Federal rental assistance for whom?

Photo of tents lined up on a DC street in between apartment buildings

Photo courtesy of user Mike Licht / flickr

The city has more than $352 million of federal rental assistance funds to help D.C. residents who struggled with rents due to COVID-19. Where does that leave the homeless? Where does that leave the people who’ve been staying in shelters that don’t pass health inspections?

Some people have been living on the streets for years, waiting for assistance. Why aren’t government officials questioning where the money is going to help those who qualify for vouchers and housing? 

In the District, case workers and managers keep making excuses as to why it always takes so long for us to get housing or housing vouchers. Mental health program case workers don’t call. Their favorite words are “they aren’t accepting new applications,” but I’ve been out here for two years now. They want to blame it on the pandemic, but it was like this before.

Why is the country so much in debt when the number of homeless people is growing as we speak? How have we spent trillions of dollars without making sure people have a place to live? 

Why are we being overlooked? All I want to know is when will it will be homeless citizens’ turn for the government to help us out of poverty, especially when we qualify and have done everything that was asked of us? Let us know. We’re waiting, because that’s all we have time to do — as if we have any other choice.


Donté Turner is an artist and vendor with Street Sense Media.

Issues |COVID-19|DC Budget|Housing|Shelters

Region |Washington DC

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