The outside of the Gasner House, So Others Might Eat's newest housing units. SOME dedicated the building on April 11 with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and tour.
BRANDON COOPER

“Safe and supportive, dignified affordable housing.”

That’s what the newly renovated Gasner House provides according to Troy Swanda, So Others Might Eat (SOME)’s director of housing development. Located on the 2800 block of Texas Avenue SE, the house is now home to 49 extremely poor single adults. It is one of eight houses that are part of the organization’s Affordable Housing Capital Campaign.

More than 80 people came to a dedication and opening ceremony in early April that included a speech from Mayor Vincent Gray, a ribbon cutting and a tour of the renovated building.

SOME bought the building in 2007 and, after the recession caused a delay in financing, began renovating it last year. The building now has 49 single efficiency rooms, as well as a community room and laundry facilities. Residents will be able to participate in recreational activities as well as SOME’s on-site case management services.

The Affordable Housing Capital Campaign, launched in 2005, aims to place 1,000 new housing units in the District. At the time of the dedication, Father John Adams announced that SOME had so far opened 545 units. Although SOME has not met the campaign’s goal yet, the organization’s already helped many people find their footing and restore their lives. The organization is scheduled to open another building, the Griffin House, on June 6.

“They fed me, they clothed me,” said Tony Williams, a new tenant of the Gasner House who spoke at the ceremony about how SOME has impacted his life.

“They offered me help, taught me about being spiritual. It’s not about going to church. It’s about a relationship with God. ”

The building is named after Allen Gasner, a former board member of SOME who passed away in 2002.

“Gasner House will not only serve as a symbol of Allen’s legacy, but also the continued generosity of Beverly (Gasner’s wife) and her family, which is going to restore hope and dignity that come to us in need and those who will be housed in this building,” Adams said.

Before the ribbon cutting ceremony and tour, Mayor Vincent Gray spoke on the need for affordable housing in the city and the role housing plays in rehabilitating a life.

“Frankly there is no more destabilizing feeling in the life of a person than to have no stable place to live,” Gray said. “If you can get people a stable place to live you can work with the

other issues. Until people have a place to live, it is almost impossible to solve the other problems.”