Washington Family Emergency Shelter managers admitted to DC Council members earlier this month that it had fired workers over their alleged sexual behavior with female residents. Families Forward, the nonprofit group that was contracted to run the shelter, admits that they made a mistake when they didn’t tell DC officials about complaints by residents that were related to such incidents.
According to DC Council member Tommy Wells, a number of residents had accused shelter workers of misconduct. One woman who arrived at the shelter on January 27 with her three daughters says she turned down the advances of one Fast Forward worker who not only invited her to a club but also told her she could spend the night at his residence. In her email to DC Mayor Adrian M. Fenty’s office, the woman said other residents were told that they would be given certain favors in exchange for sex. She reports that one resident had sex with a staff member because he promised to take care of her.
She also complained that when she and her daughters arrived at the shelter, they slept on “semi-inflated air mattresses, on the floor” like “3rd world refugees.”
The DC shelter has been under investigation since residents complained that 200 families were staying in space designed for 135. Residents also said that mildew was making them sick and some of them had to sleep in common rooms and hallways.
Matthew Salgado, who has been living in the shelter with his 20-year-old girlfriend and their 10-month-old baby, describes in the Washington Post how the overcrowding has lead to near-brawls and arguments and that the living conditions, which have included roaches and fruit flies, can be unsanitary. Another man, Maurice Jones, says that his 2-year-old son had to be treated at a hospital after he breathed in mildew and mold. City officials deny that there is mold or mildew in the showers.
Washington DC Personal Injury
If you or someone you love became ill because of unsanitary or dangerous conditions or was a victim of a violent act or a sexual crime that occurred on someone else’s property, a Washington DC injury law firm can tell you whether you have grounds for a DC premises liability case. Premise owners must make sure there are no hazards or hazardous people on a property that can cause injury or death to residents, patrons, or visitors.
D.C. Shelter Officials Admit Firings Over Sex, Drug Allegations, The Chronicle of Philanthropy, April 1, 2010
Former D.C. hospital crowded with homeless families, Washington Post, March 12, 2010
Related Web Resource: