Concern Over Gap in Health Services


Advisory Neighborhood Commission 6D met on Feb. 10. Commissioners Gail Fast (6D01, Chair), Ronald Collins (6D03, Treasurer), Edward Daniels (6D07, Secretary), Anna Forgie (6D02), Fredrica D. Kramer (6D05) and Rhonda N. Hamilton (6D06) attended. Andy Litsky (6D04, Vice Chair) was absent.

Unity Healthcare
Representatives from the DC Dept. of Human Services (DHS) briefed the commission on the opening of the new short-term family shelter at 850 Delaware Ave. SW. The nonprofit shelter operator will be Core DC, which currently runs the Ward 7 family shelter.

Unity Healthcare has been selected to operate the site’s medical clinic. There will be a six-month gap between when service between Unity closes the clinic it operates next to Van Ness Elementary and when they plan to reopen in Southwest.

Commissioners expressed concern about the six-month gap in Unity’s services. “The idea that you are even suspending service for a day is unconscionable,” Fast said. Commissioner Collins pointed out that Unity’s Parkside facilities, where patients would be accommodated in the interim, were not easily accessible. Commissioners urged Unity to continue to operate the Van Ness facility until the new clinic could be opened.

Vincent A. Keane, Unity’s president and chief executive officer, also present at the meeting, stated that there was no way to avoid a gap in services.

Public Safety
Metropolitan Police Lieutenant Donigian, Jr. briefed the commission on the previous month’s crime situation. There has been an increase in robberies over the past 30 days, he reported. A number of those investigations have not been closed. Also, crimes involving an assault with a deadly weapon also spiked. Thefts from automobiles dropped 60 percent, he said. General thefts were also down.

Chair Fast complained about the dim street lighting adjacent to King Greenleaf Recreation Center. “I don’t know what we need to do to get these lights repaired at Greenleaf. The highly-used facility is very dark,” she said. “The Dept. of General Services (DGS) has scheduled the lighting repair,” stated Naomi Mitchell, community liaison for Ward 6 Councilmember Charles Allen (D).

Other MattersJamaal Jordan, public affairs manager at Pepco, provided an update to the commission on the status of the Capitol Grid Project, which involves building new, 10-mile north-south electric transmission line through the city ( Commissioners expressed concerns about the impact of the construction on traffic. Commissioner Hamilton also asked about the project’s health impact.

Representatives of Providence Healthcare briefed the commission on the new standalone imaging facility planned for the old hospital campus in Ward 5. It will open this coming summer.

The commission supported with two abstentions a public space application for The Gatsby, 1201 Half St. SE. However, commissioners expressed concern about one of the planned summer gardens placed “outboard” between sidewalk and the street due to Half Street’s peculiar configuration. Servers would have to cross the sidewalk with food for patrons. Representatives of the Gatsby reassured commissioners that there would be a separate service entrance and that the sidewalk would remain nine feet wide. The commission approved the application with caveats about the summer garden with two abstentions.

The commission approved a public space for Atlas Brewing, 1201 Half St. SE, with two abstentions. However, commissioners again expressed concerns about Atlas’s plans for an outboard summer garden. Atlas plans to build the first solar powered brewery in the District.

The commission supported a Class C license and community agreement for the 260 key, Citizen M Hotel, 550 School St. SW with 2 abstentions.

Commissioners unanimously voted to support an application to the Army Corp of Engineers for two new piers at the terminus of Buzzard Point at the end of First Street SW. In addition, there a two-story floating dock is planned adjacent to the 120 foot gangway. The second pier would be smaller. The installation would be used for water taxi service.

The commissioners resolved to:

  • approve Dec. 2019 and Jan. 2020 minutes;
  • send a letter to DC Public Schools supporting the continued appointment of Jefferson Middle Academy Principal Greg Dohmann;
  • support the Race for Hope 2020 on May 3;
  • support the extension of the 72 bus line to Buzzard Point provided capacity is added;
  • send a letter to the DC Housing Authority regarding the impact of its 20 Year Transformation Plan on Greenleaf Gardens and requesting any solutions be “Build First;”
  • send a letter to the DC Dept. of Energy and the Environment (DOEE) asking the agency to continue to evaluate the air quality on Buzzard Point;
  • send a comprehensive list of their concerns about the maintenance of the city’s social diversity and the preservation of the Southwest Small Area Plan in proposed changes to the DC Comprehensive Plan to the DC Council;
  • appoint Mike Stein to the SMD 03 seat on the ABC Committee.

There was no report from the Chair. Treasurer Collins reported that he had successfully filed the commission’s security fund package with the DC Auditor. The commission unanimously approved the expenditure of up to $1,750 to cover the costs of security at its meetings.

ANC 6D’s next meeting will be held at 7 p.m. on March 9 at the DC Water Headquarters, 1385 Canal St. SE. Visit for more information.