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Posted at 08:30 AM ET, 09/30/2008

Doors May Be Closed to Franklin Shelter, But the Issue Is Still Hot

The city's emptying of Franklin Shelter last week hasn't closed the door on the controversy, or the effort to keep the downtown facility open.

Activist Eric Sheptock and two other plaintiffs (DJuan Bean and Terry Huff) are going to court today to try to get a temporary restraining order and a preliminary and permanent injunction to stop the closing.

The hearing is set for 9:30 a.m. at Superior Court, in Courtroom 516.

Mayor Adrian M. Fenty closed the shelter at 13 and K streets NW last week, despite the objections of homeless activists and their supporters. He also closed it in the face of legislation passed by the D.C. Council requiring the doors remain open at least until the administration had supplied more details about its plans. Fenty has set an ambitious goal of providing the city's homeless with permanent housing, and has moved scores of homeless men into apartments.

In addition to the hearing today, a panel discussion about the shelter is set for 6:30 p.m. today. "Who's First for Housing First? - The Sequel" is set for a live broadcast on DCTV and will air on Comcast 95 RCN 10 in the District.

WPFW's Gloria Minott will host the panel: Council member Marion Barry, Ward 8; Council member Yvette Alexander, Ward 7; Adam Meir, DC Council Committee on Human Resources; Mary Ann Luby, Washington Legal Clinic; David Pirtle/Steve Thomas - Homeless Advocate; and Eric Sheptock, a Franklin Shelter resident.

Gregory Wragg, executive producer of STREATS Television, a show about homeless advocacy in the District, said Monday that the show had been set up weeks before Franklin's closing.

"We actually had thought the Oct. 1 deadline [for closing the shelter] would be extended, but low and behold we got caught by a left hook," Wragg said, referring to Fenty's move to close the shelter early.

Wragg noted that he is eagerly awaiting to see if the Fenty administration will supply the details about the permanent housing program that the council has requested, including the numbers of how many people have been placed in permanent housing.

Today, he said, is the deadline for that information.

By Marcia Davis  |  08:30 AM ET, 09/30/2008

Categories:  Mayor Fenty, Mayor Fenty

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