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For the past decade, Barracks Row Main Street has worked tirelessly to preserve and enhance Capitol Hill’s historic 8th Street, SE, commercial corridor and to revitalize its business community.
The group’s focus is the five blocks of 8th Street that stretch south from Pennsylvania Ave S.E. to the terminus of 8th Street at the Washington Navy Yard along M Street, S.E.
Barracks Row is located eight blocks east of the U.S. Capitol.
Monday, December 06, 2010, 8:00 PM
Lonna Hooks, Executive Director of the North Capitol Main Street program learned at 4 pm on Nov. 24th, the day before Thanksgiving, that her North Capitol Main Street’s clean team was scheduled to be eliminated in Mayor Fenty’s Budget Gap Closing bill now in front of City Council. The Gap Closing Bill will be voted on tomorrow, Tuesday, Dec. 7. The three-member Clean Team is part of the Ready, Willing and Working program providing street cleaning and ‘Ambassador’ services in the North Capitol Main street Area and also provides supplemental cleaning services on Barracks Row, the 8th between Pennsylvania Ave and M St. SE.
“The Clean Team services are at the heart of the North Capitol Main Street program,” said Ms. Hooks. “One of the most basic services we provide is to make our city streets litter-free and secure. If we are to have the same good effect here in the North Capitol Street area that Barracks Row Main Street has had on 8th Street SE, then we must begin by providing clean, safe streets for residents and visitors. Cancelling funding for this program will be a huge setback for our neighborhood.”
“The Clean and Safe program was fundamental to the revival of 8th St. SE when we began in 2003 and it remains fundamental today, agreed Martin Smith, Executive Director of Barracks Row Main Street. “The enormous run to prosperity we have enjoyed on Barracks Row would be threatened if our street was full of debris and graffiti tagging. The addition of these weekend supplemental cleaning services to the regular street cleaning provided by Ready, Willing and Working, is one of the basic building blocks that has lead to our success!”
The two, three-member Clean Teams who provide services for North Capitol Main Street and Barracks Row will have to be laid off immediately if city funding is lost. According to Patty Brosmer, president of Ready, Willing & Working, “The six individuals who work our Main Street programs are wonderful men who love their jobs and are helping to support families. Losing this funding would be devastating for them and for the Ready, Willing & Working program’s efforts to expand to serve more.”
Ready, Willing & Working provides work opportunities and supportive services to homeless and formerly incarcerated individuals. The program is a sister to the hugely successful Ready, willing & Able program in New York and Philadelphia. With an unprecedented success rate it empowers men to break the cycles of homelessness, welfare dependency and criminal recidivism through a residential, paid-work rehabilitation program offering holistic programs and supportive services that allow individuals to achieve permanent self-sufficiency.
Barracks Row Main Street is a designated DC Main Streets commercial district. Barracks Row Main Street is funded in part by the Department of Small and Local Business Development.