La Casa Permanent Supportive Housing Program
On Thursday, December 11, 2014, Friendship Place joined Mayor Vincent Gray, the DC Department of Human Services and Department of General Services to celebrate the re-opening of La Casa. With funding from DHS and services provided by Friendship Place, La Casa will employ the “housing first” service model to provide permanent supportive housing and comprehensive in-house case management, as well as 24/7 staff assistance, for 40 highly vulnerable homeless men.
Photography by James Partlow IV | Commissioned by DC Department of General Services
The La Casa program will operate under our Housing First Division, with Brooke Lyle (pictured below) as the Assistant Director of La Casa, working at that location and managing all on-site staff. Lyle kicked off the event by welcoming everyone and thanking the neighborhood for its kindness toward the La Casa residents. She then introduced Mayor Vincent Gray.
Mayor Gray thanked everyone for coming and for all their hard work on the new building. He spoke of the incredible contrast between the state-of-the-art building and the former fenced-off trailers that was La Casa’s past.
Following Mayor Gray, greetings and remarks were offered by several more members of the DC Government and Friendship Place – starting it off was Councilmember Jim Graham.
Deborah Carroll, Interim Director of Department of Human Services.
Stephen Baron, Director of Behavioral Health.
Allam Al-Alami, Operation Manager for the Capital Construction Division of the Department of General Services.
Sue Marshall, Executive Director of The Community Partnership.
Denver Hawkins, La Casa resident.
Jean-Michel Giraud, Friendship Place Executive Director.
Following the remarks, the speakers gathered for the official ribbon cutting ceremony.
Guests were offered refreshments and given an opportunity to tour the building. All residents at La Casa have their own studio apartment and access to a community room and outdoor space.
“We could not be more grateful and thrilled to have been chosen to run this incredible program and beautiful building. December 11 was a great day for DC, Friendship Place and our mutual, long-term goal to end homelessness.” – Friendship Place Staff