The HSRA is a crucial tool in our mission to use the law to break down barriers to justice facing our neighbors experiencing homelessness in DC.
The root causes of homelessness cannot be solved by narrowing the front door to shelter, or by imposing arbitrary time limits on housing.
Given that poverty and a lack of affordable housing are the driving forces behind skyrocketing family homelessness in the District, policy makers must focus on preserving and building deeply affordable family housing and tenant vouchers rather than continue to champion short-term programs that offer less effective, shorter term solutions.
The Legal Clinic firmly believes that the solution to rampant family homelessness is the preservation and expansion of affordable family housing. However, DC must maintain adequate emergency shelter that is immediately available for those facing acute housing crises.
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.