This historic landmark in Southwest Washington, DC was once the home of James C. Dent, a man born into slavery in Maryland who later became a laborer and co-founded Mount Moriah Baptist Church. The property is among a small number of remaining 19th-early 20th century homes in the historic Southwest community that was made up of mixed-race and blue-collar families. Over the decades, the community was re-planned and rebuilt, with many original houses torn down and replaced, yet this house remains. The Dent House is now owned by PEPCO and will be operated by Living Classrooms of the National Capital Region as the first community-based center serving families residing in Ward 6.
The Dent House is located near three public housing developments owned and maintained by the District of Columbia Housing Authority (DCHA): James Creek, Greenleaf Gardens, and Syphax Gardens. The re-opening of the Dent House will meet longstanding needs among the families living within the 600 residential units. Programs will be designed after assessed community input, we will employ residents in leadership positions, and provide multi-generational services to help families succeed.
Modeled after our successful POWER House community center in Baltimore’s Perkins Homes public housing complex, the Dent House will offer job training in marketable skills, financial literacy education, GED prep classes, a computer lab, K-8 after school and summer academic enrichment, senior citizen services, and a recording studio to expand our transformative Queen Beez empowerment program for teen girls.
After some needed renovations to the building’s interior, the Dent House will become a valuable resource to help low-income DC residents thrive through opportunities that encourage youth to stay in school, improve adult education, provide training and connections to employment, and cultivate community pride and interaction. Combined, these efforts will lead to stability for individuals, families, and ultimately the whole community.
The Dent House is scheduled to open in 2018.
Contact: Dominique Skinner