Runaway House, a Dupont Circle area haven since 1968 for juveniles fleeing troubled homes, closed its doors yesterday after losing most of the government funding that had kept it operating.
Cornelius Williams, executive director of the corporation that ran the house at 1743 18th St. NW, said the last of seven teen-agers who were staying at the home in recent days was transferred to another facility.
Williams said an urgent appeal was made to the D.C. Department of Human Services to provide stopgap funding to keep the house operating, but no response had been received. If funds become available, Williams said the home would reopen. Audrey Rowe, the department's commissioner of social services, could not be reached last night for comment.
Founded in 1968 by Bill Treanor, then a civic activist and later a D.C. school board member, the house became part of a network of youth-service programs operated by Special Approaches to Juvenile Assistance, Inc., a nonprofit corporation. With yesterday's closure only one of those programs remains -- Independence Road, which trains youths for jobs and independent living.
Williams said Runaway House was hit by a reduction last April in the District of Columbia's CETA jobs program, which trimmed the facility's staff from 13 to seven. For the 12-month period that started July 1, Williams said, the home was granted only $10,000 instead of the $68,000 it got last year under the federal Runaway and Homeless Youth Act.
This year, under the law's new formula, the District's total allocation is $26,000, according to Treanor, who now works as a Senate aide. The Washington Street Work Project, which operates its own runaway house at Seventh Street and Maryland Avenue NE, received the remaining $16,000.