Why Is Councilmember Wells Pushing His Homeless Bill?
Councilmember Tommy Wells may have held off on trying to pass an emergency bill on homeless services. But he's still seeking passage of a non-emergency version of the same bill which would impose residency requirements for families seeking shelter. Here's the Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless response to the bill on their blog:
"Rather than proposing to address these causes of the current shelter crisis, Mr. Wells instead proposed—now on a permanent basis—to weaken the District’s commitment to life-saving hypothermia shelter. Eliminating the requirement for apartment-style shelter for families and imposing onerous verification requirements in order for DC residents to access life-saving shelter and services will likely have grave consequences this winter. Though we haven’t yet seen the language of the permanent bill, as we’ve heard it described the legislation still puts District residents in harm’s way…based on assumptions that are rooted in tenuous and conflicting numbers about who seeks—and who is served in—DC’s shelters."
City Desk is waiting for a call back from Wells. What I want to know is: Why is he spending all this time on this bill? What about fixing D.C. General or providing more alternatives for homeless families? The District still hasn't figured out a proper place to house homeless families.