As we told you earlier, despite the fact that DC emergency shelters already have the highest burden for proving DC residency of any DC program, Mayor Bowser is proposing doubling the requirement for documentation. The Bill would increase the requirement from one to two pieces of documentation from a new, enumerated list of documents, almost all of which require an applicant to have recently had a residential address. The Bill also removes the ability to establish residency during a 3-day grace period, and now only allows that period to be used for documenting that the family was a DC resident the day the family applied.
We cannot on the one hand declare DC a “Sanctuary City” and claim that we welcome diversity, but then enact laws meant to keep vulnerable families from accessing safe shelter, placing them at greater risk of harm. Nassim Moshiree, ACLU of DC
Yesterday, the DC Council, in its final legislative meeting of this session, passed several bills that will make it easier for low-income residents to obtain and maintain employment and housing. While much of the attention on the Council and in the press was, deservedly, on a game-changing paid family and medical leave act, a bill passed unanimously that could be a game changer for many DC residents seeking housing: the Fair Criminal Record Screening Act for Housing (FCRSAH).
Since 1990, people experiencing homelessness, advocates, activists, and other community members have used the Winter Solstice – the darkest day of the year – to celebrate the lives and mourn the passing of those who died homeless during the year. This year 51 people were mourned.
The Bowser Administration has proposed amendments to the Homeless Services Reform Act that would impose upon homeless families in DC stricter standards for proving their residency and eligibility for live-saving shelter. We are concerned that the proposal will impose barriers that could prevent DC’s most vulnerable families from accessing desperately needed shelter. Set out below is a letter to the DC Council from the Legal Clinic and a number of our colleagues in the provider and advocacy community, urging the Council to provide an adequate opportunity for community input about what the impact of these changes will be. We hope you’ll join us in calling on the Council not to move the legislation forward on an emergency basis.