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.”

Update: June 21, 2019

Ward 3 Short-Term Family Housing Structure Moves Ahead Rapidly

Now that work is underway on the sixth floor, it is hard to miss the new Ward 3 structure on Idaho Avenue. The project is still on schedule for completion at the end of December 2019, with the first of our new neighbors scheduled to move in in March 2020. Details of construction progress are outline in the DGS report below. The Advisory Committee meeting on June 25, 2019, was given a detailed report on why one of the large trees in front of the building will need to be taken down and replaced with a healthier tree, and on efforts to make the lighting less intrusive for neighbors.

Update: April 10, 2019

Ward 3 Short-Term Family Housing Structure Moving Rapidly

Now that it’s all visible above ground, construction on the Idaho Avenue shelter seems to be moving very fast. It’s well worth a look, and almost certain to generate a Wow! The Concrete Pour is on a cycle of two weeks per floor, and the Pepco Power Transfer has been rescheduled for the week of April 19th. That sounds important. Here is the latest report on the details.

AND we all have a chance to achieve fame by coming up with a name for the building. Here is how to nominate and vote, an opportunity which closes on April 30. With thanks to Angela Bradbery, we know that names selected for other shelters include The Kennedy (Ward 4), The Horizon (Ward 7), and The Triumph (Ward 8). Let’s go, Ward 3!!!

Update: March 26, 2019

Progress on Ward 3 Short-Term Family Housing Structure

Here is the latest weekly report on construction progress. The contractors are finished with the foundation system, and they have poured the first-floor slab. The podium slab in progress, which is a big milestone for the project. Underground work on mechanical, electrical, and plumbing is underway. Site grading is being done as weather permits. The PEPCO transformer is coming in April. Substantial completion is currently projected for the end of 2019/early 2020.

And here is the Draft Good Neighbor Protocol, outlining how the shelter will be run. It provides proposed agreements on: Maintenance of the Property, Safety and Security, Conduct and Behavior, Communications and Mutual Respect.

Update: March 1, 2019

Ward 3 Homeless Shelter Progressing, if Slowly

Work on the Short-Term Family Housing structure, next to the police station on Idaho Avenue, has been delayed by bad weather, but it is moving slowly ahead. Dump truck traffic continues to deliver stone and soil to the site, hopefully with minimal disruption to neighborhood traffic and to immediate neighbors. For a bit more information, see [link].

Update: November 30, 2018

Update: April 27, 2018

February 15, 2017 Idaho Avenue Shelter Meeting

February 15 Meeting of Ward 3 Short-term Family Housing Advisory Team Minutes

December 20, 2016 Idaho Avenue Shelter Meeting

December 20 Meeting of Ward 3 Short-term Family Housing Advisory Team Minutes

ANC 3C Special Meeting, Tues Jan 31, 2017 at 7pm

ANC 3C has scheduled a special community meeting to discuss the Ward 3 Emergency Shelter zoning application on Tuesday, Jan. 31, 7pm, at the Second District Police Station. There will be a brief presentation by the city. The meeting is an opportunity for residents to ask questions and to express views about the zoning issues.
The city is requesting zoning variances to build a taller building with more stories that is permitted and to eliminate a required loading dock. In addition, the city is requesting a special exception to provide less on-site parking than required and to provide a shelter for more residents than zoning permits as a matter of right. A hearing at the BZA is scheduled on March 1. The ANC will consider the zoning application at the Feb. 20 public meeting.

Nancy MacWood, Chair, ANC 3C