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On this MLK Day, Mayor Adrian M. Fenty has declared that some 30,000 residents are doing volunteer work across the District. Four hundred of those volunteers are passing out food and clothing to the neediest outside MLK Library. But one thing the city needs is affordable housing for homeless families.

The latest report on homeless families conducted by the District—-for the week of Dec. 28 to Jan. 3—-showed that there were more than 200 families on the waiting list for housing services. That’s way down from the more than 400 on the wait list in early November.

One reason for the lower numbers: D.C. General has added more beds for homeless families. One advocate recently reported that the need has been so great that the staff has started letting families sleep in the cafeteria.

The advocate also noted that there are reports of mold along one stairwell, and long lines at dinner time.

On January 12, the census showed that D.C. General had housed 109 families which included more than 200 children.

*file photo by Darrow Montgomery.