Rapid Re-Housing in the District of Columbia

by Meha Patel

In recent years, the District of Columbia government has focused homelessness alleviation efforts on its rapid re-housing program. The program provides homeless individuals and families with short-term rental assistance. Individuals pay thirty to forty percent of their income towards their monthly rent, while the rapid-rehousing subsidy pays the remainder. These subsidies aim to provide homeless individuals adequate housing as soon as possible, rather than waiting to provide housing until these individuals have reached certain behavioral benchmarks, for example employment, sobriety, or compliance with mental health counseling. The program adequately understands the difficulty homeless individuals have in achieving stability in other areas of their lives when they are burdened with homelessness, and how housing can be a first step towards this stability and independence.

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A Fourth Amendment Problem for the Homeless: A Comment to “Police Are Tearing Down One of the Nation’s Largest Homeless Camps”

by David Garcia-Pedrosa

[This piece is in response to the article Police Are Tearing Down One of the Nation’s Largest Homeless Camps, found at http://www.ryot.org/the-jungle-silicon-valley-homeless-camp-police-tear-down/882249 .]

The tearing down of the Silicon Valley homeless encampment is only one example of a nation-wide epidemic of evicting homeless people from their tents and hand-made shelters.[1] The Government’s destruction of these “tent cities” raises many concerns for the homeless. One such concern is homeless persons’ Fourth Amendment right “to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures.”[2] The attached article is a step away from affording Fourth Amendment protection to homeless persons in their dwellings.

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