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DC officials clear former homeless encampment at 23rd and I Streets

Zach Blackburn | Staff Photographer
Cleanup crews scoop discarded clothes and trash into a garbage truck Tuesday.

D.C. officials cleared a former homeless encampment at 23rd and I Streets on Tuesday.

The individuals previously residing in the encampment near Ross Hall and a Metrobus shelter appeared to have left the area when District crews loaded snow-banked blankets, food trash and sleeping bags into a garbage truck Tuesday morning. A spokesperson for the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services said Wednesday that unhoused residents must remove any items they wish to keep from the given area before it is cleared, but they are permitted to return to the area, according to the District’s protocol.

The spokesperson said the department was unaware of any community concerns sent in advance.

“Any residents that were present were (and will continue to be) offered shelter, provider case management engagement, and other human service resources per the need of the resident and their willingness to accept,” the spokesperson said in an email.

The cleanup follows days of hypothermic conditions, with the District issuing hypothermia alerts for 17 straight days between Dec. 30 and Jan. 15. The District issued four additional hypothermia alerts between Jan. 22 and 25.

The spokesperson said officials placed signage giving notice of the cleanup on Jan. 2, and D.C. and Community-Based Outreach teams performed “ongoing outreach attempts” to offer services and disclose the planned cleanup.

Metropolitan Police Department Lieutenant Michael Howden announced the planned cleanup at a local governing body meeting last week, saying it was delayed due to scheduling and weather.

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About the Contributor
Erika Filter, News Editor
Erika Filter is a senior majoring in international affairs from Carson City, Nevada. She leads the Metro beat as one of The Hatchet's 2023-2024 news editors and previously served as the assistant news editor for the Student Government beat.
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