Franklin Park to close next Wednesday
Franklin Square Park will close on July 1 for a 12-month renovation project organized by the National Park Service and the Mayor’s office. Homeless residents will lose access to the park after a clean-up conducted by the National Park Service on June 30.
Franklin Square currently functions as a site for multiple outreach services for residents experiencing homelessness. The advocacy group People For Fairness Coalition notes that after Franklin Shelter was closed in 2008, people who had used the shelter were pushed into the park. Franklin Shelter, established in 2002, was located at 13th and K streets NW in a former school building. When the shelter closed the park became an area where homeless residents pass the day, receive services and sleep.
Starting on July 11, the D.C. Department of Human Services plans to partner with the D.C. Downtown D.C. Business Improvement District to set up an alternative site for outreach services. Nonprofits are also invited to set up booths on Vermont Avenue between H Street NW and I Street NW on Saturdays and Sundays to provide services formerly provided in Franklin Park.
The D.C. Department of Human Services encourages homeless individuals seeking shelter to call the shelter hotline for transportation to shelters. Residents may also receive services at the Downtown Day Service Center, 1313 New York Avenue NW, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.