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Wine bar on 2200 Penn opens doors
By Ella Mitchell, Contributing News Editor • June 14, 2024

CAT announces program manager selected to run The Aston

File Photo by Katelyn Power | Staff Photographer
The Aston’s entrance on 14th Street.

Community Advisory Team members announced that Friendship Place selected a program manager to run The Aston, a homeless shelter slated to open in August, at a community meeting last Monday.

Jean-Michel Giraud — the president and chief executive officer of Friendship Place, the District-based housing provider for people experiencing homelessness that will supervise The Aston — said Friendship Place will announce who they selected to be program manager “soon.” Giraud said Friendship Place extended an offer for the program manager position at a CAT meeting last Monday.

“That person has a great background in the system in the city,” Giraud said.

Anthony Newman, the D.C. Department of Human Services deputy administrator, said DHS is in the process of establishing a coordinated entry program for The Aston to determine criteria for the residents who will be selected to live in the shelter. He said the program will “operationalize” groups that The Aston will serve, like mixed-gendered adult families and couples, and determine how officials will prioritize the different groups to ensure “fair and equitable” access to the shelter.

“We will establish a protocol here shortly, that will allow us to make sure that we’ve got every question captured,” Newman said.

National Park Service and District officials swept five homeless encampment sites in Foggy Bottom Thursday, evicting about 70 residents.

The Aston was originally slated to open in November but is projected to open in August after significant delays due to issues securing a provider and an unclear construction timeline. The Aston was not open in time for evicted residents to move in.

Robert Saunders, a building manager with the D.C. Department of General Services, said at a last month CAT meeting that DGS selected Capital Construction to complete plumbing work in The Aston. He said Monday that DGS selected a project manager to oversee the plumbing upgrades and other construction updates at The Aston.

Linn Groft, the legislative director for Ward 2 Councilmember Brooke Pinto, said the D.C. Council’s Housing Committee recognizes the need to fund repairs to The Aston’s roof and will call on DHS to find funding for the repairs in the budget for fiscal year 2025. The Foggy Bottom and West End Advisory Neighborhood Commission unanimously passed a resolution Wednesday urging the D.C. Council to fund the roofing repairs in FY 2025.

Richard Livingstone, the director of the Mayor’s Office of Community Relations and Services, said officials released an initial draft of the good neighbor agreement, a document that outlines the shared responsibilities of tenants and neighbors. Livingstone said officials will finalize the agreement in the summer and adopt it in September.

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About the Contributor
Rory Quealy, News Editor
Rory Quealy is a sophomore majoring in journalism and mass communications from La Grange, Illinois. She leads the Metro beat as one of The Hatchet's 2024-25 news editors. She was previously the assistant news editor for the Health and Research beat and a research assistant.
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