The Washington Post reports on the state of the District’s system for caring for the city’s least fortunate families, one year after the disappearance of 8-year-old Relisha Rudd, a homeless child in the city. In the past year, District leadership has made promises to close DC General, the shelter where Relisha lived, but the shelter remains open.
“I frankly don’t think the District is a better place for poor children than it was a year ago,” said Judith Sandalow, executive director of the Children’s Law Center. “I don’t think we are taking seriously getting to the deep root causes of homelessness. We have a shortage of housing. We don’t have a good job-training program. We don’t have wraparound services and we have too few mental health services for families. We may be chipping away at the problem, but that’s not fast enough for these kids.”
Despite the many hurdles, advocates, including Children’s Law Center, remain optimistic about the experienced team Mayor Muriel Bowser has put in place to address the needs of homeless families and children.