DC Mayor Bowser Launches $25M Plan to Address Homelessness Via Jobs

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Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser launched a $24.8 million Career Mobility Action Plan on Monday.

The innovative pilot program is designed to provide families who are transitioning from homelessness with housing and income assistance, career advancement, and family support.  

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“We know that with time and support, we can empower families to reach their goals and their highest potential,” Bowser said during her announcement. “With the Career MAP program, we are sending families a simple message: We continue to believe in you, and we’ve got your back.”

Under the plan, families can get up to $10,000 in cash assistance, allowing parents to advance their careers without worrying about what the mayor’s office called the “benefits cliff,” when an individual loses benefits due to earning a higher income. 

The plan is expected to help 300 District families thanks to federal funding over three years made available to the District under the American Rescue Plan Act. 

“For many District residents working hard to achieve their career, economic and family goals, the sudden and often unexpected shift in public benefits can adversely impact their households,” Laura Green Zeilinger, director of the D.C. Department of Human Services, said. “Through the Career MAP program the District will remove barriers to economic mobility and support families to achieve their career goals.”

After making the announcement, Bowser cut the ribbon on the newly modernized Taylor Street Service Center, a D.C. Department of Human Services center at 1207 Taylor Street, which received $5.2 million for renovations. The center will serve nearly 200 residents a day. 

“Through Mayor Bowser’s leadership, this facility is the perfect example of how multiple agencies have come together for the greater cause for many more to reach the middle class,” Keith A. Anderson, director of D.C.’s Department of General Services, said in a prepared statement. General Services helped facilitate the 15-year lease with landlord Himmelfarb Properties

The renovations included a centralized monumental staircase to improve the flow of visitors throughout the center, modernized training rooms, an upgraded conference center and meeting spaces, plus a new children’s area in the customer queue and waiting space. 

Keith Loria can be reached at Kloria@commercialobserver.com.