A man was injured as crews began removing a homeless encampment in Northeast D.C. Monday.
Machinery used to remove the tents under the railroad bridge at 2nd and L streets in the NoMa neighborhood moved a tent with a man still inside. He was taken to a hospital for observation. He’ll be moved to a hotel once he’s checked out of the hospital.
Mayor Muriel Bowser’s pilot program for moving people from homeless encampments to housing began in September.
Notices were posted with dates for the move, which city officials say have been extended to make sure as many people as possible knew about the move and signed up for more permanent living space. At least 60 people signed up, but some didn’t.
“Seems like I missed out on putting my name on several lists out here, you know, for housing or shelter,” one man said.
About a dozen people will moved into their own housing units, for which some have already begun the application process. Others will go to hotels or shelters for what ideally will be a short stay until more permanent housing can be found.
“We’ll have to come up with a plan right now on the fly and try to find safe spaces to relocate them,” People for Fairness Coalition Executive Director Reginald Black said.
Advocates worked to see that encampment residents don’t fall through the cracks.
“I want to make sure that residents have their due process, that their rights are being respected,” Black said.
The city estimates there are 119 such encampments around the city, with more than 300 tents. It will cost about $4 million to remove them all and put those residents in better places to live.
CORRECTION (Oct. 4, 2021 at 6:24 p.m. EST): An earlier version of this story misstated the location of the homeless encampment. It was located at the intersection of 2nd and L streets in Northeast D.C.