ACTION ALERT

Last Chance to Tell DC Council:

Stand with, Not Against, People Experiencing Homelessness

 Please join hundreds of DC residents, and over 40 organizations and community leaders in telling DC Council to Vote No on the Homeless Services Reform Amendment Act

 

On November 7, the DC Council (11-2) voted to move forward the Homeless Services Reform Amendment Act of 2017. (It was an eventful legislative meeting, so be sure to check out our summary of what happened.)  The DC Council must take a final vote on the bill before it can become law, likely on December 5. Unless they can make enough changes so that the bill won’t result in harm to DC residents, we are asking them to vote no.

While your emails, phone calls, and #VoteNoHSRAbill tweets have been critical in removing many harmful parts of this bill, it still has a long way to go. Take action and tell DC Council what they need to do to stand with, not against our homeless neighbors! Email and call your Councilmember’s office today to tell them to vote no!

There are many harmful parts of the bill. Here are the parts of the current bill that moved through on November 7 that we are most concerned about:

  • On freezing nights, homeless families or youth who don’t have one of the specific documents on a list to prove that they live in DC can get turned away from shelter—no matter how deep their roots are in DC or what their reason (fire, etc.) for not having the paperwork with them.
  • Families who apply for shelter and have been in housing will have to prove that it is “impossible” to return to that housing before they can get emergency shelter, even on freezing nights.
  • Rapid re-housing participants could lose help paying the rent for no reason other than they’ve reached a set time limit – even if they will become homeless again right after they leave the program, and even if they’ve received no supportive services.
  • People could be terminated from shelter or housing if a provider learns any “new or relevant” information that impacts eligibility every 6 months – with no limit on what information the provider might think is “relevant.” People could be terminated from any shelter or housing program at any time after being gone for four days, even if they were in the hospital.

 Low-income residents will be harmed by these parts of the bill as well:

  • Families with kids with disabilities (but no adult with a disability) won’t qualify for permanent supportive housing anymore, even if they need intensive case management services to stay in housing
  • People exiting hospitals, jails, or other institutions after more than 180 days won’t be eligible for shelter or permanent supportive housing anymore.
  • Emergency terminations or transfers—in which people are displaced before they can appeal the decision—could happen even when there is no immediate threat and for a much broader category of “offenses.”
  • People getting in-patient treatment or going to jail will lose their right to return to permanent supportive housing.
Phil Mendelson Chair 202-724-8032 pmendelson@dccouncil.us @ChmnMendelson
Brianne Nadeau Ward 1 202-724-8181 bnadeau@dccouncil.us @BrianneKNadeau
Jack Evans Ward 2 202-724-8058 jevans@dccouncil.us @JackEvansWard2
Mary Cheh Ward 3 202-724-8062 mcheh@dccouncil.us @marycheh
Brandon Todd Ward 4 202-724-8052 btodd@dccouncil.us @CMBrandonTodd
Kenyon McDuffie Ward 5 202-724-8028 kmcduffie@dccouncil.us @CM_McDuffie
Charles Allen Ward 6 202-724-8072 callen@dccouncil.us @CharlesAllen
Vincent Gray Ward 7 202-724-8068 vgray@dccouncil.us @VinceGrayWard7
Trayon White, Sr. Ward 8 202-724-8045 twhite@dccouncil.us @trayonwhite
Robert C. White, Jr. At large 202-724-8174 rwhite@dccouncil.us @RobertWhite_DC
Anita Bonds At large 202-724-8064 abonds@dccouncil.us @AnitaBondsDC
David Grosso At large 202-724-8105 dgrosso@dccouncil.us @cmdgrosso
Elissa Silverman At large 202-724-7772 esilverman@dccouncil.us @CM_Silverman