801 East Men’s Shelter

Photo Credit © Jeffery Sauers, CPI Productions 

Wiencek + Associates Architects + Planners
Washington, DC  
Photographs © Jeffery Sauers, CPI Productions 

Located on the historic St. Elizabeth’s Campus in Washington DC, this new Men’s Shelter was designed to be a “Beacon of Hope” for those in need. The goal was to transform the DC homeless shelter system to ensure that any person experiencing a housing crisis has a safe, dignified, and supportive place to get back on their feet.

Photo Credit © Jeffery Sauers, CPI Productions 

As the first of its kind in Washington DC, the building is the newest homeless shelter that offers multiple services to varied populations: a daytime service center, a health clinic, and dormitories (with up to 396 beds) dedicated to overnight “low barrier” stays, working individuals, seniors and those needing respite care. The facility is a one-stop shop serving a vulnerable population where they can receive counseling, access to health care, free meals, life skills classes, employment training, and accommodation.

Prior to the completion of the building such services were scattered throughout Washington and were not easily accessible to those in need. “This is a big, big first step in the work that we will do with men who need housing. But it is going to demonstrate … smaller, dignified, better services. People can get back on their feet and get the housing and the second chances that they deserve”, said Mayor Muriel Bowser said during the facility’s ribbon cutting in January 2022.

To create this unprecedented facility, Wiencek + Associates Architects + Planners led a diverse design team that worked with multiple stakeholders including government officials, facility operators, health care providers, current residents of neighboring shelters, historic agencies, and food service providers to understand the needs of the local community and provide a comprehensive support network for men experiencing homelessness.

Photo Credit © Jeffery Sauers, CPI Productions 

The St. Elizabeth’s Men’s Shelter has been certified LEED V4 BD+C Gold and has been featured in presentations at the 2023 Living Futures Conference in Chicago and the 2023 Greenbuild Conference in Washington, DC. The Shelter design has also been recognized by the USGBC National Capitol Region, the Associated Builders and Contractors Chesapeake Shores, and AIA Potomac Valley.

Visit Wiencek + Associates Architects + Planners website.

Published: 03/26/2024
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