I am so grateful for your article on Arthur Capper and Carrollsburg Dwellings (“‘Hood Winked,” 9/27). Friendship House provided training for new residents of these units when they were built almost a half-century ago. Today, many of the clients who receive services from our organization reside there. We offer several programs for residents, including out-of-school youth.
More than four years ago, I called a meeting at Friendship House of many residents. Our auditorium was full, and at that time we discussed the prospect of part of Arthur Capper being sold to the Marines. Residents stood up and screamed at me and told me, “[Housing receiver David] Gilmore is a good man. He would not do that to us.”
Well, the Marines own the property.
I spoke to residents concerning the Hope VI renovations only to find out that many of them really thought that they would get new housing when it was completed. Clearly, that is not true. And the training programs that are developed often do not have adult basic education attached to them, so many residents will not be able to take advantage of the jobs training the D.C. Housing Authority says it will offer.
As a Temporary Assistance for Needy Families provider for the District of Columbia, I have direct knowledge that very few entry-level jobs of any type are available in the District of Columbia. When jobs were more readily available in Northern Virginia, we found that the barriers of transportation to places like the Dulles corridor often took up most of the minimum-wage income people were offered.
Clearly, this Hope VI project is another displacement program. If your paper were to do a longitudinal study of the residents, you would find in five years that the displaced persons would be in the exact same condition, if not worse than they are today.
Friendship House has served this area for 98 years. I think we know what we are talking about.