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New 801 East Men’s Shelter Receives National Award of Excellence

Monday, October 3, 2022
Associated Builders and Contractors Award Recognizes Excellence in Construction; Recognizes Quality and Diversity Among Other Criteria

(WASHINGTON, DC) – The Department of General Services (DGS) is pleased to announce that the Associated Builders and Contractors -- Chesapeake Shores Chapter, has awarded the District’s new single-men’s shelter, known as the 801 East Men’s Shelter in SE, its National Excellence in Construction Award at its 33rd Annual Gala, held September 15 in Annapolis, Maryland.  The award recognizes outstanding construction projects and contractors for remarkable achievements in quality, leadership, safety, innovation and inclusion, diversity, and equity.  The ‘Excellence in Construction Award’ also acknowledges the skill and creativity of the entire team, including the contractor, owner, architect and engineer, responsible for an outstanding merit shop construction project.  The DGS-managed project, built on behalf of the Department of Human Services (DHS), exceeded expectations in innovation and quality, while continuing to adapt to unprecedented health and safety protocols.

The 801 East Men’s Shelter which includes a community-based architectural design by Wiencek Associates, is a 396-bed housing shelter, located at 2700 Martin Luther King, Jr., Avenue in Southeast.  The design-build project was managed by DGS and constructed by a joint venture of contractors including Blue Skye Construction and Coakley and Williams Construction.  The new facility was officially opened in January 2022 with a ribbon cutting held by Mayor Muriel Bowser where she announced  Homeward DC Plan.  Homeward 2.0 is a multi-agency strategic plan that aims to end long-term homelessness in Washington, DC.   

The $56 million project, located in Ward 8 and east of the District’s historic Anacostia River, was designed to accommodate low-barrier sheltering for single adult men that provides housing-focused case management and other supportive services on location.  Amenities include:

  • Day center with essential client services (barber shop and clothing boutique)
  • Health clinic and medical respite program
  • Full commercial kitchen and cafeteria
  • Large multi-purpose room with operable partition wall
  • Computer lab.

Original works of art were also installed inside the facility through the DGS-Capital Construction Division’s Percent for Art program, to further provide an environment of inspiration,  encouragement, and support for the users of the facility.

Approximately 280 District residents were part of the full construction team, including a small group of residents of the pre-existing men’s shelter, who were trained as laborers to help build the new shelter.  The project includes a green roof and was designed for LEED Gold certification.

“This award is evidence that our teams of architects, contractors, the community and the District are hitting the mark when it comes to meeting human needs where they are – even through our construction projects,” said Department of General Services Director Keith A. Anderson.  “We are honored that this project in particular is being recognized nationally as a place of excellence.”

Mayor Bowser’s proposed Fiscal Year 2022 investments in Homeward DC 2.0 include increased prevention and diversion resources, new Permanent Supportive Housing vouchers, and $102 million in renovations of the District’s permanent and temporary supportive housing and shelter services.

“This award is recognition of what is possible when we center the voices of residents in the design of spaces that serve them,” said Department of Human Services’ Director Laura Green Zeilinger. “With tall ceilings, inspiring vistas and artwork, natural light, indoor and outdoor spaces, and amenities that respond to the diversity of needs of people who access shelters, we are radically improving the way we serve people in emergency shelter.”

The Associated Buildings and Contractors is a national construction industry trade association representing more than 21, 000 members.  From its website, the ABC said it “helps members develop people, win work and deliver that work safely, ethically and profitably for the betterment of the communities in which ABC and its members work.