D.C. council looks at solutions to help the homeless

Nick Iannelli, wtop.com

WASHINGTON – Lawmakers are hammering out details on how to move forward on potential remedies to buck the upward trend of homelessness in D.C.

“This is not a situation where we are stone broke and it’s all we can do,” says Councilmember Jim Graham. “We have the money to substantially improve the situation.”

Graham is asking local officials to dip into the District’s 2012 $47 million budget surplus and spend some of the money on homeless services.

He will lead a public hearing on Feb. 28th at 6 p.m. to gather input on how to proceed.

Graham says he wants to immediately analyze the state of the current problem, improve conditions for those suffering and, subsequently, work to move homeless people from shelters into more sustainable housing.

“I’m holding the hearing to hear from the residents themselves,” he says. “We have the ability to make this so much better, but we need the will to muster the resources to get this done.”

The event will take place at the D.C. General Hospital shelter, the facility which just days ago announced it is now caring for a record 600 children.

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