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Homeless Advocates Argue Against Shelter Residency Requirements

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Advocates for the homeless continue to voice concerns over a proposal in the District to impose residency requirements at homeless shelters. They took their concerns to today's city council hearing on the plan.

Advocacy groups like the Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless say requiring homeless people to show proof of residency is problematic because many of these people don't have the documents needed and could be shut out of the shelters.

But supporters of the plan highlight a report from the summer that revealed 10 percent of families at a shelter were not from D.C. And with demand for shelter space growing, and the budget for homeless services facing major cuts, they say something has to give.

D.C. Department of Human Services Director Clarence Carter today testified in support of the bill.

"The intent of the framers of this was not to keep someone from being able to get a blanket in the cold – the intent of this legislation was to do what we could to reserve these resources for District residents," Carter says.

The council could vote on the plan later this month.

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