ask yourself:

Why do some of your neighbors live in tents?

What words do you use to talk about people who are unhoused?

What is keeping you from becoming unhoused?

What is keeping you from becoming unhoused during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Who deserves a safe place to live?

Why are people who can’t afford a house criminalized?

What was in gentrified D.C. neighborhoods before these giant new apartment buildings?

Can you search for employment without a device or Internet access?

Can you prepare for interviews and for the workday without access to a shower and laundry facilities?

Can you secure a job and show up to work every day on time without dependable transportation?

When you picture someone who is unhoused, what does that person look like in your mind?

Are shelters and food banks sufficient services for people who are unhoused?

When you see a stranger panhandling, what do you assume about that person?

Why are rich people admired and given more respect than people who are poor or unhoused?

Why do some people who are unhoused not want to stay in a shelter?

Why do some of your neighbors live in tents?

Washington, D.C. has one of the highest rates of people who are unhoused in any city in the United States.

D.C. is one of the most expensive cities in the United States, and rental prices have been steadily increasing for the last 10 years.

People who are unhoused often have become displaced because of low wages and high rents.

According to the 1981 Census and most modern day guidelines, Americans should spend no more than 30% of their income on housing.

To meet this goal of spending only 30% of their income on housing, a person working full time in D.C. at the minimum wage of $15/hour would need to work 159 hours a week to afford the average rent for a two-bedroom apartment.

On average, a two-bedroom apartment in D.C. goes for $3100/month.

Now more than ever, paying rent and bills is more difficult because of the COVID-19 pandemic. If people aren’t working, they cannot pay their bills, including their rent. Even with the current moratorium on evictions in D.C. until at least December 31, 2020, housing advocates are expecting a housing crisis with many more D.C. residents becoming unhoused once that moratorium is lifted.

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