DC Program Will Close Three Homeless Encampments And Provide Housing

A new pilot program in DC will permanently close three homeless encampments and intensively engage residents to provide housing and other services. Since last year, the number of DC encampments has increased, and the number of people experiencing chronic homelessness jumped 20 percent. Skeptics worry people may not trust the government enough to accept services and that closing encampments will criminalize homelessness. Proponents hope the program will provide a successful model that can be replicated; Instead, Aaron Howe—a cofounder of the mutual aid group Remora House, says their group aims to “let the pilot program exist by itself without the clearing, so we can actually evaluate its effectiveness. Because if it is effective, then the number of tents in that area should be reduced anyway.”

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