A homeless encampment clearing was paused and the chair of the D.C. Council’s committee that oversees housing is asking for a pilot program to be re-evaluated after an unhoused resident was taken for medical care when a bulldozer used by the city lifted him while he was still in a tent.
- Ward 1 council member Brianne Nadeau after the incident says she is concerned about the future of a pilot program that will connect some unhoused residents to housing and permanently clear four encampments after the incident.
- Nadeau wrote on Twitter last night that she expressed her concerns directly to Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services Wayne Turnage and asked him to "immediately revisit the protocols for the pilot."
Turnage said in a statement that “multiple checks” had been done prior to the man being lifted by the bulldozer.
- Turnage added that the resident had “no visible injuries” but received additional medical attention.
Why it matters: City officials have launched a pilot program aimed at clearing homeless encampments and placing unsheltered residents in housing, but some of those residents say they’re still waiting to move in or haven't received any information at all.
Driving the news: Two encampment clearings, on L and M Street NE, were underway Monday when a bulldozer picked up a tent someone was still occupying on L Street.
- A video by WTOP's Mike Murillo shows people rushing over to a tent in front of a bulldozer and pulling someone out from it.
- Witnesses tell Axios that the man, who was conscious, was taken away via ambulance.
- City workers left L Street after the incident and the clearing was paused.
Meanwhile, several tents at the M Street encampments were taped off and left by city workers after residents refused to leave.
M Street encampment resident Leon Willie, 46, is one of them. He told Axios that he's lived in the encampment for 14 years and is waiting for an apartment inspection before he moves into housing through the program.
Another unsheltered L Street resident who goes by Mama J, tells Axios that while she wants housing, she doesn't feel comfortable accepting housing offered by the city.
- Her tent, she says, is "my bathroom, my change clothing room, my wash-up rooms, and it's my storage," but she also says she's dealt with rats in her space.
Read the full story and Chelsea's past reporting on D.C.'s homelessness crisis.