Last week, we gathered with community members and advocates to discuss Bill 22-293 – “Homeless Services Reform Amendment Act of 2017,” which is before the DC Council Committee on Human Services. These amendments to the Homeless Services Reform Act will impact people receiving homeless services or participating in some DC housing programs.

Stay tuned for a substantive series on the impacts of major proposed changes. In the meantime, you can find this summary on our website.

Even as some sectors experience an economic boom, the District is mired in the related crises of homelessness and the lack of affordable housing. Thousands of residents are forced to turn to homeless services and transitional housing programs as safety nets fray and the price of housing skyrockets. We at the Legal Clinic believe that the proposed amendments could make the already daunting task of obtaining or keeping some of these life-saving services even more inaccessible to those forced to live at the margins of the District’s prosperity.

When a minimum wage earner must work 107 hours per week, 52 weeks per year to afford a 2-bedroom apartment in DC, the problem is systemic and requires a systemic solution. The homeless services continuum of care in DC will continue to be overwhelmed until the affordable housing crisis is truly addressed. Placing additional bureaucratic burdens on our neighbors facing housing insecurity is not an acceptable response.

A Public Hearing will be held by the DC Council Committee on Human Services on Bill 22-293 “Homeless Services Reform Act of 2017” on Wednesday, June 14, 2017 at 10:00 am.

We believe every person in DC who has no safe place to sleep at night should have access to safe, humane shelter, unfettered by bureaucratic hurdles; that clients in shelter and housing programs deserve due process and fair, transparent policies; and that the root cause of homelessness, lack of affordable housing, cannot be solved by narrowing the front door to shelter or by imposing arbitrary time limits on housing. Join us tomorrow in person, or watch online! Legal Clinic staff testimony at the hearing will be rooted in the experience of direct legal service work with homeless services system, and with housing programs such as rapid re-housing in the District

You can make your voice heard by submitting written testimony through June 28! Check out this hearing notice for more details.