Evaluating D.C.’s Plan to House Encampment Residents

One year into a pilot program to reduce encampments by offering housing and services to residents, almost three-quarters of participants have moved into housing.

1 minute read

October 18, 2022, 6:00 AM PDT

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

According to an article by Chelsea Cirruzzo in Axios, Washington, D.C.’s Coordinated Assistance and Resources for Encampments (CARE) pilot program, aimed at reducing homelessness in the District, has seen roughly 72 percent of program participants entering into temporary housing leases. 

“The program focused on four of the largest encampments — and offered some residents one-year leases with the intention of moving them into permanent housing,” Cirruzzo writes. “Among the four sites, 100 of the 139 eligible people received leases, according to Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services Wayne Turnage. The remaining 39 either opted out of the pilot, no longer reside at the encampment, or are still working with outreach to find housing.”

Cirruzzo notes the limitations of the program: “Only residents who had been on a list of individuals waiting for housing were offered leases, so the pilot did not account for everyone living within these encampments.”

Advocates for unhoused people have criticized the District’s approach to clearing homeless encampments through forceful sweeps, Cirruzzo notes. “Miriam’s Kitchen and Pathways to Housing DC, the CARE housing contractors, tell Axios that they oppose permanently closing encampments because it can be traumatizing for residents.” Sweeps can also be counterproductive, reducing trust in government entities and making unhoused people more reluctant to accept or seek out services.

Monday, October 17, 2022 in Axios

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