BFC Statement: No Camping Zones
Bread for the City joins fellow non-profit leaders in DC in requesting that the DC government halt the CARE Pilot Program and stop the creation of “no camping zones,” which are reminiscent of other types of zoning that, throughout our history, have disenfranchised, displaced, disrupted, and destroyed Black neighborhoods and communities. Housing ends homelessness. Bread for the City is opposed to the creation of “no camping zones” and the systematic clearing of encampments. These encampments exist in large part because of disinvestment in historically Black and other communities of color in our city and would be greatly reduced if the city provided housing as a human right. Having safe, healthy, and permanently affordable housing is the solution.
The Bowser Administration’s CARE Pilot Program, which seeks to remove unhoused individuals and their belongings from encampments across Washington, DC is missing the mark, especially in the midst of an ongoing public health crisis. Through this program, so-called “no camping zones” are created in the very spaces that our unhoused neighbors have taken up as their homes in light of the housing crisis in DC. While we encourage continued and expanded plans by the administration to offer housing opportunities to those who are further displaced from the encampments, we also know that this is a partial band-aid of a solution.
We demand an end to the clearing of encampments, an intervention that has proven to be violent and dangerous at worst and dehumanizing and demoralizing at best. Mayor Bowser’s administration must finally declare housing a human right in Washington, DC, and end homelessness, which requires more than words, but also actions like preserving public housing, and prioritizing new construction of housing for people like the 35,000 people Bread for the City serves, 75% of whom make less than $10,000 annually. These, much like the decision to criminalize homelessness, are policy changes that are within their power.
Action Alert: If you agree, please contact your DC City Council representative and urge them to take action against the CARE Pilot Program and the banning of so-called “camping zones.”
Ward 1: Councilmember Brianne K. Nadeau
Telephone: (202) 724-8181
Ward 2: Councilmember Brooke Pinto
Telephone: (202) 724-8058
Ward 3: Councilmember Mary M. Cheh
Ward 4: Councilmember Janeese Lewis George
Telephone: (202) 724-8052
Ward 5: Councilmember Kenyan R. McDuffie
Telephone: (202) 724-8028
Ward 6: Councilmember Charles Allen
Ward 7: Councilmember Vincent C. Gray
Telephone: tel:(202) 724-8068
Ward 8: Councilmember Trayon White, Sr.
Not sure which Ward you live in? Look up your address here.
You can also contact the Bowser Administration by contacting:
Department of Housing and Community Development
Deputy Chief of Staff and Communications Director