National Parks Service clears DChomeless encampment – Axios

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Steps away from a cot tucked under a tarp, David Graves, 42, smoked a cigarette and prepared to leave a homeless encampment near Union Station late last week.
On Friday morning, the National Park Service enclosed the small park with a fence after asking roughly ten people experiencing homelessness, including Graves, to leave.
Why it matters: Homeless encampments have been in the spotlight in recent months as both local and federal entities in D.C. resume clearing them. 
What they're saying: In a statement, NPS told Axios that it's working closely with the D.C. Office of the Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services to increase outreach services to unhoused people moving from this location. 
In its own statement sent Friday night, DMHHS said its outreach team was able to inform residents of the encampment of its clearing ahead of time.
Graves has been in the park for four months and before that, he was in a park across the street — which NPS also fenced-in a few months ago. He told Axios he's been on a housing voucher list for two years. 
Go deeper: As the encampment was cleared on Friday, a U-Haul waited in the liquor store parking lot, rented by encampment residents and mutual aid groups to transport belongings elsewhere. 
At-large council member Elissa Silverman, who attended the Friday clearing, said it was likely that encampments would move to a nearby area. "It just moves the problem to somewhere else in the city," she said. "That's not a long-term strategy."
Meanwhile, several D.C. council members have written letters to D.C. officials expressing both support and concern for aspects of the city's own pilot program to house some unhoused residents via 12-month leases and clear four encampments.
Last week, eight D.C. council members sent a letter to DMHHS expressing support for expedited housing and targeted case management through the pilot, but asking for updated safety protocols following the man's hospitalization, calling it "wholly unacceptable."
Earlier this month, Silverman wrote her own letter to DMHHS with recommendations which included public roundtable discussions about the pilot's goals — such as pausing encampment clearings while housing needs are being met.
Silverman tells Axios that she met with Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services Wayne Turnage over her concerns and said he forwarded them to City Administrator Kevin Donahue.
The bottom line: The next encampment clearing is scheduled for Nov. 4 at a park on New Jersey Ave. and O Street NW. A photo posted to Twitter shows a new clean-up date for the L Street encampment in NoMa on Oct. 28.
Case managers are already working with newly housed residents from the NoMa encampment on more permanent housing solutions, says Christy Respress, executive director with Pathways to Housing DC, which is contracted by the city to provide housing services under the pilot.
DMHHS did not respond to additional requests for comment.
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