The National Park Service plans to clear DC’s homeless camps by the end of 2023
Federal and city officials have reportedly pledged to eliminate widespread homeless encampments in the nation’s capital by the end of next year.
After years of the proliferation of homeless tent cities springing up all over Washington, DC, the National Park Service (NPS) will play a crucial role in getting rid of them within the next 12 months, according to The Spectator World.
The NPS cleared homeless encampments in the city’s prominent McPherson Square and Scott Circle last month, and the federal agency also helped evacuate homeless people from the area outside of Union Station earlier this year ahead of President Biden’s speech at the historic train and bus depot to free.
Such evictions are reportedly part of a broader plan by NPS to enforce its “no camping ordinance” across Washington, D.C., which aims to remove all homeless encampments on national park land by the end of 2023.
NPS will work with the city’s social services to provide temporary and long-term housing and treatment for drug addiction and mental health issues to DC’s displaced homeless, according to The Spectator World.
NPS officials fueled controversy when they removed a homeless encampment from Fort Reno Park in the affluent Tenleytown neighborhood of northwest Washington, DC last week, prompting accusations of “eviction” from critics, according to the outlet.
Flyers emerged at the scene urging townspeople to contact the Rock Creek National Park Service, which oversees the park, and Democrat Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, a non-voting member of Congress since 1991.
“Park residents are being evicted during hypothermia season with just a week’s notice as temperatures begin to drop,” reads a flyer. “Call Rock Creek Park NPS and Eleanor Holmes Norton and demand that this dangerous and inhumane evacuation be stopped.”
The NPS said the park was closed after “numerous” reports of violence and criminal behavior, The Spectator World reported.
“The United States Parks Police have reported numerous instances of criminal activity and violence related to the Fort Reno camp, and the camp’s closure has enabled the NPS to ensure the safety of the public and those living at the camp,” a spokesman said .
“Social service organizations are working with two people to provide access to cold-weather shelters until permanent housing is made available,” the NPS said. “The other two people are working with other social services to provide longer-term transitional housing.”
The NPS said it has received complaints about both the homeless camps in the park and the safety of the homeless living there. Local activists did not hinder their efforts to clear the park last week, they said.
Despite appearances, homelessness in Washington, DC has fallen 47% since 2016, according to The Economist.
https://nypost.com/2022/12/21/national-park-service-aims-to-clear-out-dc-homeless-encampments-by-late-2023/ The National Park Service plans to clear DC’s homeless camps by the end of 2023