D.C. Council to Address Issue of Homeless in Motels

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Homeless people try to stay warm at the Metro station in downtown D.C. (Photo credit: KAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty Images)

Homeless people try to stay warm at the Metro station in downtown D.C. (Photo credit: KAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty Images)

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WASHINGTON — The D.C. Council will listen to testimony on the city’s strategies for sheltering the homeless, including the practice of housing families in motels.

The city is required to provide shelter to those in need and uses motels, including some outside the district, when shelters are full. Advocates say that as of Jan. 15, there were 280 families at the District’s general shelter and 349 in motels.

The Committee on Human Services, led by Councilmember Jim Graham, will hear testimony on the issues surrounding cold-weather sheltering on Monday.

Councilmember Tommy Wells visited a motel in Maryland last week and questioned whether it was the best place to house homeless families. A spokesman for Mayor Vincent Gray dismissed the move as a political stunt. Wells is running for mayor.

(© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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