On Monday, January 3rd, 2022, a winter storm brought freezing temperatures and several inches of snow to Washington D.C. As the holiday season came to a close, residents and tourists alike wandered through the quiet, snowy streets as the sun set on the nation's snowy capital.
But winter here isn't as picturesque for its most vulnerable residents. There is a substantial houseless population in D.C. who face life-threatening circumstances as temperatures drop. As the pandemic continues and its socio-economic ripples increase, a growing number of people will face eviction or lack permanent and affordable housing.
There are also persistent racial disparities: Black people are heavily overrepresented among people experiencing houselessness in the DMV region. According to several sources, 75% of houseless individuals in the region are Black, despite the fact that Black people make up less than half of the area's population. A root cause of this disproportionate representation of houseless Black people is a legacy of institutional and systemic racism that continues to impact our communities.
But we have to start somewhere.
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