.  At the far end of each corridor is a window overlooking the colorful playground.

Besides the entry desk, common facilities on the ground floor include a dining room (which will be available only for “grab and go” for as long as social distancing is required), a computer room, a study room for older kids, a staff room, a conference room, and an exam room for medical purposes.  (For example, a neighborhood dentist has offered free exams, which could be conducted there.)  Outside there is a deck and the playground.

A Good Neighbor Protocol (GNP), outlining the obligations of providers, residents, and neighbors, has been completed and will be distributed separately.  It has benefited from a great deal of community input, coordinated by Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner Angela Bradbery.  A group of friends and neighbors has come together to provide support and funding for these families as they make this critical transition.  More information and details are available at  and, where you can also learn about some of the early needs as the facility welcomes its first clients.

This is an exciting development for Cleveland Park, and for all of Ward 3, and the community’s response in reaching out to our new neighbors has been heartening, indeed.  Opportunities to support and help will continue to multiply.”