credit: Thomas Hawk

Laura Zeilinger, newly in charge of the D.C. Department of Human Services, said recently that it’s not good for the city to rent 400 rooms a day for the homeless. She argued that the city needs better, more cost effective approaches to keeping people sheltered.

Maybe things could be better, but right now, renting motel rooms for homeless families is one of the best solutions there is. The city has the money, so why not spend it?

Renting motels gets families off the streets and gives them more peace of mind to focus on obtaining permanent housing. I’m so happy that the motel rooms are available for homeless families. The motels won’t end homelessness, but it’s a good start.

Ward 8 is the poorest ward in the city, so why don’t we start there? Most of the people you see on the street, regardless of where you see them, are from the poorest wards. Most of the community has been doing their part for years, such as Miriam’s Kitchen, So Others Might Eat (SOME), Friendship Place, Bread for the City, The Coalition for the Homeless and others. The motels are not a waste of money.

The city needs to step up more. Thank God for the motels.