Temple of Praise Moving Female Ex-Offender Empowerment Dorm
Last night the residents of Brandywine Street and surrounding streets/areas received welcomed news from the Temple of Praise – they are NOT moving their Female Ex-Offender Transitional, Educational, and Empowerment dorm to 712 Brandywine St. SE.
You may recall the church proposal to use the property at 712 Brandywine for the ex-offenders met great resistance in the community.
Last night a fairly large crowd attended the meeting at the Specialty Hospital of Washington.
Before the church read the letter notifying the ANC Commissioners and residents of Brandywine St. SE that they are moving the project to another location, representatives of various community groups had the opportunity to share their position.
Several people expressed their discontent about having 712 Brandywine occupied with ex-offenders, and several supported the project at that location. Some of the comments in opposition to the project included the desire to have balance in the city. One speaker suggested that Ward 8 seemingly has more of these projects than other areas of the city and she’d like to see these type of projects spread out and not just clustered in Ward 8.
One supporter asserted that part of the 40% unemployment rate we hear so much about is due to a lack of support for people re-entering society. He would like to see us take an active role in supporting our ex-offenders and offering them programs such as the one proposed by the Temple of Praise.
Because the church withdrew their proposal, no vote was necessary.
After the withdrawal letter was read, one citizen expressed that she would like to know what the church is planning to put there. A open dialogue meeting is being held to gather community input on
Monday, March 21, 2011
6:30PM at the Temple of Praise
700 Southern Ave. SE
As further support for the neighborhood’s discontent – the Brandywine Street association presented a petition signed by 175+ “well educated and informed” citizens with language prohibiting the use of 712 Brandywine as a transition house, shelter, or any other related project.
The remainder of the meeting was used to discuss Highlands, Bellevue, and the St. Elizabeths development. The citizens in attendance also plan to continue to advocate for the development of the empowerment center, located in close proximity to 712 Brandywine.