Title 4. Public Care Systems. - Chapter 7A. Services for Homeless Individuals and Families. - § 4-751.01. Definitions.


Published: 2011

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§ 4-751.01. Definitions.

  • Current through October 23, 2012

For the purposes of this chapter, the term:

(1) "Administrative Procedure Act" or "APA" means Chapter 5 of Title 2.

(2) "Adult" means any individual who:

(A) Has reached the age of majority under District law as defined in § 46- 101; or

(B) Qualifies as an emancipated minor under District law.

(3) "Apartment style" means a housing unit with:

(A) Separate cooking facilities and other basic necessities to enable families to prepare and consume meals;

(B) Separate bathroom facilities for the use of the family; and

(C) Separate sleeping quarters for adults and minor children in accordance with the occupancy standards of Title 14 of the District of Columbia Municipal Regulations (Housing).

(4) "Appropriate permanent housing" means permanent housing that does not jeopardize the health, safety, or welfare of its occupants, meets the District's building code requirements, and is affordable for the client.

(5) "Appropriately trained and qualified" means having received specialized training designed to teach the skills necessary to successfully perform one's job and to work compassionately with individuals and families who are homeless or at imminent risk of becoming homeless.

(6) "Basic necessities" means a dinette set, refrigerator, stove, exhaust fan or window, storage cabinets, cookware, flatware, and tableware.

(7) "Client" means an individual or family seeking, receiving, or eligible for services from a program covered by § 4-754.01.

(8) "Continuum of Care" means the comprehensive system of services for individuals and families who are homeless or at imminent risk of becoming homeless and designed to serve clients based on their individual level of need. The Continuum of Care may include crisis intervention, outreach and assessment services, shelter, transitional housing, permanent supportive housing, and supportive services.

(9) "Crisis intervention" means assistance to prevent individuals and families from becoming homeless, which may include, but need not be limited to, cash assistance for security deposits, rent or mortgage payments, utility assistance, credit counseling, mediation with landlords, and supportive services.

(10) "Culturally competent" means the ability of a provider to deliver or ensure access to services in a manner that effectively responds to the languages, values, and practices present in the various cultures of its clients so the provider can respond to the individual needs of each client.

(11) "Day program" means a facility that provides open access to structured activities during set hours of the day to meet the supportive services needs of individuals and families who are homeless or at imminent risk of becoming homeless.

(12) "Department" means the Department of Human Services.

(13) "District" means the District of Columbia government, its agents, or its designees.

(14) "Drop-in center" means a facility that delivers supportive services that may include food, clothing, showers, medical services, and employment services.

(15) "Drug" means a controlled substance as defined in § 48-901.02(4), or the Controlled Substances Act of 1970, approved October 27, 1970 (84 Stat. 1242; 21 U.S.C. § 801 et seq.).

(16) "Family" means:

(A) A group of individuals with at least one minor or dependent child, regardless of blood relationship, age, or marriage, whose history and statements reasonably tend to demonstrate that they intend to remain together as a family unit; or

(B) A pregnant woman in her third trimester.

(17) "Group home" means a housing unit with:

(A) Sleeping quarters that may be shared;

(B) Shared cooking and bathroom facilities; and

(C) Other basic necessities to enable individuals or families to prepare and consume meals.

(17A) "Gender identity or expression" shall have the same meaning as provided in § 2-1401.02(12A).

(18) "Homeless" means:

(A) Lacking a fixed, regular residence that provides safe housing, and lacking the financial means to acquire such a residence immediately; or

(B) Having a primary nighttime residence that is:

(i) A supervised publicly or privately operated shelter or transitional housing facility designed to provide temporary living accommodations; or

(ii) A public or private place not designed for, or ordinarily used as, a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings.

(19) "Housing First" means a program that provides clients with immediate access to independent permanent housing and supportive services without prerequisites for sobriety or participation in psychiatric treatment. Clients in Housing First programs may choose the frequency and type of supportive services they receive and refusal of services will have no consequence for their access to housing or on continuation of their housing and supportive services.

(20) "Hyperthermia shelter" means a public or private building that the District shall make available, for the purpose of providing shelter to individuals or families who are homeless and cannot access other shelter, whenever the actual or forecasted temperature or heat index rises above 95 degrees Fahrenheit. The term "hyperthermia shelter" does not include overnight shelter.

(21) "Hypothermia shelter" means a public or private building that the District shall make available, for the purpose of providing shelter to individuals or families who are homeless and cannot access other shelter, whenever the actual or forecasted temperature, including the wind chill factor, falls below 32 degrees Fahrenheit.

(22) "Individual with a disability" means a person with a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits the major life activities of the person.

(23) "Imminent risk of becoming homeless" means the likelihood that an individual's or family's circumstances will cause the individual or family to become homeless in the absence of prompt government intervention.

(24) "Imminent threat to the health or safety" means an act or credible threat of violence on the grounds of a shelter or supportive housing facility.

(25) "Interagency Council" means the Interagency Council on Homelessness established pursuant to § 4-752.01.

(26) "Low barrier shelter" means an overnight housing accommodation for individuals who are homeless, provided directly by, or through contract with or grant from, the District, for the purpose of providing shelter to individuals without imposition of identification, time limits, or other program requirements;

(27) "Member agency" or "member agencies" means the District agencies or divisions thereof represented on the Interagency Council pursuant to § 4- 752.01(b).

(27A) "Office" means the Office of Shelter Monitoring established pursuant to §4-754.51.

(28) "Permanent supportive housing" means supportive housing for an unrestricted period of time for individuals and families who were once homeless and continue to be at imminent risk of becoming homeless, including persons with disabilities as defined in 24 C.F.R. § 582.5, for whom self-sufficient living may be unlikely and whose care can be supported through public funds.

(29) "Program Rules" means the set of provider rules, client rights, and complaint and appeal procedures, including those enumerated in this chapter, proposed by a particular provider for the purpose of governing the behavior and treatment of its clients and approved by the Mayor subject to § 4-754.32.

(30) "Provider" means an individual or entity within the Continuum of Care that operates a program covered by § 4-754.01.

(31) "Public assistance" means government-funded payments in or by money, medical care, remedial care, shelter, goods or services to, or for the benefit of, needy persons.

(32) "Resident of the District" means an individual or family who:

(A) Is not receiving locally administered public assistance from a jurisdiction other than the District;

(B) Is living in the District voluntarily and not for a temporary purpose and who has no intention of presently moving from the District, which shall be determined and applied in accordance with § 4-205.03; and

(C) Demonstrates residence by providing:

(i) A mailing address in the District, valid within the last 2 years;

(ii) Evidence that the individual or family has applied or is receiving public assistance from the District;

(iii) Evidence that the individual or a family member is attending school in the District; or

(iv) Written verification by a verifier who attests, to the best of the verifier's knowledge, that the individual or family lives in the District voluntarily and not for a temporary purpose and has no intention of presently moving from the District.

(32A) "Safe housing" means housing that does not jeopardize the health, safety, or welfare of its occupants and that permits access to electricity, heat, and running water for the benefit of occupants.

(33) "Sanction" means an adverse action taken by a provider affecting the delivery of services to a client, and may include loss of privileges or denial, reduction, delay, transfer for inappropriate or punitive reasons, suspension, or termination of services.

(34) "Service plan" means a written plan collaboratively developed and agreed upon by both the provider and the client, consisting of time-specific goals and objectives designed to promote self-sufficiency and attainment of permanent housing and based on the client's individually assessed needs, desires, strengths, resources, and limitations.

(35) "Severe weather conditions" means the outdoor conditions whenever the actual or forecasted temperature, including the wind chill factor or heat index, falls below 32 degrees Fahrenheit or rises above 95 degrees Fahrenheit.

(36) "Severe weather shelter" means hyperthermia shelter or hypothermia shelter.

(37) "Shelter" means severe weather shelter, low barrier shelter, and temporary shelter.

(38) "Supportive housing" means transitional housing and permanent supportive housing.

(39) "Supportive services" means services addressing employment, physical health, mental health, alcohol and other substance abuse recovery, child care, transportation, case management, and other health and social service needs which, if unmet, may be barriers to obtaining or maintaining permanent housing.

(40) "Temporary shelter" means:

(A) A housing accommodation for individuals who are homeless that is open either 24 hours or at least 12 hours each day, other than a severe weather shelter or low barrier shelter, provided directly by, or through contract with or grant from, the District, for the purpose of providing shelter and supportive services; or

(B) A 24-hour apartment-style housing accommodation for individuals or families who are homeless, other than a severe weather shelter, provided directly by, or through contract with or grant from, the District, for the purpose of providing shelter and supportive services.

(41) "Transitional housing" means a 24-hour housing accommodation, provided directly by, or through contract with or grant from, the District, for individuals and families who:

(A) Are homeless;

(B) Require a structured program of supportive services for up to 2 years or as long as necessary in order to prepare for self-sufficient living in permanent housing; and

(C) Consent to a case management plan developed collaboratively with the provider.

(41A) "Verifier" means a District resident or a provider who knows where an individual or family seeking shelter lives and who produces evidence of his or her employment as a provider in the case of a provider, or own District residency in the case of a District resident by providing a:

(A) Valid District driver's license or nondriver's identification;

(B) District voter registration card;

(C) Valid lease, rental agreement, rent receipt, deed, settlement papers, or mortgage statement for a residence in the District;

(D) Valid homeowner's or renter's insurance policy for a residence in the District;

(E) District property tax bill issued within the last 60 days;

(F) Utility bill for water, gas, electric, oil, cable, or a land-line telephone issued within the last 60 days; or

(G) Pay stub issued within the last 30 days showing a District address and District withholding taxes.

(42) "Weapon" means any pistol or other firearm (or imitation thereof), or other dangerous or deadly weapon, including a sawed-off shot gun, shot gun, machine gun, rifle, dirk, bowie knife, butcher knife, switch blade knife, razor, black jack, billy club or metallic or other false knuckles, as referenced in § 22-4502, and any air gun, air rifle, canon, torpedo, bean shooter, sling, projectile, dart, BB gun, spring gun, blow gun, other dangerous missile or explosive, or other dangerous weapon or ammunition of any character, as referenced in Chapter 23 of Title 24 of the District of Columbia Municipal Regulations.

                                

(Oct. 22, 2005, D.C. Law 16-35, § 2, 52 DCR 8113; Mar. 14, 2007, D.C. Law 16-296, § 2(b), 54 DCR 1097; June 25, 2008, D.C. Law 17-177, § 7(a), 55 DCR 3696; Apr. 8, 2011, D.C. Law 18-367, § 2(a), 58 DCR 987.)

HISTORICAL AND STATUTORY NOTES

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 16-296, in par. (9), added utility payments to the scope of the paragraph;  rewrote par. (18)(A); and added pars. (27A) and (32A).   Prior to amendment, par. (18)(A) read:

"(A) Lacking a fixed, regular residence that does not jeopardize the health, safety, or welfare of its occupants, and lacking the financial ability to immediately acquire one; or"

D.C. Law 17-177 added par. (17A).

D.C. Law 18-367 rewrote par. (32); and added par. (41). Prior to amendment, par. (32) read as follows:

"(32) 'Resident of the District' means an individual or family who is living in the District voluntarily and not for a temporary purpose and who has no intention of presently moving from the District. The term 'resident of the District' shall be interpreted and applied in accordance with § 4-205.03."

Legislative History of Laws

Law 16-35, the "Homeless Services Reform Act of 2005", was introduced in Council and assigned Bill No. 16-103 which was referred to the Committee on Human Services. The Bill was adopted on first and second readings on June 7, 2005, and July 6, 2005, respectively. Signed by the Mayor on August 3, 2005, it was assigned Act No. 16-169 and transmitted to both Houses of Congress for its review. D.C. Law 16-35 became effective on October 22, 2005.

Law 16-296, the "Shelter Monitoring and Emergency Assistance Amendment Act of 2006", was introduced in Council and assigned Bill No. 16-625, which was referred to Committee on Human Services. The Bill was adopted on first and second readings on November 14, 2006, and December 5, 2006, respectively. Signed by the Mayor on December 28, 2006, it was assigned Act No. 16-655 and transmitted to both Houses of Congress for its review. D.C. Law 16-296 became effective on March 14, 2007.

Law 17-177, the "Prohibition of Discrimination on the Basis of Gender Identity and Expression Amendment Act of 2008", was introduced in Council and assigned Bill No. 17-330, which was referred to the Committee on Workforce Development and Government Operations. The Bill was adopted on first and second readings on February 5, 2008, and March 4, 2008, respectively. Signed by the Mayor on March 19, 2008, it was assigned Act No. 17-329 and transmitted to both Houses of Congress for its review. D.C. Law 17-177 became effective on June 25, 2008.

Law 18-367, the "Homeless Services Reform Amendment Act of 2010", was introduced in Council and assigned Bill No. 18-1059, which was referred to the Committee on Human Services. The Bill was adopted on first and second readings on December 7, 2010, and December 21, 2010, respectively. Signed by the Mayor on January 27, 2011, it was assigned Act No. 18-718 and transmitted to both Houses of Congress for its review. D.C. Law 18-367 became effective on April 8, 2011.

Delegation of Authority

Delegation of authority pursuant to D.C. Law 16-35, the Homeless Services Reform Act of 2005, see Mayor's Order 2007-80, April 2, 2007 (54 DCR 7809).