(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – Today, Mayor Muriel Bowser and Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services Brenda Donald opened a new transitional home for young people who need support to live independently and succeed. A partnership between the Child and Family Services Agency and the Department of Behavioral Health, the Wayne Place Project will help young men and women between the ages of 18-24 who might otherwise be homeless build the skills they need to be self-sufficient.
“Like any home, this is a place where young men and women can learn, grow, and take the next step to becoming well-balanced, independent adults,” said Mayor Muriel Bower. “Living here, our young people will get expert support to help put them on a path to the middle class. They will be in school, working or getting the support they need to get a job.”
Wayne Place, a complex of six buildings with 22 two-bedroom apartments, will be home for up to 44 young people at a time. “This is an innovative approach to filling a real need for young people who have been involved with CFSA and DBH and need a boost to get a solid footing in the adult world,” said Brenda Donald, Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services. “Now, they’ll have a nice home with great coaching, mentoring, learning, and support. These young people are our future, and this extra support should go a long way in helping them succeed.”
Residents will receive educational and job support and learn money management and other life skills. Moreover, by sharing common space, young people can build social skills, healthy relationships, and a sense of community. Residents who work will save a percentage of their earnings for future self-sufficiency.
The Far Southeast Family Strengthening Collaborative will manage the complex and provide 24- hour security/administrative support. Residents are scheduled to move in early April.
The Wayne Place Project helps fulfill Mayor Bowser’s commitments to invest in youth and to end homelessness. The forward-thinking model represents the Administration’s strategy to create smaller and better programs that provide shelter as well as supportive services to move residents towards self-sufficiency. It is modeled on similar transitional housing programs in New York and Georgia.
The Wayne Place Project returns buildings vacant for about five years to community use. The renovation was managed by the District Department of General Services. The Wayne Place annual budget of $624,000 supports operational and administrative costs.