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An old apartment building in Southeast Washington has gotten a new life. And now, formerly homeless men, women and children will be starting their own new lives within its freshly renovated walls.

So Others Might Eat (SOME) celebrated the dedication of its newest affordable housing complex on June 6. The festive opening of Griffin House, located at 2765 Naylor Road SE, drew a crowd of supporters, beneficiaries and people who helped with the work.

The visitors sat in the backyard beside the new playground, a splash of primary colors that contrasted with the building’s brick exterior. The sun shone brightly as the Rev. John Adams, the president of SOME, welcomed the crowd and presented the building to its namesake, Jack Griffin.

Monsignor Ray East of St. Teresa of Avila Church on V Street Southeast gave a benediction. Jack Griffin and his family cut the ribbon, and a sign with the house’s name was unveiled.

The newly renovated building, a resurrection of a deteriorated relic, will house 22 formerly homeless families and 18 single adults.

There are expected to be as many as 70 children living within the Griffin House’s navy-and-beige trimmed walls, according to Ellen Hatherill, SOME marketing and special events manager.

Hatherill said families and single adults can stay at the Griffin House as long as they want, but for affordable living facilities like this, five to seven years is the duration of a typical family’s stay.

Most of the funding for the Griffin House came from the award of nine percent low income housing tax credits from the D.C. Department of Housing and Community Development. Griffin House is a part of SOME’s Affordable Housing Development Initiative, which was launched in 2005 with a goal of creating 1,000 new units of affordable housing for the District’s homeless and extremely low income residents.

Residents pay a third of their income to stay in the House, Hatherill said. They will move in starting this week.

“This is our only affordable housing unit that combines family units with efficiencies for single adults,” said Tracy Monson, associate director of development for SOME. “There is a particularly severe lack of affordable housing for homeless families.”

An annual count conducted in January found 1,014 homeless families living in the District, an increase of more than 18 percent since 2011.

Among these families were 1,307 adults and 1,880 children. The count, conducted by the Community Partnership for the Prevention of Homelessness, also identified 3,767 single homeless men and women living in the District.

Ramona Ross, a neighbor to the Griffin House, stood in amazement as she watched the house tours going on after the ceremony.

“They fixed it from the inside out,” Ross said.

Coming from a period of time spent in a shelter herself, Ross has come to appreciate the organization just a few steps away from her home.

The building was purchased in 2008 and construction started last June. They gutted the whole thing.

“This building was awful,” said Troy Swanda, housing development director for SOME. There was water filling up the basement. They had to pull everything out and put in new plumbing, new electric and even a new roof.

Swanda said all SOME buildings are built with certain “green” characteristics. With features like added insulation to the walls and low-flow faucets, the house runs more efficiently while keeping utility costs low.

Utility costs alone are enough to drown low-income residents in debt, Swanda said. That’s why the sustainable building plan is so crucial.

Jogchum Poodt, who works for DC Sustainable Energy Utility as a project manager for low-income programs, said the Griffin House could be considered “one of the most sustainable buildings in the District.”

Poodt helped analyze the most efficient systems to place in the house. Overbearing utility costs will not be a pressing issue for the Griffin House, keeping it affordable and helping many District families and individuals off of the streets.