Photo of the Patricia Handy Place for Women
The Patricia Handy Place for Women / Google Maps

Due to concerns raised by the community about the building, the Patricia Handy Place for Women will close down for year-long renovations in November or December based on how quickly they can move the residents, the D.C. Department of Human Services announced during an Oct. 16 phone call with its community partners. The Patricia Handy Place for Women has used the building since it opened in 2016, and there have been problems ever since they moved in.

[Read more: Patricia Handy replaced the John L. Young and Open Door shelters and was included as the Ward 2 location in the plan to replace D.C. General, without adding a family shelter in the ward]

“The problems range from plumbing to electrical, to the air quality,” said Schroeder Stribling, CEO of N Street Village, the nonprofit contracted by DHS to operate the shelter. “It became clear to all of us that the enormity of the issues altogether required a full renovation of the building that couldn’t be done floor by floor.” 

Around November 2020, shelter residents will be relocated to a former youth hostel nearby. Each will be allowed to take two bags of personal belongings with them. 

[Read more: A two-bag limit is standard at DC low-barrier shelters, but the exact size of bag allowed is unclear to residents]

The residents of Patricia Handy have been aware of the renovations and have been preparing to move. While Patricia Handy is closed, the services and support programs that were provided there will be relocated to the former youth hostel. Renovations will begin during the winter. Both Stribling and DHS Director Laura Zeilinger stressed that the goal is to help as many of the residents transition to permanent housing as possible.

Patricia Handy is expected to reopen in the winter of 2022.


Correction (10.21.2020)

This article has been updated to reflect that N Street Village operates the Patricia Handy Place for Women. It previously stated that N Street Village owned the shelter.