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Some Advocates For Homeless Say Residency Requirements Could Backfire

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Hypothermia season is officially underway for D.C.'s homeless population. The city is one of the few jurisdictions that guarantees shelter during the colder months.

But a recent report found 10 percent of the families seeking shelter were not from the District. The D.C. Council is now considering a plan to set up residency requirements at city shelters.

Some advocates for the homeless, however, say they're concerned the plan will backfire.

Nassim Moshiree, an attorney with the Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless, doesn't mince words.

"My main concern is that people will die of hypothermia on the streets when they can't get any services," Moshiree says.

She says the proposed residency requirements are too strict for homeless people and the plan, which is supposed to free up space for D.C. residents, will end up keeping many of them out on the streets.

But proponents of the plan say the city is facing a major budget shortfall and its shelter for homeless families is operating at or near capacity. The city, they argue, cannot afford to spend money and house non-District residents.

A public hearing on the bill is scheduled for Monday.

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