Downtown BID Homeless Services Partner with DC Public Library
The Downtown BID’s Homeless Services Team has partnered with the D.C. Public Library, particularly Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library (901 G St.), to offer an innovative outreach program that addresses the dire needs of the homeless that frequently use libraries as a temporary refuge. MLK Library has a large homeless population during daytime hours. It has set aside second floor office space for the Homeless Services Team, which is on hand to help provide social services and assist the library in handling daily crises and addressing concerns about individuals who display mental health problems.
“We’re grateful for the partnership and believe our relationship with our customers without homes will improve,” said Pamela Stovall, associate director of the D.C. Public Library. “We have a social worker here now and can pick up the phone in order to get people connected to the proper social services. Thus far, it’s working out fine.”
Downtown Homeless Services Team members will begin training MLK Library staff and security this month. Stovall says the library hopes to expand the training into branches citywide. Meanwhile, the Downtown BID is tapping into established relationships with its partners, including the District Departments of Human Services and Mental Health, to focus on client-centered services that can connect the homeless to adequate services that improve their lives. Over the years, Downtown Homeless Services Team members have proven to be great assets in helping homeless individuals obtain medical attention and other social services.