Washington, DC is the center of the nation and the seat of the federal government. It has many majestic monuments and historical buildings, including the White House and the US Congress.
Though America’s capital city also has a new and disturbing crisis that’s been getting worse by the month.
That crisis is homeless camps which are springing up everywhere across the district and beginning to make daily life more difficult for residents. Is the future of DC to be a giant homeless encampment?
DC: Tent City
At the time of this writing, DC has an estimated 130 tent cities. Many are near the White House, the State Department, and all around the district including near metro stops, on sidewalks, in parks, and any green and open spaces possible.
If there’s a space available, homeless folks grab a tent and set up their new home. Visitors are often shocked on visiting DC by the level of poverty, especially in places like McPherson Square.
Progressive Mayor Muriel Bowser let DC down in so many ways; the tent cities are one result of that, along with rampant drug abuse and a soaring crime rate.
Bowser coasts along and keeps getting re-elected in this bluest-of-blue district, but DC is not OK, and the homeless encampments just keep growing.
By any objective measure, Mayor Bowser has failed DC.
Crime is up, homelessness is up, drug use is up, and affordable housing is nonexistent.
Nonetheless, she’ll be re-elected in November with 90-95% of the vote.
So much “democracy” happening in the Nation’s capital.
— Alexander Diaz (@AlexanderDiazAZ) October 9, 2022
How Did This Happen?
Homeless individual Daniel Kingery says he’s seen the amount of homeless go up by a lot since Joe Biden was put in office.
He said those living where he does in McPherson Park get a ton of donated food, much of which ends up going to feed the pigeons because they can’t store it all.
Living in a tent near the White House, Kingery says progressives seem to be all “bleeding heart,” but have no real intelligence about fixing the problem, using the perishable donated food as an example.
Kingery is originally from Iowa, but says that living on the streets in DC isn’t just about money; it’s about forming a community of people who stick together and survive in the dangers of the DC underworld.
They say many of them have struggled with drugs, but they also look out for each other to protect from very mentally ill or addicted people who could become violent or rob them.
According to Kingery, funding for many mental institutions doesn’t provide for interning a lot of the homeless, so without insurance, they end up on the streets roaming around and often getting addicted to drugs.
Wonder what that money could do to clean up the rampant homelessness in LA, San Fran, Baltimore, DC, Seattle & more. Maybe some clean water for flint https://t.co/RTumwZmNRJ
— Jerry Ragonese (@FlowGo37) October 15, 2022
Getting Real About DC
Getting real about DC requires admitting it has some of the highest rents in the country. Not everybody who lives there has a cushy job working for a senator or think tank.
With an average rent of $1,976 a month, that puts many people with the option of living on the streets.
Bowser claims she’s doing a lot to fight homelessness with a “Homeward DC” project. Though it seems the more she claims homelessness is going down, the more tent-dwellers have gone up.
In fact, tent cities in DC have actually increased by 40% since COVID.
This article appeared in FreshOffThePress and has been published here with permission.