City Paper is not for tourists
Look at it. Go ahead and stare. This is what a District group house looks like. This is the scene from the Jan. 26th police shooting death of Osman Abdullahi. He had been suffering from schizophrenia. He had been living at this group home, located at 830 7th St. NE, since Nov. 1.
The Department of Mental Health has repeatedly stressed that this was not technically a group home. It was not one of their own. It had not been licensed as one. It didn’t get a handy acronym that I won’t even bother explaining. It didn’t have the proper paperwork. But it was a group home. Many of its tenants were mentally ill. [All five I talked to or researched had been in the system]. All were unsupervised. This house had a history, a backstory. Abdullahi had a story, too. We first wrote about the incident later that night. I get to expand on my reporting for this week’s cover.
While DMH gets to breathe a sigh of relief that this wasn’t one of their own homes, its people were still inside. Its people were living without food, without heat, without meds, without supervision. So take a look at where some D.C. residents were living. Who’s going to prevent this from happening again? Who’s going to make sure there’s someone competent watching over our most vulnerable? While DMH is investigating the house, the big question is: Did any of their people ever do a site visit, ever actually come to the house?
More pictures after the jump.
The kitchen sink as of January 27.
I will be posting more pictures of 830 7th St. NE throughout the week.