esterday, the National Parks Service, at the request of the Bowser administration, evicted 50 of our neighbors from their homes and community. Two encampment residents, who report being military veterans, were arrested. While some residents were matched to housing (which remains months away), many residents watched the government throw away their homes and belongings, before packing up what little they had left and moving to another location.
In the past 7 days, the Bowser administration evicted at least 5 other homeless encampments. Their insistence on evictions continues to jeopardize DC’s ability to end homelessness by destroying trust, wasting resources, and displacing our neighbors.
We are mad. We are sad. And we are not giving up.
Thank you to everyone who raised their voice over the past two weeks. Mayor Bowser and the Biden administration proceeded with the encampment eviction at McPherson Square despite:
- Over 3,000 emails from supporters of The Way Home Campaign demanding they stop the raid;
- A letter signed by 89 Advisory Neighborhood Commissioners (ANCs);
- A letter from 90 local and national organizations who urged the Bowser and Biden administrations to re-think this strategy;
- Statements from DC Councilmembers Robert White, Brianne Nadeau, and Janeese Lewis George; and,
- the request of DC Councilmembers who authored this letter calling for a delay of the eviction.
Let us be clear: yesterday’s action will not help our unhoused neighbors; it will only compound the trauma of homelessness.
We are also alarmed that the Bowser administration declined repeated offers of assistance from the National Coalition for Housing Justice to address capacity concerns and help DC build a system in which unsheltered individuals are rehoused as quickly as possible using best practices and proven solutions.
Though we are discouraged, we will continue to advocate to end chronic homelessness in DC.
Over the next several months, we need your help to influence Mayor Bowser’s and the DC Council’s budgets. Please join The Way Home Campaign to stay tuned for updates and action alerts.