Responding to Homelessness in DC

In this presentation, Jay Melder discusses the challenges of responding to homelessness in DC, a city that has been radically transformed in recent years by new urban developments and changing demographics.

Responding to Homelessness in DC

Wednesday April 13, 2016, 1 pm, at 228 Battelle-Tompkins Hall

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Jay Melder, Chief of Staff, DC Department of Human Services, discusses the challenge of homelessness for the future of DC. Our city has experienced incredible change and growth in the last decades, but still struggles with poverty, gentrification, the displacement of long-time residents, and urban homelessness. Find out more about how city agencies, organizations, and officials take on the challenges of chronic homelessness in this engaging and timely conversation.


About our speaker

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Jay Melder is Chief of Staff  of the District of Columbia Department of Human Services. He has served as Director of Communications and External Affairs on the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness, and has also worked for the National Endowment for the Arts. In 2010-2011 he was Poet in Residence at the Smithsonian American Art Museum.  He holds an MFA in Creative Writing from American University.
Jay Melder was part of a conversation on ending homelessness aired on NBC, February 19, 2016, hosted by Aaron Gilchrist. The guests — Jan-Michael Sacharko, director of Development of New Hope Housing; Renee Pope, assistant director, Community Services, Prince George’s County Department of Social Services; and Jay Melder, chief of staff, DC Department of Human Services — offer different insights into homelessness in the Washington Metropolitan Region.

Click on the image below to view this segment.


Find out more about these organizations:

United States Interagency Council on Homelessness

District of Columbia Interagency Council on Homelessness

DC Coalition for the Homeless


Find out more about recent developments in how the DC City Government responds to homelessness:

“D.C. Claims Huge Progress Moving Homeless Families Into Housing”

Washington City Paper, April 10, 2015

“Mayor Bowser Releases Plan To Close D.C. General With Shelters In Each Ward”

DCist, February 9, 2016