Homelessness Rises In D.C.

D.C. may be considered the best place in the U.S. to find a job, but not everyone is faring well in the current economy. Homelessness is on the rise in the District, according to the results of an annual survey released Wednesday by the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments.

Since 2011, the overall homeless rate grew by 6 percent, while the number of homeless families swelled by 15 percent. According to the survey, D.C. is home to 6,954 homeless people. About one in 100 District residents is homeless.

Homelessness has been on the rise since the start of the recession. Large swaths of the city have chronic, high unemployment rates. Affordable housing is disappearing in D.C., with the median rent for a one-bedroom apartment having increased from $735 to $1,100 over the past decade.

The situation is dire, advocates tell the Washington Post, particularly since the District is expected to lose $7 million in federal money that pays for homelessness programs. 

Walton, 32, suffers from multiple sclerosis. She lost her job as a medical technician and her apartment last year. On Monday, she moved into a subsidized apartment and says she will not miss having to take six buses every morning and evening just to get her daughter to and from school.

Still, it’s tough.

“You know, I catch myself crying. I get really depressed . . . it’s been heartbreaking,” Walton said.

Read more at: www.washingtonpost.com