What does a DC ward manager do? Meet the first one: Ward 8’s Wendy Glenn

Anacostia Hub opens to help connect DC residents to city services
In a building off Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard in Southeast, Wendy Glenn sat behind a desk, helping residents connect to the services that the District has to offer them. She’s the city’s first ward manager, a position D.C. plans to introduce to all eight wards.

Her team will operate out of the newly-opened Safe Commercial Corridor Hub in the Salvation Army Building. Many of the services that D.C. provides are only steps away, she said, but people might not realize it.

Glenn will lead Ward 8’s team of representatives with the Mayor’s Office of Community Relations and Services. She said nearby residents who come to the hub can connect with the Department of Housing and Community Development and D.C. Health for any sort of assistance they may need.

The hub is staffed by outreach teams from multiple public safety and human services agencies that can respond to challenges in the community, including crime, mental health issues and substance abuse. For people returning to the community after incarceration, they can find help at the Mayor’s Office of Returning Citizens Affairs.

“There’s so many things along this Avenue that you cannot and will not miss a beat as far as getting your city services done,” Glenn said.

With concerns over crime in the city, WTOP heard from residents last year who called for city leaders to be more visible in Ward 8, and Glenn said her hope is the team, along with the other resources provided at the hub, will help show the city is there.

“We walk around the Corridor to make sure that people know that the mayor’s office is here,” she said.

The hub will also be staffed with a D.C. police officer, who Glenn said will not only help residents in times of need but also better relationships between the community and law enforcement.

“Having the police here to just say, ‘Hey, how you doing? How’s your day going? Can I help you with something?’ Just to have them here, to have a presence, is really good for us,” she said.

Additionally, D.C. Police Chief Pamela Smith said the new hub would add law enforcement resources to Anacostia.

“It’ll give our officers the opportunity to be readily accessible,” Smith said. “We will cut down on response time.”

City leaders said the Safe Commercial Corridor Hub that’s already been established in Chinatown has been a success, noting a 78% drop in violent crime within 1,000 feet of the hub since it opened.

Who is Wendy Glenn?

Ward 8 Safety Hub Manager Wendy Glenn (center) with D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser at the opening of the Anacostia location on Thursday.

Glenn’s passion for helping her community came from her experience of being someone who needed assistance but didn’t have access to it when she was young, she said.

Glenn was in foster care early in her life in Philadelphia, which she said was difficult because, at the time, the city lacked the services to help her. She later became an emancipated minor at 16.

Her move to D.C. didn’t come for another 13 years. In 1995, the a newly-divorced mom of two decided to move to the nation’s capital after being inspired by the Million Man March where thousands of Black men marched on the National Mall to promote unity and combat negative stereotypes.

“I didn’t really need to stay in Philadelphia, where I felt like it was just too many bad memories,” Glenn said.

After moving to the District, she worked in several federal government roles before starting with the D.C. government. She worked for the city’s Department of Employment Services, Parks and Recreation, and eventually was hired by the mayor’s office.

Beyond all that, she said her children have flourished in the city.

“For me, raising my children here has been the best thing ever,” she said.

Her goal in this position is to see Ward 8 flourish too, and she believes this hub will help it continue to grow, she said.

“I love this role,” Glenn said. “Managing this hub, working in this hub, is the best thing that I could have done in my career.”

WTOP’s Nick Iannelli contributed to this report. 

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Mike Murillo

Mike Murillo is a reporter and anchor at WTOP. Before joining WTOP in 2013, he worked in radio in Orlando, New York City and Philadelphia.

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