Two blocks from the razed encampment, Jessica Kiaraliza Martinez, a homeless advocate with D.C.-based nonprofit HIPS, stood across the street from Kittie Kagona’s tent at its new M Street location. Kagona, who has lived along K Street for about two years, is hoping her days along NoMa’s underpasses are numbered. "We’re trying to make sure homeless people’s property isn’t destroyed,” Martinez said. “When you’ve lost everything, you deserve to have something. I feel like this is the city saying homeless people don’t deserve anything.” [Read Article]
Miriam’s Kitchen, HIPS and Everyone Home D.C., are service provider and advocacy organizations who belong to The Way Home Campaign. This is one of three responses to an open-letter letter written by the NoMa Business Improvement District.
As social service providers with a combined total of nearly 115 years working to end homelessness in Washington, D.C., we are deeply troubled by the current debate around homelessness encampments in NoMa. While encampments are not ideal, and common-sense strategies should be put in place to protect the health and safety of all of our neighbors, they are a natural byproduct of D.C.’s homelessness crisis. We worry that concentrating on encampments sidetracks D.C. from focusing on proven, humane, and client-centered solutions to end homelessness. As such, we ask the NoMa community, and all D.C. residents, to join us in advocating for the best-known solution to homelessness: housing. [Read Article]