Putting Out the Welcome Mat

Before moving into his new home at Texas Avenue, Gregory Boyd slept on his brother’s couch for five months, one of the District’s “shadow” homeless residents. Gregory, a veteran of the Vietnam War, keeps his apartment nearly immaculate. The floors shine, his shoes are neatly lined in a row in his spacious closet and the drying rack next to his sink has freshly washed bowls and silverware on it.

Gregory lives in a building recently renovated by a local Washington, D.C. organization dedicated to providing support and care for the homeless, So Others Might Eat (SOME). Enterprise and SOME seized the opportunity to transform a boarded-up apartment building in Randall Heights into a supportive housing program for the city’s homeless.

Welcome mats and the smell of cooking now waft through the building, each apartment gleams with new floors, appliances, bathrooms and showers. On-site case workers support residents and develop individualized goal plans for every person who moves in. Gregory is effusive with his praise for SOME staff and for the apartment he now calls home. “To me, this is a piece of heaven,” he says with a grin.

Key Facts

  • SOME’s Apartment Building on Texas Avenue is home to 49 formerly homeless individuals.
  • It was purchased with a $1.6 million loan from Enterprise Community Loan Fund.
  • One-fifth of D.C. residents spend 50 percent of their income on housing.
  • Homelessness has increased 15 percent in D.C. since 2008.

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