From the Forum – Contractor for Gas Line and For those who thought it was a NIMBY issue – Group home on Taylor

Photo by PoPville flickr user Rich Renomeron

Contractor for Gas Line:

“Has anyone had any experience with having a gas line run from the front of their home through a crawl space to the rear of the house for a natural gas grill? If so, do you have a contractor you would recommend and roughly how much did it cost?”

For those who thought it was a NIMBY issue – Group home on Taylor:

“Well guess what…turns out all the neighbors concerns were legit. The group home has been in less than a month and here is what the neighbors have had to endure.

Last night one of the residents had a buddy at the back gate waiting for him and made a run for it out of the facility. As far as we know he is still out there. When an attempt to contact the POC for DYRS was made there was no answer and the voice mail was full so couldn’t even leave a message. Neighbor saw whole thing and called the police but people inside facility had no clue till police showed up. As for his friend waiting for him in the back yard, wonder who he was and what his history is and real great he is making his way onto the block.

Sunday evening 3/23 4 MPD cruisers pulled up and arrested one of the residents. Neighbors were told that it was a curfew violation. Well seeing how we can’t get 4 MPD cruisers to show up for a major drug bust and if your in the facility at the time how is it a curfew violation. DYRS lied about this one.

Residents are suppose to be supervised 24/7 but on Saturday 3/22 a resident was observed leaving the facility with non-staff person. It was obviously one of the residents because his ankle bracelet was visible.

Neighbors have seen the residents using drugs in the backyard.

So they have been there less than a month and this is what is occurring. What is to look forward to in the next 6 months or a year. They need to shut it down now. Life Deeds is just making money (taxpayer money) by warehousing these kids, not supervising them properly and scooping up taxpayer money by charging enormous amounts of money per kid per day with no notion of actually rehabilitating them. Life Deeds is an evil company who does not have the interest of these children as it’s priority. Something has to stop this from continuing. If your asking what CM Bowser is doing….did you hear that? Its called the sound of crickets and her doing nothing. BTW this company also made big contribution to her election fund just before they started accepting residents.”

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31 Comment

  • Well this should be fun *popcorn while awaiting comments”

  • epric002

    PSA: review/edit before you post. even if you have legitimate complaints, the lack of editing makes you sound cuckoo.

    • +1 – Review before posting. Just makes good sense. I can’t tell if you’re upset or pleased that the cops showed up for the curfew violation. I’d think that you’d be happy the police were giving it so much attention.

      • Sorry, but it is all too clear that the OP was very angry when he or she was writing this. I’ll forgive them the grammar/typo mistakes. I’d be red hot angry, too, if I had to deal with what they are going through. And Mike, in case you didn’t understand their point, they were saying that four police coming for a “curfew violation” rings hollow. I tend to agree. They probably have some aggressive and dangerous people living in close proximity to them- or at the very least, they’ll be bringing those kinds of people near them. My sympathy to the OP. This is why I am so glad to be tucked away in my quiet and boring part of Capitol Hill.

        • So the cops show up for a curfew violation, one of the kids makes a run for it out the back, and someone smelled some pot smoke. Sorry folks, but it doesn’t exactly seem like the sky is falling here.

  • I still think it’s a NIMBY issue. Is the problem really that “Life Deeds is an evil company who does not have the interest of these children as it’s priority.”, or is the problem that there’s a halfway house in your neighborhood? Be honest, if a different company were running the place, would you want it there?

    • I’m going to go out on a limb with this idea, but I think you can be mad about two things at the same time. I’d be angry about this kind of prison being next to my house (most sane people would), and I’d be mad as a taxpayer about the way they are running this operation/jail/halfway house. The kids are doing drugs in the backyard. Seriously? We already know about the problems they’ve had with the staff over there. I don’t even live near this mess, but I find it crazy and yet another example of wasted taxpayer money.

    • Oh, I completely disagree! I live nowhere near this area, but I feel terrible for the neighbors. Sounds like there is zero accountability with this organization, and I cannot believe that a call to DYRS led to a full mailbox.

      Another thing I haven’t seen mentioned is – these kids are supposed to be “rehabilitated” so they don’t become adult offenders. That’s obviously not happening. So these boys are just going to become men who continue to commit crimes in the city. Why are people not more concerned about this?

      This is yet another reason why I cannot for the life of me figure out why people are voting for Muriel Bowser.

    • I’ll take “False Dichotomies” for $1600, Alex.

    • Not NIMBY and anonymous @ 2:28 must work for that company. How is it NIMBY when they have legitimate complaints? May have looked like it before when nothing had happen and they were just “anticipating” problems. Looks like now they were right on the money.

  • Regarding gas line work, Raciel of Brookland Plumbing recently moved a gas line in my kitchen and did a great job. I’ve seen plenty of other good reviews on this blog and elsewhere for Brookland Plumbing. He charges $50 to come to your home and give you an estimate and, if you hire him to do the job, the $50 is credited to the bill. He charges $175/hr + materials for gas line work (less for water/waste plumbing). The cost of your gas line relocation will depend to some extent on distance. But, yeah, Raciel has done great work for me.

  • I have sympathy for you and the way you must feel your neighborhood has changed as a result of the group home. I don’t mean to respond to that aspect of your post. But to answer some of your questions, a kid can get a curfew violation if they don’t go straight back to the home after school or following their approved after-school activities. Going to DCUSA on the way home, for example, would be a curfew violation. So, yes, that kid CAN be arrested later that day at the home, after he/she is arrives late. DYRS wasn’t necessarily lying, but since they are juveniles, they may not even legally be able to tell you all of the ins and outs of the residents’ cases and their infractions, for the privacy of the minors.

    Also, when kids are doing well, in some cases they can earn the privilege to leave for outings and other periods of time when they are supervised by an approved adult, such as a parent. That may have been the case for the resident you saw leaving with a non-staff member. In that instance, the resident would still be considered to be supervised “24/7,” as you say.

    Of course, I don’t mean to offer any excuse for drug-use at the facility or leaving without permission. I also know nothing of the inner-workings of Life Deeds. But I work in a position where I can observe some of what goes on with DYRS cases and wanted to answer some of your concerns with what limited knowledge I have.

  • One infuriating thing this post does NOT mention is that the neighbors asked DYRS/Life Deeds to enter an agreement with them laying out some guidelines for running the facility safely, and DYRS/Life Deeds refused. I was at a community meeting on this, and I remember one of the things the neighbors said they wanted was a fence on the backyard and a rule that nobody could be back there unsupervised, because the back yard opens right onto an alley with Powell Elementary School, and already has been home to lots of shady activity over the years. Well, guess what — Life Deeds did nothing, left the back yard open and unfenced to the alley, installed no fence, and PRESTO, just as the neighbors predicted, kid escapes out the back yard. This isn’t rocket science people — neighbors know their neighborhoods and know what it would take to keep themselves safe. DYRS should listen and enter agreements with neighbors when they put group homes like this on blocks, but they don’t and this is what happens. probably happening at these places all over the city, we just aren’t hearing about it.

  • saf

    When we had our kitchen redone, Blake and Wilcox moved a gas line for us, and we were pleased with the work.

  • it looks like an individual has put together another petition rather than the “concerned citizens” group that was on a previous version. I signed the first one but this is one different.

  • Yeah. This group house thing seems to be a huge mess.

    NIMBY or not (this one is not for me). I think we need to have a public policy discussion about the use of these facilities. Yes– having them helps the convicts but has a negative impact on the law abiding neighbors. It is sad to see that no one running for council wants to get tough on crime.

    In this particular case DYRS seem to be acting poorly and trying to get out of their responsibility by blaming lifedeeds. Frankly they probably need to close this ASAP and look internally to see how they (A) picked a sleazy company (B) allowed it next to an elementary school.

  • gotryit

    You guys need to pool resources and get some serious security cameras on either side of that place. Not for the little drug use things, but for the shootings that are going to happen. I’m talking about the serious HD $3,000 systems – not the little normal ones. Both sides, front and back.

  • Do we have any budget numbers for Life Deeds operations? How much per delinquent per month? I do actually think troubled citizens should have opportunities to re-integrate into the community by living in well-supervised half way houses.

    So let’s say a 4 bedroom home (housing 8 clients) rents for $3000 a month – $4000 with all utilities, plus 4 part-time resident supervisors – total of 336 hours a month – at $20.00 an hour = $6720. Let’s throw in an extra $2000.00/month for Life Deeds supervisors.

    Total operating budget should be $1,600 per inmate per month. Does Life Deeds come out around that amount?

    OK – I’m probably underestimating operational costs for Life Deeds – so bump it up to $2,000 per inmate per month – would that work for a genuine non-profit or govt. group?

    • gotryit

      You’re missing a few line items for their budget, like kickbacks– I mean “campaign donations”. It’s a big one.

    • I couldn´t find a contract in the online records (where I´ve looked up other contracts with equally corrupt group home contractors), but I´d be willing to bet that you´d be shocked by how much money the recieve per DAY per “resident.” Keep investigating. The contracts are public record.

    • I heard from a friend who works in the system that they get $330/head/day. So if they have 330/day/head X 6 X30 = 59400k a month. So they are making money hand over fist even if your numbers are pretty conservative

  • This group home is a major problem. Call Muriel Bowser. The cops are worthless. Muriel isn’t the best, but is think she would listen to this issue. I’d hope.

    • From what I understand, she is pretty much for this. She tells them one thing and then back behind the scene is fully supporting it. She lets her flunkies deal with it so she doesn’t have to do much and no one can say she was against it. Guess she won’t be getting any votes for at least 10 blocks around this group home.

      • +1

        Please, for the love of all things decent, do not vote for this useless piece of trash for mayor.

      • What exactly to people want Bowser to do? Do you think that she can just shut down any business that she likes? She has to follow the law, people. That’s life in the big city. It’s never going to feel suburban, so you might as well get used to it.

        • No on is asking it to be suburban. Bowser could have at least given more support for the voluntary agreement. She does the same thing every time. Talks a lot of talk but then can’t be bothered to follow through. She will do the same thing as mayor on a grander scale. She may have to follow the law but she doesn’t have to be duplicitous to her own constituents. For the record this is what she has been doing long before she tried to run for mayor

          • While asking for a VA may be a perfectly reasonable request, I’m not really sure what the point of it is. I assume that it would not be enforceable, and, in any event, the business owner wasn’t interested in signing it and was not legally obligated to do so. I suppose Bowser could have brow beat the owner a bit, but what options did she have? I’m sure she didn’t want to be accused of housing discrimination, which is illegal.

            So while I get why people on that block might not want a DYRS facility there, it seems to me that there really aren’t any legal means of stopping it. Perhaps the group should start lobbying to change the rules that govern DYRS.

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