The DC Department of Human Services' proposed emergency regulations interpreting access to the District's shelters and homeless services can exclude the very people the law was meant to protect. CLC Senior Supervising Attorney Kathy Zeisel spoke with Mitch Ryals of Washington City Paper about the burdens these regulations place on homeless DC residents:
The proposed regulations specify several pieces of information DHS can use to disprove a person's District residency and allow just one piece of evidence to overshadow multiple documents supporting residency, the advocates' letter argues.
They also don't allow DHS to consider a person's own statement as "credible evidence" that they don't have safe housing, a rule Kathy Ziesel, an attorney with Children's Law Center, takes issue with.
"The Council debated on the dais what credible evidence was going to be and whether it needed to be an oral or written statement," Zeisel says. "No one imagined that it would be neither."
Photo credit: Shadon Freeman