We know D.C. Get our free newsletter to stay in the know.
D.C.’s 2022 point-in-time count, the annual survey of people experiencing homelessness on a single night, revealed decreases in most categories, including overall homelessness, family homelessness, and homelessness among single adults, Mayor Muriel Bowser’s administration announced today.
About 4,410 homeless people were counted on Jan. 26, down from about 8,350 people in 2016, Bowser said. Family homelessness decreased by 14 percent from last year, and single adult homelessness decreased by 12 percent. Chronic homelessness, when a person spends more than a year without a home, decreased for individuals and families by 26 percent and 22 percent respectively, according to Bowser.
But figures that went unmentioned in Bowser’s original release show that the number of unsheltered residents (such as folks living in tents) remained flat, homeless veterans increased by 11 percent, from 184 to 205, and unaccompanied youth increased from 325 in 2021 to 351 in this year’s count. (H/t to NBC reporter Mark Segraves for asking the question.)
Department of Human Services Director Laura Zeilinger suggested that increase in unaccompanied youth could indicate the city is reaching more kids and is then able to engage them for services. She also noted that the city does another, weeklong count of homeless youth during the summer to get a more thorough understanding of youth homelessness.
The point-in-time count is especially imperfect for youth experiencing homelessness. In 2021, for example, the Office of the State Superintendent of Education reported 5,893 kids experienced homelessness for the 2020-’21 school year.
In any case, Bowser is using the 2022 point-in-time numbers, an imperfect tally of those sleeping outside and in shelters, to claim some level of success in her promises to end homelessness. While it’s encouraging that the numbers are trending down, some housing and homelessness experts view them with cautious optimism.
“It’s great that homelessness is going down in some areas, but for that progress to be continued, D.C. has to sustain the investments this year in permanent affordable housing and stop relying on harmful programs,” says Amber Harding, a lawyer with the Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless. Harding believes this year’s point-in-time results are due in part to historic levels of funding for housing vouchers and eviction prevention as well as the eviction moratorium, which is no longer in place.
Harding points to D.C.’s rapid rehousing program, which provides short-term rental assistance for families, as a concern. The Bowser administration is preparing to terminate 913 families from the program this year. Harding says DHS, which administers the program, has sent notices to 283 families so far—272 of which will not receive any level of rental assistance after their rapid rehousing subsidy expires, she says.
Bowser also used the point-in-time numbers to highlight her 2023 budget proposal’s investments in housing and homelessness. She’s asking for $31 million to move people off the streets via housing vouchers and $114 million to improve shelters. Housing advocates and policy analysts, many who are often critical of the mayor, are optimistic about her proposed level of investment.
“We believe homelessness is a solvable problem,” Bowser said.
—Mitch Ryals (tips? email@example.com)
- To see today’s COVID-19 data, visit our coronavirus tracker.
- A house fire in Northeast D.C. yesterday critically injured one person and displaced six residents. [WUSA9]
- The ACLU of D.C. is asking a federal judge to grant an appeal so the chapter could again pursue claims against federal officials for the violent clearing of Lafayette Square protesters on June 1, 2020. [WTOP]
- Plans rev up for a new concourse at Dulles International Airport set to open in 2026. [Post]
- A new survey shows that D.C. residents have the highest rate of student debt-per-borrower in the U.S. Borrowers worry about the potential end to the moratorium on payments. [DCist]
By Ambar Castillo (tips? firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Ward 5 Councilmember Kenyan McDuffie will file his appeal today of a ruling knocking him off the ballot in the attorney general race. For what it’s worth, Ward 2 Councilmember Brooke Pinto, herself a veteran of the AG’s office, says she would be “really shocked if the court upheld the ruling.” [Post, Twitter]
- At-Large Councilmember Robert White is using his Council committee to press the Department of General Services for its “unlawful delays” in posting data on school work orders, as well as working to find new money to fund the construction of public restrooms. [Twitter, Twitter]
By Alex Koma (tips? email@example.com)
- New culinary pavilion joins the National Cannabis Festival this weekend. [DCist]
- A volcano nacho bar, duck pâté, and wood-fired pizza are among the bites at new and newly opened spots around D.C. [Washingtonian]
- Stellina Pizzeria will open another location in D.C. May 3. The new spot in Mount Vernon Triangle honors the greasy spoon it’s replacing. [WTOP]
By City Paper staff (tips? firstname.lastname@example.org)
Group shows are typically organized around an explicit theme, or the featured artists hail from […]
Anyone else have “Masterpiece” regularly on repeat? […]
Sunday in an archetypical French town […]
- Love puzzles? Need some new ones? Don’t have the cash to buy more? Check out this weekend’s spontaneous Spring DC Puzzle SWAP at Northeast Neighborhood Library. [Twitter]
- After two years, the city’s longest running and largest film festival returns today with 65 films spanning 35 countries, a local filmmaker component and more. FilmFest DC runs through May 1. [FilmFest DC, WCP]
By Sarah Marloff (tips? email@example.com)
- Christyn Williams, the Mystics’ 14th overall pick in the WNBA Draft, will be out for the season after suffering a knee injury during practice that will require surgery. Williams was a four-year starter at UConn and helped the Huskies reach the NCAA championship game in early April. [ESPN]
- Nats reliever Sean Doolittle has been placed on the 10-day injured list for a left elbow sprain. [MASN]
- Washington Spirit ranks second in the NWSL’s most recent power rankings. [CBS Sports]
By Kelyn Soong (tips? firstname.lastname@example.org)