Timeline: The Federal City Shelter, 1940s – 2021
Pre-1940’s: The area of 2nd and D. St. houses black working-class alley communities.
1973: Mitch Snyder joins Community for Creative Non-Violence (CCNV).
1976: Mitch Snyder and CCNV transform a vacant house in Columbia Heights into an emergency shelter.
1978: City officials take control of the Columbia Heights house and tear it down due to health code violations.
Thanksgiving Day, 1981: CCNV establishes “Reaganville” across from the White House, recalling the “Hoovervilles” of the Great Depression.
January 1984: Members of CCNV begin to occupy the Federal City Shelter, but the government threatens to evict them after the winter is over.
November 4, 1984: Mitch Snyder ends his 51-day fast the day before the election, and Reagan agrees to CCNV’s demands for Federal funding of renovation for the 2nd and D St. shelter.
1987: Reagan signs the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act, creating more federal funding for homelessness.
1988: PBS airs Promises to Keep, a documentary about Mitch Snyder and CCNV’s struggle for control of the Federal City Shelter.
July 4 1990: Mitch Snyder commits suicide amidst growing pressures and the beginning homeless backlash.
2008: Mayor Fenty closes Franklin School Shelter, continuing the removal of emergency shelters from the downtown area.
November 2011: Occupy DC Protesters take over Franklin School and hang a banner reading “Public Property Under Community Control.”
2016: The covenant between CCNV and the federal government over the use of the Federal City Shelter will end, after 30 years.
2021: The District is officially allowed to sell the parking lots behind the property on 2nd and D Street (also the property of CCNV).