- Associated Press - Tuesday, September 1, 2015

WASHINGTON (AP) - District of Columbia officials are offering emergency shelter to homeless families year-round and are planning to close the city’s largest homeless shelter and open smaller facilities.

Democratic Mayor Muriel Bowser announced her plans to reduce homelessness on Tuesday, saying she intends to spend $145 million to make homelessness “rare, brief and non-recurring.”

The District is required by law to provide shelter to homeless people when temperatures dip below freezing. Bowser says it will become a matter of policy to offer shelter even in warmer temperatures while also providing services that will help families find permanent housing. The mayor says she needs community support to find suitable locations for smaller shelters to replace the dilapidated D.C. General facility.

Estimates place the homeless population in the District at more than 7,000.

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