On a frigid Wednesday night, dozens of volunteers were out on the streets of the District taking part in an official count of people who are without housing.
Mandated by the federal government, the “Point in Time” count offers a snapshot of residents living on the street and in shelters to determine how city and federal resources are allocated.
“We know that part of our work around homelessness is to make sure that people have a place to live, and a safe and affordable place to live. And we are certainly invested as a city,” Mayor Muriel Bowser said.
The District has made progress on reducing the number of people living unhoused, even during the pandemic. Wednesday’s count helped further that effort.
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Pathways to Housing DC worked with the D.C. government to move residents of two downtown encampments into housing.
“There are conversations happening with developers all over the city around how to turn commercial buildings that are being underutilized, hotels that are underutilized to turn it into not just housing, but deeply affordable housing, housing that people can afford to live in while working on minimum wage,” Christy Respress, of the organization, said.
Count takers, including many volunteers, also distributed needed supplies, like hand warmers, socks and hats.
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Pathways to Housing DC estimates that 1,600 people moved from the streets and shelters into housing last year.