In 2018, DOEE convened The Equity Advisory Group (EAG) to develop a set of recommendations on how to implement the District’s climate plans in Ward 7 neighborhoods along the Watts Branch tributary of the Anacostia River. This community was chosen because, based on the District’s climate vulnerability report, it is expected to see disproportionate impacts of climate change. One of the main recommendations of the 2018 EAG was to create community resilience hubs in Ward 7. In 2019, DOEE and the Green Scheme began a second iteration of the process, this time focusing specifically on what a Ward 7 hub should look like. As a result of that finding, a Resilience Hub Community Committee (RHCC) made up of 16 community members was formed. They have been convening monthly to determine what services hubs should offer, potential partnerships for running the hubs, and sites for hubs.
The Faunteroy Community Enrichment Center and the DOEE will build on this work by supporting the current members of the RHCC to continue meeting and to build out more concrete business and operation plans for the hubs which are envision to be a partnership between a community-based organization and the government. The Resilience Hubs must focus on five key functions during normative (steady-state), disruptive, and recovery conditions which are:
In steady-state promote community preparedness, resident well-being and trust building. During a disruption, programming transitions to meet community needs including refrigeration, charging, information, communication etc.
Space to meet regular programming goals but built/enhanced to withstand extreme weather and accommodate extra demand.
These hubs will be well used community assets that enhance resilience before, during and after disruptions by uplifting existing community resources and providing capacity to respond to community needs such as during the current pandemic. The Hub is geared to respond to community stressors such as food access, public safety, flooding, unemployment, poverty, resource allocation, gentrification, mental health, air quality, access to information, perception of Ward 7 and political divide. As we have witnessed during the COVID19 pandemic, these stressors that are not abstract and are in fact part of the normative pattern that spike to dangerous levels and put an already vulnerable community into further despair. The importance of a Resilience Hub has become even more vital and the urgency for implementation crucial, as we watch the socio-economic and health impact of the COVID19 pandemic.